EXO Fallout with SM Entertainment Devolves Into War of Words — Here’s the Latest

EXO SM Entertainment statements
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EXO SM Entertainment statements
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Photo Credit: SM Entertainment

Members of the K-pop band EXO—Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin—want to exit their contracts. SM Entertainment accuses the three of being poached. Here’s the latest.

Digital Music News covered the initial statement made via a lawyer representing these three members. The singers allege that SM Entertainment was not transparent about their earnings, leading them to take legal action. They also allege that SM Entertainment kept them in what amounted to ‘slave contracts’ that lasted much longer than usual. Meanwhile, SM Entertainment alleges that the artists are being poached by another company.

Now the EXO trio have released a statement addressing these allegations, saying no ‘outside forces’ have influenced their decision making.

“It is even more appalling when considering the fact that the statements reflect SM Entertainment’s true attitude toward its artists,” the statement reads. “Outside forces? Our clients are self-governing human beings fully capable of thinking, acting, and making decisions for themselves. The decision to request records of their earnings and balances was one reached after much private thought and deliberation—not one triggered by any outside force.”

SM Entertainment says it allowed the group to view their financial records, but didn’t provide copies of those documents because of fear of records being leaked. The lawyers for EXO allege otherwise. “The law firm has consistently requested access to copies of our clients’ financial earnings and balances on behalf of the artists; however, SM Entertainment continuously refused the request, thereby giving the artists legal grounds to terminate their contracts.”

Earlier today, SM Entertainment said it will provide copies of earnings and payments to EXO members. But they must promise not to disclose the information to third parties.

“We are concerned that there may be other ulterior motives behind their action in the current situation where the artists have the opportunity to review and comment on the payment record in person but continue to request copies of the data and announce to terminate contracts, especially as there are suspicions of third party involvement,” the SM Entertainment statement reads.

“Due to these concerns, we repeatedly sought confirmation from the representative that the three artists have not entered into any dual contracts with third parties that would violate the new contract and that the representative was only representing the three artists. But the representative remained silent.”