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MANILA, Philippines – SM Entertainment has refuted the allegations about its settlement process with artists and contracts, claiming that a third party was involved in their issue with Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin.
Early on Thursday, June 1, the three members of K-pop boy group EXO have notified the agency that they are terminating their contracts with the label.
The artists, through a legal representative, cited unclear handling of earnings and slave contracts as the reason behind the decision, saying that SM Entertainment “has been repeatedly committing unjust use of power.”
In response, the agency refuted the allegations about the settlement process and contracts.
“We have been carrying out their payments for several years with a system in which the artists can check the basis for settlements at any time, and they have not brought up any issues with this process over the years,” they said in a statement, as translated by Soompi.
The agency also revealed that the three artists – Byun Baek-hyun, Kim Jong-dae (Chen), and Kim Min-seok (Xiumin) have signed new valid exclusive contracts “after carrying out mutually level negotiations, and there were no issues with the settlement aspects in that process either.”
SM Entertainment claimed that the artists’ legal representative suddenly started to claim that the newly signed contracts “cannot be accepted” and the agency were notified of the contract termination “without any explanation of whether there are dual contracts.”
The agency ended their statement saying that their “biggest goal is to protect EXO and their fans who show infinite love and support for EXO.”
According to Soompi, SM Entertainment also released an additional statement, claiming that an “external influence” caused their rift with the artists.
“We confirmed that the external force did not only stop at luring our agency’s artists into violating their valid exclusive contracts with us, but they also lured other artists from our company to violate their exclusive contracts or to sign additional contracts through the relevant artists,” the agency said.
While the “external influence” wasn’t specified in SM Entertainment’s statement, agency Big Planet Made (BPM) Entertainment responded to the issue, saying they “never met with the artists” involved and has “never discussed or shared opinions regarding any exclusive contracts.”
BPM also confirmed that their agency received a certification of contents from SM Entertainment.
“We express regret at their intention to link their own international contract situation with our unrelated agency,” BPM said, adding that they will take strong legal action if they continue to get involved in the issue.
Following the news, SM Entertainment also gave an update regarding EXO’s supposed comeback. “The music video filming will be carried out as scheduled with the seven EXO members,” they said.
This isn’t the first time for SM Entertainment to be embroiled in contractual disputes with artists.
In 2009, three former members of boy group TVXQ – Kim Jae-joong, Park Yoo-chun, and Kim Jun-su, filed an injunction against SM Entertainment to end their 13-year contract.
EXO’s three former Chinese members Kris, Luhan, and Tao, also filed a lawsuit with the agency, claiming that their contracts with SM Entertainment are invalid due to its length and treatment from the company, among others.
EXO made their debut in April 2012 with 12 members. They are known for songs “Overdose,” “Love Shot,” “Don’t Fight This Feeling,” “Growl,” and “Call Me Baby” among others. Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin also formed the EXO-CBX sub-unit in 2016. All three members also had their solo releases.
SM Entertainment is also home to some of K-pop’s biggest acts such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, Red Velvet, NCT, and aespa. – Rappler.com