Some YG Actors Reportedly Considering Leaving Agency Following Controversies
According to Segye Ilbo, some celebrities at YG Entertainment are considering leaving the agency after recent controversies.
A source from the industry reportedly told the outlet that after the drug controversies surrounding YG Entertainment artists, public opinion about the agency has plummeted to the point that it’s become referred to as “Pharmacy.” The Korean word for “pharmacy” consists of two syllables that spell YG when romanized.
“As actors who have to maintain their image, they need to seriously consider moving agencies,” stated the source. According to this source, actors at YG referred to as A, B, C, and D are reviewing ways to transfer agencies.
Another source told Segye Ilbo, “I’m aware that there are some actors at YG who are in contact with outside entertainment agencies.” They continued, “These outside entertainment agencies are suggesting concrete terms such as offering to appoint a lawyer in connection to the termination of their exclusive contract with YG if they decide to move agencies.”
A producer who works at a major network stated, “In the past they displayed great power to the point that people would be cast on a program through the name YG alone. However, because of the drug controversies day after day, people in the broadcast industry are reluctant about actors under YG.”
They added, “Although the various suspicions such as drug use are about the agency’s singers, actors have also become suspected of taking drugs just because of the same agency name.” They stated that this will have a particularly harmful effect on actors whose main source of income comes from commercials.
Segye Ilbo reports that in addition to broadcasting, there are cases where the makeup, clothing, and advertising industries are avoiding casting actors because they’re from YG. While there aren’t reported cases of contracts about to be terminated yet, it’s described that it may affect the re-signing of contracts or new contracts.
An account executive in the advertising industry said, “If someone were to be chosen as an ad model for their usually clean and friendly image and later discovered to have taken drugs, it would inflict great harm on the product.” They stated that it appears people are ruling out YG actors during casting because of the mindset that they want to avoid potential damage.
In addition, Segye Ilbo reports that the “boycott” that has spread online of YG artists affects not only the artists involved in the controversies but also others at the agency.
In the entertainment industry, there are divided opinions over the possibility of contract termination. Lawyer Kim Bo Ram stated, “An exclusive contract is based on mutual trust.” She continued, “If there is such a serious reason that it’s impossible for the relationship of trust to continue, termination can be requested.” She stated that the results of this request will depend on how the court judges whether or not there was a breakdown of this relationship of trust.
Meanwhile, others have stated that in reality it’s not easy to terminate a contract based on an agency’s wrongdoing. Lawyer Park Min Sung stated, “The issue is how one can make a connection with the harm to the agency’s celebrity.” He added, “It can be difficult to assess how much and what kind of harm they’ve suffered.”
A source from a large agency reportedly told Segye Ilbo, “Agencies with a system will early on let go of problematic celebrities, because no matter how much talent and star quality a person has, it can become an even bigger problem later on.” They added, “It’s a shame and I wonder if YG may have been focused on striving for short term benefits without a minimum of moral standards.”
Most recently, YG Entertainment has come under fire due to suspicions of covering up a drug case regarding B.I. and an individual referred to as “A” in 2016. “A,” who is reportedly Han Seo Hee, stated that YG founder Yang Hyun Suk influenced them to tell the police that contrary to their initial statement, B.I had not done drugs. “A” also accused YG of using ties with the police to cover up the incident. Following the controversy, Yang Hyun Suk stepped down from the agency.