Woo Jin Young’s Agency Files Damage Suit For “MIXNINE” + YG Entertainment Responds

Happyface Entertainment has filed a claim for damages against YG Entertainment.

According to the Seoul Central District Court on June 26, the agency filed a 10 million won (approximately $9,000) damage suit for JTBC audition program “MIXNINE.”

Happyface Entertainment’s Woo Jin Young placed first place on the show and was set to debut with the final group. However, the debut plans were eventually canceled.

In the complaint, Happyface Entertainment wrote, “YG’s exclusive management period was four months in the original contract, but it was suddenly extended to three years. This is extremely disadvantageous to the small to mid-sized agencies including us.”

The statement continues, “Their actions showed that if we didn’t agree to the changes, [the project] would be canceled. This was not any more or less than the overuse of power by a large entertainment agency with strong influence.”

Happyface Entertainment also shared on the breach of contract, “YG did not fulfill the [contract] terms of covering training and other expenses that occurred while Woo Jin Young was filming for the program. We believed that he could be able to debut under the management of YG, and for the six months that ‘MIXNINE’ was on, we used our own expenses to cover Woo Jin Young’s training, makeup, clothes, transportation fees, etc.”

The agency added, “We also did not receive the distribution of profits from the songs as agreed in the contract.”

Happyface Entertainment presented the original contract to the courts as evidence.

In an official statement following the reports, Happyface Entertainment shared regarding the 10 million won, “More than to be compensated for all the damages we have received, this is a symbolic amount filed in our hopes that Korean popular culture, the home of Hallyu, will progress healthily without the overuse of power by large companies.”

The agency also explained the situation following the conclusion of the program. “Until March, nearly two months after the conclusion of the show, YG Entertainment did not mention anything to Happyface Entertainment regarding debut preparations or plans. Although they knew the contestants’ earnestness towards debuting better than anyone, they were neglected.”

“Afterwards, YG Entertainment belatedly contacted the agencies of the top nine after being flooded with criticism by the media and fans. Then rather than sharing debut plans as written in the original contracts, they presented changed contract terms without any discussion with the agencies. This was to extend YG Entertainment’s exclusive management period from four months to three years, which was only advantageous to themselves.”

Happyface Entertainment commented that YG Entertainment then used the agencies not agreeing as an excuse to cancel the debut. “Although they had the responsibility to fulfill the original contract if we didn’t accept the changes, YG Entertainment was unilateral all the way to the decision of canceling the debut.”

The agency also mentions YG Entertainment’s statement at the time, which said, “four months were not enough to prepare new music, film a music video, practice choreography, and hold a solo concert.” Happyface Entertainment clarified, “The ‘four months’ had been selected as the promotion period following the date of the music release, and the music preparation period was separate.”

In response to Happyface Entertainment’s lawsuit, YG Entertainment commented, “We thought the situation ended a few months ago when the announcement was made to media after the six agency CEOs met and came to a friendly agreement. As a result, we were not expecting one of the agencies to file a 10 million won damage suit at this point.”

“However, as an official lawsuit was filed, we will respond by discussing with a legal expert, and through the final decision of the court, we will work to minimize all the misunderstandings. Thank you,” the statement concludes.

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