K-Pop fans have a long history of both appreciating and criticizing entertainment companies. On the one hand, entertainment companies support idols in achieving their dreams, and when successful, fans express their gratitude to the company. On the other hand, many fans believe that different entertainment companies don’t adequately protect, look after, or support their artists, leading to heavy criticism.
SHINee‘s Key was the latest guest on Lee Young Ji‘s popular My Alcohol Diary and, as per the majority of the episodes, shared his honest opinions on various topics. While teasing Lee Young Ji about “taking [her] role,” since Key is a variety show expert, the idol revealed his true feelings about SM Entertainment.
Key: If you were a boy, you would at least go to the army and I can take your role.
Lee Young Ji: I knew that you will try to take my role today.
Key explains that he never knows what opportunities he will be given because he works under a contract.
Key: Since I am also a contract worker and you are also a contract worker, we never know what will happen in the future. I always think that way.
And while Lee Young Ji finds it funny that the idol refers to his job that way…
Lee Young Ji: I’ve never seen someone who introduces himself as a contract worker.
Key explains that he doesn’t see SM Entertainment as an actual family, which is unlike how many idols talk about their entertainment companies.
Key: I am a contract worker. It’s a lie to say that the company is a family.
But the idol quickly clarifies that that doesn’t mean his relationship with SM Entertainment is bad, just that it isn’t a family dynamic.
Key: We are just helping each other.
Lee Young Ji: That’s right.
And Key is quick to share that he does “love [his] company.”
Key: I love my company. I love you [SM Entertainment].
Of course, Key has also been open about his treatment from SM Entertainment in the past. For instance, he’s spoken about how he was first treated when he joined SM Entertainment, which he disagreed with.
Key: When I joined SM Entertainment, I heard that I was fat for the first time in my life.
And he’s also openly discussed SM Entertainment taking seven years to allow SHINee to have input in their music and concepts.