EXO members want to terminate SM entertainment contracts

Photo credit: Republic of Korea / CC from 2.0

EXO members Baekhyun, Xiumin and Chen have terminated their exclusive contracts with SM Entertainment.

As South Korean news agencies reported, the group announced the report through its lawyer, Lee Jae Hak. “This is Attorney Lee Jae Hak of LIN Law Firm, representing EXO members Baekhyun, Kiumin and Chen. Below, our legal representative would like to set out the artists’ position on the exclusive contracts between the artists and SM Entertainment,” the statement begins.

“Prior to this, from March 21st until recently, the artists have sent statements of contents to SM seven times through their legal representative, repeatedly requesting copies of transparent settlement reports and settlement grounds. It is the bare minimum and the legitimate right of artists to demand accurate and transparent bases for hitherto unclear comparisons.”

“SM is also committed to complying with exclusivity contracts and regulations Law on the Development of Popular Culture and the Arts Industry. Ultimately, however, SM took the unjustified position that they could not provide copies of the reports.”

The statement went on to say that SM is pushing for longer contracts for its stars. While artists have historically signed 12- to 13-year contracts, “SM pushed for artists to later re-sign exclusive deals, resulting in long-term deals of 17 or 18 years or more.”

“Artists feel that SM is using their superiority to force artists into so-called slave contracts that span almost 20 years, including their training period, which is anything but short.”

Accompanying the statement are a number of allegations from EXO, who say they have not been able to speak out about these actions to date. EXO believes there is no reason why the organization cannot provide accounting reports if SM has correctly paid the artists compensation.

“The fact that SM is unable to provide such settlement reports and settlement grounds is strong disproof that SM failed to properly pay the artists for the settlement,” the statement said. “The artists therefore plan to pursue all civil and criminal actions, including a settlement payment suit, against SM to review the precise details of the settlement.”

In essence, these three members of EXO argue that SM imposed excessive consideration and placed an undue burden on the group. “Because it is a legal act contrary to morality and other social orders, it has been determined that there is considerable scope to presume that the content of the contract is wholly or partially invalid or that its validity has expired.”

You can see the full complaint Here.