Update: Kim Sunghyun Explains Departure From IN2IT + Calls Out MMO; Agency Responds
Updated September 5 KST:
MMO Entertainment has now issued a statement in response to Kim Sunghyun’s post.
The statement reads:
Hello. This is MMO Entertainment.
Firstly, we are sorry to the fans who must have been very surprised when they saw Kim Sunghyun’s post.
Ever since the moment it was confirmed that Kim Sunghyun would be going on ‘Produce X 101,’ he has requested the individual settlement of his accounts separate from the members, and starting immediately after his appearance on the show ended, he has requested to our company that he withdraw from IN2IT and his contract be terminated.
These requests were like a bolt out of the blue to all the staff who had been waiting for him to join the group after the show. After this, we continued to request that he rejoin IN2IT, however Kim Sunghyun refused this and shared his intention to withdraw. As it was necessary to reveal future plans to the fans who’ve been waiting, after discussion with Kim Sunghyun’s side we released the notice today at noon.
In addition, despite the fact that his exclusive contract meets the standards of the Korea Fair Trade Commission and we diligently performed our duties of his management and account settlement in accordance with the contract, Kim Sunghyun has been making one-sided claims in order for the termination of his contract.
We will be reacting firmly in regards to actions that damage our reputation through such one-sided claims, and if required we will explain all of the facts.
We once again apologize to the fans who cherish and love IN2IT for causing concern.
Following MMO Entertainment’s announcement of Kim Sunghyun’s departure from IN2IT, Kim Sunghyun took to his Instagram to reveal the details of what truly happened.
Read the full translation below:
Hello, everyone. This is Kim Sunghyun.
It has been a long time since I’ve greeted you like this.
I apologize for not bringing good news even though I’m greeting you after a long time. As you all know, I am in a situation in which my agency has officially announced that my activities as part of the team IN2IT has come to an end.
I am aware that there were lots of people who have continuously been waiting for news about me for a long time after “Produce X 101” ended. I felt apologetic upon seeing my fans growing tired both physically and mentally due to my lack of updates. I felt so apologetic that I had trouble falling asleep every night.
I wanted to return with good news, but the truth is that I’m in a situation in which I cannot return to IN2IT after “Produce X 101.” When I first joined “Produce X 101,” I did my best thinking that it would be an opportunity to promote IN2IT and myself if I did a good job. However, the results did not turn out the way I had hoped.
Many fans have only seen my flashy appearance as a singer and member of IN2IT, but in my personal life, I have actually been spending difficult days throughout my career as a singer.
My father is currently working as a taxi driver. Seeing my father who has to continue working to make a living despite his bad back, I have thought a lot about whether it’s right to continue having this job that gives me no income.
I signed a contract before starting [to promote] as IN2IT, and I have never received a payment or payment upon signing the contract.
Besides the 50,000 won (approximately $42) I received every month for the past year for my cell phone bills, I have not received any money for the last two years. Many idols have a hard time before they can get paid, so I know that I should work hard.
However, ever since our promotions with the album for “Sorry for My English” a year ago, I have not been able to promote or perform on music shows domestically. Feeling frustrated, I asked the agency about our next album and promotions, but I got the discouraging response, “We used a lot of money for BOYS24 so it’s difficult to invest money in IN2IT from now on.” In response to questions asking about the detailed plans for promotions, they always said, “We are still planning.”
Saying they can’t invest [in us], the agency recently told our members to pay for getting our hair cut or dyed before scheduled activities with their own money, so I heard that the members paid to get their hair done with their personal money.
I wanted to become a star that spreads love to all of you, and I believe that I have to be happy first for that to be possible.
But I had a hard time while promoting as IN2IT due to family matters and monetary issues. I could no longer trust and follow the agency, which didn’t seem to have any realistic plans even after “Produce X 101.” After “Produce X 101,” I wanted to meet and communicate with fans who gave me energy until now by personally opening a fan meeting, but the agency only replied to me saying it would never be allowed.
Because the agency had no plans for the future and had blocked me from uploading even a single photo on social media, which is my only way of communicating with fans, there was nothing I could do. In this situation, my father’s herniated disc got worse, and he had to quit his job as a taxi driver. From my perspective, I could only think about supporting my family by immediately getting a job that allows me to support [my family] economically.
When I told the agency about my situation, they first asked me to pay them 350 million won (approximately $291,500) as penalty for breach of contract, and the current CEO then told me to “wait a few days” as they would negotiate with CJ. But a few days ago, the CEO told my father that he had agreed with CJ on a sum of 120 million won (approximately $100,000) as the penalty and that he would announce my departure from IN2IT today. He said he would have me leave IN2IT and told me he would only cancel my contract if I paid the penalty.
To repeat what I said previously, I have never gotten paid while doing IN2IT activities for two years and I never received a payment when I signed my contract. Therefore, it is so unfair and absurd for the company to demand money for breach of contract.
The current CEO reiterated that too much money was spent on BOYS24, so it would be difficult to invest in IN2IT. However, I think that overcoming the difficult survival of BOYS24 and debuting through IN2IT was actually poison for me.
If the decision is the one that the CEO relayed to me again today, I will not be able to do any work until I pay the penalty. I will not be able to grasp any opportunity that will allow me to repay fans who love me.
I made a promise to those who are waiting and I wanted to greet you with good news in order to keep that promise, so I apologize for greeting you with this news instead.
I’ve always wanted to provide you all with happiness, and I wanted to become a shining Sunghyun for you all. I had to hide all this time due to these problems that distressed me every day. Thank you for listening to my long, rambling story.
Once again I sincerely bow my head and apologize to fans who love me, for delivering this type of news. Also, I want to say that I’m thankful to IN2IT member hyungs who were with me and I will always support IN2IT.
Kim Sunghyun debuted as part of IN2IT in 2017 and participated in Mnet’s “Produce X 101” as a trainee this year.