EXO Members Declare ‘All-Out War with SM’ as Contract Dispute Intensifies

EXO members declare all out war on SM Entertainment amid contract dispute
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EXO members declare all out war on SM Entertainment amid contract dispute
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Photo Credit: TV10 / CC by 3.0

K-pop group EXO members Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin release a statement declaring ‘all-out war’ with SM Entertainment as a contract dispute heats up; now SM has released its own statement.

Today (June 10), legal representatives for K-pop group EXO’s members Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin (CBX) held a press conference to detail allegations against SM Entertainment, including a supposed breach of settlement terms. Now, SM Entertaiment has wasted no time in releasing a lengthy statement refuting those claims.

“We express deep regret over the content of today’s press conference [held by CBX] and the manner in which it was carried out,” SM’s statement begins. “First, we want to clarify that the essence of this entire incident is the unfair inducement by MC Mong and Cha Ga Won toward our artists. […] MC Mong and Cha Ga Won have approached several artists who have valid exclusive contracts with us.”

“Subsequently, CBX began to nitpick to invalidate the valid renewal contract they signed. Despite this, we patiently listened to their voices and ultimately accepted CBX’s request to conduct individual activities independently,” explains SM. “In other words, although the exclusive contract between us and CBX is still valid, we allowed them to conduct individual activities through their individual business, with CBX personally signing the agreement to pay 10 percent of the revenue from their independent business.”

“We made this agreement even though we were not obligated to amend a valid contract because we did not think it would be fair to the other EXO members who are doing their best for EXO’s promotional activities,” the statement continues. “However, as confirmed today, CBX’s [legal representation] INB100 was not operated independently by CBX. INB100 has already been incorporated as a subsidiary of MC Mong and Cha Ga Won.”

“Although we had already suspected this, the information revealed in today’s press conference confirmed the tampering regarding CBX. […] We are deeply dismayed by today’s press conference,” SM’s statement continues, asserting that CBX enjoys the benefits as members of EXO while ignoring the obligations brought on by such a position.

“The claim by INB100 regarding the distribution commission rate being unfairly handled by us is not true. [The rates] were mentioned to support CBX by helping them negotiate better terms with the distribution company during the dispute with CBX,” they explain.

“From the beginning, we do not have the authority to determine the distribution commission rate of other distribution companies. In fact, during the agreement process, CBX asked us to include the distribution commission rate as a condition of the agreement, but we deleted the relevant clause after explaining that it could not be included because we did not have the authority to decide.”

The company goes on to describe instances in which it made accommodations for the three members, such as allowing Baekhyun to release a solo album under his own agency. SM Entertainment says it will no longer tolerate CBX’s “repeated claims of invalidating the renewal contract.”

“While they try to justify their wrongdoings through manipulation of public opinion, we will calmly respond according to the law and principles, and hold CBX accountable through the courts,” the letter concludes.

What, if any, legal action that SM Entertainment may decide to take remains to be seen. INB100 also indicated during their press conference that they are making preparations to submit a legal complaint against SM Entertainment.