Maroo Entertainment has stepped up to respond to the current controversy surrounding their exclusive contract with “Produce 101 Season 2” trainee Park Ji Hoon.
On June 14, reports emerged that Maroo Entertainment had already signed a seven-year exclusive contract with the trainee, and this news immediately faced backlash from fans of the trainee. Fans first asked why an exclusive contract was signed instead of a trainee contract, as the former usually has a stronger binding power, a longer contract period, and includes a clause with a set profit distribution percentage.
Another concern voiced by fans was their lack of faith in Maroo Entertainment’s promotional capabilities. This was partly based on the fact that the teaser and concept images for Bonus Baby, the agency’s new girl group, was criticized by many for what they saw as being of a subpar quality. The group was also swept up in controversy when their use of bibs as part of their stage outfits was seen as promoting a lolita concept.
In response to the growing calls by fans for Park Ji Hoon to leave the agency, Maroo Entertainment confirmed that the trainee had signed an exclusive contract with them before appearing on “Produce 101 Season 2” and explained, “Maroo Entertainment is not a small agency, but it isn’t a big agency either. Because of this, we choose trainees with the goal of helping them all debut instead of training many individuals and only choosing a select few to debut. That is why we sign exclusive contracts with our trainees.”
They added, “It is a choice we make to focus our attention. We do not pick trainees we have no plans on debuting. This not only helps us focus our energy and resources on the trainees we do have, but it also provides more motivation for our trainees to work harder.”
When asked whether signing exclusive contracts with trainees is unusual, the agency replied, “It isn’t. From what we know, most agencies our size follow a similar process.” Maroo Entertainment also declined to speak on the details of their contract, including how many years Park Ji Hoon will be signed on with them.
Park Ji Hoon has gained a great deal of attention and popularity since his first appearance on “Produce 101 SEason 2.” He stole the hearts of many with his wink during the trainee’s first performance, and he is a strong contender to be a member of the debut group.
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