As concern continues among fans about the situation Fantagio’s artists are in, news outlet Ilgan Sports has published a report that claims that the agency’s stars are doing well despite recent changes.
The agency has been surrounded in controversy since late last year. In October 2017, Chinese investment group JC Group’s Korean branch Gold Finance Korea became Fantagio’s largest shareholder, and two months later Fantagio’s co-CEO Na Byung Jun was dismissed from the company. His fellow co-CEO Wei Jie of JC Group then became the sole CEO of Fantagio.
Recently, the CEO of Fantagio Music was also dismissed, and replaced with Wei Jie’s secretary.
In addition to these changes, there have also been concerns that the agency is currently running illegally as it now lacks executives or board members who meet the government’s requirements after the dismissal of Na Byung Jun, and it continues to operate under his name. Fantagio has denied this and vowed to recruit someone who meets the requirements soon.
There are currently approximately 30 celebrities who are housed under Fantagio, and the uncertainty about the agency’s situation has concerned many fans.
This was addressed in a May 17 report by Ilgan Sports, which outlines the situation of many of the agency’s artists. The report states that Seo Kang Joon, Gong Myung, Lee Tae Hwan, Kang Tae Oh, and Yoo Il are currently active as actors. Seo Kang Joon is starring in the KBS 2TV drama “Are You Human Too?” which will premiere next month, while the report states that he will be appearing in the JTBC drama “The Third Charm” (working title), which is aiming for a premiere at the end of the year.
Gong Myung is filming the movie “Extreme Job” (working title) while Lee Tae Hwan is appearing in tvN’s “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim.” Kang Tae Oh will be taking part in Japanese fan meetings following the finale of OCN’s “Evergreen” and is considering offers for a Vietnamese variety show as well as collaboration films and dramas. Cha In Ha of the new actor group SURPRISE U is appearing in “Wok of Love.”
The report states that ASTRO is aiming for a comeback in the summer, while also doing individual activities. It says that Cha Eun Woo recently had a meeting about being a lead in a drama. If he takes on the role, this would be his first starring role in a drama.
Members of Weki Meki are taking part in a collaboration with members of WJSN. Hello Venus also still has time left in their contracts, and the report describes that Nara is being recognized for her performances as an actress. It states that meetings are being scheduled for her to take on a leading role in another drama after the end of “My Ahjusshi.”
Ong Seong Woo will be returning to Fantagio after his activities with Wanna One end next January. It’s reported that whether or not he will become part of SURPRISE U is still being considered.
The report states that celebrities have told Ilgan Sports, “There were some existing difficulties because communication did not go smoothly, but now it has been solved. We do not know how it looks from the outside, but internally things are going well. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Ilgan Sports’s report also states that Fantagio Music’s director who has been with the company since its founding is still at the agency, and claims that this allows for continued strong communication with its artists.
Na Byung Jun started his own management company titled Stardium in March. There have been reports that Fantagio staff who have followed Na Byung Jun to the new company have not received severance pay. A source from Fantagio stated, “There are no employees with outstanding severance payments, and there are no current issues with the Ministry of Labor. There was a conflict with two employees who had unreasonably used the company card excessively before they resigned, but arbitration was completed through the Ministry of Labor. We plan to take strong action against media reports that contain unconfirmed details, are biased, or are based on speculation.”
Stay tuned for updates on the situation at Fantagio.