According to news outlet Edaily, Fantagio is being investigated in regards to whether or not the agency is abiding by entertainment industry management laws.
An anonymous source revealed to the outlet that the Korea Entertainment Management Association (CEMA) is currently waiting for a reply from the agency regarding conditions being satisfied and follow-up measures being taken. The reply must come within 90 days. A source from CEMA said, “We are currently checking with company member Fantagio about suggestions and confirming the truth.”
Article 26 of the Act on the Development of the Public Culture and Arts Industry states the following requirements:
1. Those planning on working in public culture and arts must be registered by the Ministry of Culture. This applies also when the circumstances initially registered change.
2. Those trying to register with a different method from what is listed in Section 1 must match the following requirements:
1. You must fulfill one of the following categories. However, if you are a corporation it must apply to more than one board member:
A. At least 2 years of experience working in the public culture and arts planning industry.
B. Complete curriculum regarding public culture and arts planning work that is carried out and determined by the Department of Sports, Culture, and Tourism.
The potential issue with Fantagio is the fact that the major shareholder of the company, JC Group, fired former CEO Na Byung Soon resulting in him leaving the company in January. The investigation will check whether or not JC Group meets these requirements with the remaining board members of Fantagio.
Recently, actress Kang Han Na and a few actors reportedly expressed intent to leave Fantagio. The fact that the company could be working as an illegitimate company due to failure to obtain certified board members has been highlighted.
Previously, CEMA’s committee that determines ethics, rewards, and punishments investigated a separate case involving a rookie actress’s lawsuit for terminating her contract with her agency. The investigation determined the agency was a business with no permit and her contract was declared invalid. The ruling for this case could affect the results for Fantagio’s case. Due to Fantagio being a listed company, it is highly likely that they will receive sanctions on their stock exchanges as well as other follow-up measures.
Fantagio is currently home to celebrities like 5URPRISE, Wanna One’s Ong Seong Woo, Weki Meki, Hello Venus, ASTRO, and more.
Laws regarding working in the public culture and arts industry were created in 2014 following Jang Ja Yeon’s forced prostitution case in 2009. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and CEMA increased surveillance in the wake of illegal businesses with no permits appearing in order to protect celebrity hopefuls and artists.