SM Entertainment denies claims of ‘unfair contract,’ says EXO’s comeback in the works
Following claims that “external forces” are advising EXO’s Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin to ignore their contracts, SM Entertainment has denied allegations of “unfair” terms in their exclusive contracts and mistreatments.
The South Korean music label maintained that the EXO members’ long-term contracts were “fairly signed,” according to an official statement released by Korean media outlet Xports News on Thursday, June 1, pointing out that the contracts have supposedly been approved by the country’s Supreme Court.
“Ahead of the expiration of the existing exclusive contracts, the artists signed new exclusive contracts with the help of a lawyer from a large law firm after sufficient consultation with us in a situation where renewal of the contracts was not coerced at all,” SM’s statement read, according to a Soompi translation.
“We signed contracts with seven [EXO] members on Dec. 30, 2022 after a long discussion with the EXO members for one year and six months from June 2021 to the end of 2022. Discussions on contract renewal started at different times [for each member] because each member had a different military service period,” the label continued.
In a statement from their legal team, Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin earlier stated that the label offered its artists to sign 12- to 13-year contracts, while allegedly pushing other artists to sign contracts again that could even go beyond 17 to 18 years.
According to South Korea’s Popular Culture and Arts Industry Development Act, a seven-year contract is the standard agreement between artist and label.
The label also refuted the “Blooming Day” singers’ claims regarding the failure of providing documents on how they have been given their salaries, where the latter claimed that they were unable to receive any notification from the company despite following them up for seven times since March 21.
“We carried out payments twice a year before the amendment of the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Development Act and every month since after the amendment. We also cooperated so the artists could visit at any time to view the settlement reports and additionally provided expense reports whenever the artists visited, and the artists have not raised any issues with the settlement process over the past several years of their exclusive contract periods,” SM said.
“We then explained several times that the artists can view the entirety of the settlement reports, [but] despite this, not only did the artists’ legal representative not express the intent to view the settlement reports in the first place, but the legal representative also did not promise to not provide the reports to external parties,” it further added.
In a separate report, the South Korean music label confirmed that the music video for EXO’s upcoming comeback will “proceed as scheduled,” where seven out of nine members will be present.
Kai recently enlisted in the military as a public service worker, while Lay is currently doing promotional activities in China. The latter parted ways from SM in April 2022.
Reports of the group’s upcoming comeback emerged as early as January 2023, which have been hinted by the group’s leader Suho.
The boy group also hinted during their 11th anniversary fan meet last April that they will release three music videos following the “Pathcode” pattern, which is a seeming reference to their 2015 album “Exodus.”
Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin have yet to respond to SM Entertainment’s follow-up statements, as of this writing. EDV