Banana Culture Entertainment Responds To Report Claiming Agency Is Shutting Down After EXID’s Departure
Banana Culture Entertainment CEO Yoo Jae Woong has clarified the agency’s current status.
On March 25, the Korea Economic Daily reported that according to their investigation, Banana Culture Entertainment is gradually shutting down. The report stated that the agency has currently suspended their management work.
A source described as being well aware of the internal situation at the agency stated, “Banana Culture is ending all their contracts with their artists. The main executives have also all left the company.” The source reported that the agency’s actors such as Lee Jung Hyun and Ha Seung Ri have also already departed from the company.
Another source told the outlet, “There are essentially no staff members to carry out work.”
The five members of EXID have now all left the company, starting with Hani and Jeonghwa in May 2019 and followed by Hyelin in January, Solji in February, and LE this month. The agency’s contract with trot singer Sungeun also reportedly came to an end. Future promotions for the group TREI, which was produced by Shinsadong Tiger, are described by the outlet as now uncertain.
Later that day, CEO Yoo Jae Woong told outlet Xportsnews that this report is untrue.
He stated, “I just saw the report that says that the agency is shutting down. This is a false report. Currently, TREI and female trainees remain at the agency.”
In 2016, Banana Culture was invested in by the Chinese media group Banana Project. Yoo Jae Woong went on to say, “There are Chinese shares in Banana Culture as well so we’re not in a position where we could shut down the agency of our own volition. There are currently other talks underway about an investment from somewhere else. Our entertainment operations will continue.”