Dispatch Shares Further Details On Conflict Between Chuu And LOONA's Agency BlockBerryCreative

Dispatch has revealed details on the ongoing conflict between Chuu and LOONA’s agency BlockBerryCreative (hereafter BlockBerry).

On December 19, Dispatch reported on the issue of Chuu’s exclusive contract with BlockBerry, revealing that the conflict began with unreasonable contract terms.

When BlockBerry and Chuu signed an exclusive contract in December 2017, they decided to split the earnings from all her entertainment activities with a ratio of 7:3, meaning that the company would receive 70 percent and Chuu would receive 30 percent. On the other hand, the expenses from her activities were agreed to be split with a 5:5 ratio.

BlockBerry also adopted a post-settlement system, dividing earnings first and subtracting expenses afterwards. In other words, 20 percent of the expenses that BlockBerry had to bear were handed over to the LOONA members. Such a contract is a structure in which debt builds up for the LOONA members when the expenses exceed 70 percent of the revenue. Excluding Chuu, the other LOONA members have earned 18.6 billion won (approximately $14,275,000) since 2016. Dispatch estimates that each member currently has about 200 million won (approximately $153,500) in debt due to covering half of the expenses of 16.9 billion won (approximately $12,970,000).

In the case of Chuu, who had a lot of personal activities such as advertisements and appearances in variety shows, it is known that she has received payments since December of last year and now has about 220 million won (approximately $169,000) in her hands.

Chuu, who was dissatisfied with the settlement ratio, filed an application for a provisional injunction to suspend her exclusive contract with the agency in January 2022, and the court sided with Chuu.

Since then, Chuu has continued her activities in a way that she takes all the profits from individual activities and only shares the distribution of the group activities’ revenue minus costs with the agency. In doing so, Chuu signed an annex to the contract with the agency, changing the settlement ratio to 3:7. She also gained the right to not participate in certain group activities and the right to terminate the contract at any time.

When Dispatch asked Chuu about this, she explained, “My trust in the company pretty much ended last year. I didn’t even want to participate in ‘Queendom,’ but I did not want to give up LOONA either. I signed the annex to the contract in order to continue group activities.”

Aside from the contract terms, a major conflict arose on June 9, 2022 when Chuu showed a short spoiler of LOONA’s comeback choreography during a video call event with a fan. BlockBerry’s “A” sent the clip to Chuu’s mother and wrote, “The choreography cannot be revealed yet. What should we do about this?” Chuu’s mother sent a screenshot of this message and sent it to Chuu, and Chuu sent this to BlockBerry’s “B.” She said, “Just this hahahahahahahaha Saying something about a one-second [spoiler]?” She then firmly stated that she will not participate in the upcoming comeback.

Dispatch asked Chuu about this and other conversations shared with B, saying that the company seems to have seen Chuu’s sharp tone in her messages as abuse of power. Regarding this, Chuu responded, “B is the only person in the company that I was able to communicate with. I was not expressing anger at B. I was expressing my complaints about how the company is being operated.”

Chuu additionally shared an audio recording of a conversation in 2021 with “D” from BlockBerry. While discussing contract terms, D said, “You graduated from elementary school, right?” and then added that they are joking. About this, Chuu commented, “D treated me like a young kid. It felt like they were looking down on me. Distrust had been built up at that point, so I was hurt. I thought that I had to speak firmly for them to listen to me… so there is also a time when I spoke with a strong tone. I am also human, so I made a mistake.”

Previously on November 25, BlockBerryCreative announced Chuu’s removal from LOONA, citing “violent language and misuse of power” toward a staff member as their reason. The agency followed up with an additional statement on November 28 explaining that their initial announcement was not meant to be an exposé, and that it was “the rights of Chuu herself and the staff who was harmed to provide the truth or evidence of this.” Chuu then briefly spoke about the case on her Instagram.

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