On May 15, Chinese media outlet Sina reported that EXO-M’s Kris has filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract with SM Entertainment. The Seoul Central District Court confirmed this, but said that they have yet to process the request. The law firm representing Kris is the same one that represented Hangeng back in 2009 when he filed his lawsuit against SM. The law firm did not disclose any other details about the case, stating that they wanted to keep this case as private as possible.
First TVXQ and Super Junior, now EXO. Every time, with SM getting into a legal battle with a member from one of Korea’s most popular groups, there are those that are saying that there is a problem in the way their agency-singer relationship is set up. In all three cases, problems were presented regarding things such as payment distribution and restriction of activities.
According to Yonhap News, Kris’s representation said, “Rather than discussing his future as an entertainer, SM treated the plaintiff [Kris] like an object.”
“For all of their [EXO’s] activities in Korea and China, SM made the decision unilaterally, without regard for the members’ opinions or the status of their health. Upon distribution of profit, they were only shown a document with calculations that SM had made, and were not offered any detailed explanation or documents concerning pay. Despite high levels of activities, they [EXO] were always in financial difficulty.”
“This exclusive contract was a result of SM abusing its power over a trainee. Putting unjust pressure onto the plaintiff, they violated his basic civil rights, restricting his freedom in choosing his manner of employment and financial activity, making the contract invalid.”
Because civil suits like this have the potential to carry on for several years, it is possible that, as a result, SM’s image and people’s overall trust in SM could take a major hit.