Thursday, March 4, 2010
Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has announced that they are currently investigating all celebrities bound to SM Entertainment regarding unfair contract terms, suggesting that “a second TVXQ scandal” like event may occur.
According to One Nation’s Jo Moon Hwan, it was revealed that KFTC is investigating cases of unfair contract terms in SME idols such as TVXQ (including Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong who are currently in legal disputes with their management company), SNSD, Super Junior, etc. for a total of 53 SME celebrities.
Jo Moon Hwan stated that the question and answer document received from KFTC specified investigations for all SME affiliated individuals for reasons related to a delay in taking care of TVXQ’s legal case. KFTC expressed,
“Through this event all celebrities in SME will undergo investigations to see if their contract terms go against the law of established fair contract terms, which is why TVXQ’s legal dispute is being delayed.”
Additionally, the commission said regarding TVXQ’s case, “All related documents will be carefully reviewed and considered for an appropriate outcome,” not revealing at what point the case would be over.
As you readers know, SM Entertainment has recently experienced many difficult trials as three members in TVXQ and Super Junior’s Hankyung underwent legal battles for problematic contract terms such as its 13 year length and unfair distribution of album sale profits.
Signing unfair contract terms with its employees is not only SME’s problem. Last December, KFTC requested 407 large agencies to address unfair contract conditions and undergo investigations. However, one month after this request was issued (until January) only 11 agencies reported their conditions and decided to take prompt corrective action measures, giving a huge shock to KFTC.
From April to May, YG Entertainment and Star Entertainment were also investigated along with 20 other companies. The results? 19 companies with 230 celebrities were found with contracts made up of various unfair conditions. These conditions were not about appearance limits but rather about the celebrity’s individual affairs such as telling agencies their current location and not being able to leave.
This investigation will concentrate on protecting weak celebrities who are powerless to request their affiliated large agencies for protection rights that they deserve.