Korea Entertainment Management Association (hereafter KEMA) released an official statement warning entertainment agencies against inviting reckless major capital investments.
The statement titled “Urging to raise awareness about the heedless inflow of foreign capital in the entertainment industry” was sent to member companies of KEMA by email. The statement directly referred to the ‘Fantagio incident,’ in which Na Byung Jun, the founder and co-CEO of the company, was dismissed from his position by the largest shareholding Chinese company. Fantagio’s staff accordingly announced they will go on a strike if he isn’t reinstated to his position.
KEMA’s statement began by mentioning that an increasing number of companies were suffering from withdrawals of Chinese investments and abuse of power from major shareholders. “On December 28, there was an incident where the Na Byung Jun, the founder of Fantagio which is one of KEMA’s member companies, was dismissed without prior notice and the staff declared a strike,” the statement read. “This cannot be overlooked as just one entertainment company’s problem and it is time that we all acknowledge that this isn’t a new problem that just emerged.”
It went on, “Even now M&A, sales, and acquisitions between Chinese companies and Korean entertainment agencies are steadily being pursued. Reflecting on this incident at Fantagio, KEMA would like to point out to you that inviting reckless major capital investments could potentially result in losing management control.”
KEMA also expressed their regret regarding the dismissal of Na Byung Jun in the statement, praising Fantagio as an excellent company that houses many artists loved by the public worldwide. They stated, “We are very sad about the Fantagio incident that has raised awareness and caused shock to the industry. We sincerely hope that they will reach an amicable solution and there will be no further issues.”
Regarding their statement, sources at KEMA explained they were attempting to raise awareness against unreasonable foreign investments. They added, however, that they had no authority whatsoever to get involved or solve this problem.