On July 24, it has been reported that the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) issued a sanction against SM Entertainment and the KFPCAI for interfering with JYJ‘s broadcasting rights and promotions.
The FTC ordered SM and KFPCAI to take corrective measures within the associations, broadcasters and companies that were involved with interfering with JYJ’s activities.
After leaving SM in 2009, JYJ released their first album in October of 2010. However, SM and the KFPCAI released statements to the three main public broadcast channels, six music and entertainment related cable channels, and various music distribution companies, to prevent JYJ from carrying out their activities.
The FTC revealed that those statements only explained SM’s one-sided argument, saying that JYJ cancelled their contract only for financial benefits and that the JYJ members signed with a different company even when their contract with SM was not over. SM even went on to say that if those companies did not comply, they would be a hindrance to the growth of Hallyu and Korean pop culture.
The FTC commented, “SM, being one of the biggest entertainment agencies, and the KFPCAI, which consists of many entertainment-related companies, must have given a lot of pressure to the aforementioned organizations to carry out those actions against JYJ.”
JYJ was not able to appear on music shows or variety programs and could only appear on dramas and musicals, of which SM has less control of.
The FTC added, “There are still many ongoing practices of entertainment agencies making celebrities sign unfair contracts and executing activities on their own behalf,” and “Hopefully, this incident will be like a warning bell for other entertainment agencies and its unfair practices.”
On all of this, C-JeS Entertainment‘s Baek Chang Joo CEO commented, “I think this is a good warning for all of the super companies that misuse their power,” and “Even after JYJ reached a mutual agreement with their past agency, they still experienced unfair treatment such as the incident with Junsu‘s second solo album. The JYJ members are still not able to appear on the main public channels.”
CEO Baek continued, “But if this policy with the FTC carries through, I think JYJ will be able to fairly perform and promote.”
The JYJ members also commented, “This struggle started since 2009 and it felt like we were walking on an endless desert road but with today’s announcement, it feels like things are improving and is giving us much strength.”
They continued, “We hope to fairly perform and carry out our activities in a balanced environment and we hope that road opens for our juniors as well.”
SM sources commented, “There is no truth in the accusation of our agency interfering with JYJ. It’s a shame that the FTC made that decision,” and “We are looking to respond legally about this matter.”