EXO’s Baekhyun, Xiumin, and Chen’s legal representative announced that they filed a complaint to the Fair Trade Commission on June 4 against SM Entertainment for “abuse of superior bargaining position.”
"SM's contracts are 7 years + 3 years overseas and when you add in military service (during which the contract is paused) the contract term is 12-13 years"
"We requested that the commission levy strict corrective orders to SM and, furthermore, that a full investigation be made into all of SM artists’ contracts. In 2023, SM is continuing the actions that the commission had deemed as business malpractice in 2007 and 2011."
"We hope that our courage and efforts will ensure the rights of our hoobaes (juniors) are protected and that we make a small contribution to a healthy change in the Pop industry."
Clauses that have been previously judged improper by FTC but got violated by SM:
- Set the start date of the contract as the date of debut of entertainment activities and not from the signing of the contract.
- A contract period that is longer compared to the contract period of other agencies in the industry (3-5 yrs).
- Extended contract periods for trainees for reasons such as overseas expansion (SM adds 3 more years to the initial 7 years).
- Clauses that extend the contract by setting the contract ending as "end of the fifth anniversary of the release of the first album" or "end of the fifth anniversary of the date of appearance in a role at or above the supporting cast level".
- Clauses that extend the contract based on the number album releases without a minimum cap on the extension.
Baekhyun shared his contract as evidence to show vague terms outlined in the members' contract:
[Theqoo] Lin Law Firm reveals that they have officially filed a complaint with Fair Trade Commission against SM and requested full investigation on SM's exclusive contracts:
- Seriously, do a full investigation.... they are such a company full of problems.
- Aside from not giving them the settlement details, this is also a real problem.
- Other SM stans are shielding SM LOL Are you sure that your own artists don't have a problem.
- This is seriously a slave contract. It's crazy.
- I hope this is the beginning of the search for rights for SM artists. I support your act of courage.
- They will investigate, and if there is no problem, they will say there is no problem. Why are you fans already letting yourselves be controlled by the company? With this opportunity, as fans, I think it would be good to check if other artists were harmed as well.
- They are doing full investigation, but why are fans of other artists scrambling here? Isn't this so nice? If there's a problem, isn't it good to fix it and do it fairly for your artists?
- This is the situation where I see the idols are victims, so why are you on SM's side?? Investigation isn't bad for the idols.
- Eh? I'm SM's idol stan and I thought it was cool of them to stand up for this. Just imagining that they don't pay my kids properly.. And isn't this the way to make them be transparent in the future...
- I can't believe you have problem with them talking about other artists in general. Like you guys don't think such thing happens to your idols too?
- I'm a SM's idol stan and what's wrong with a full investigation?
- I'm a different SM's idol stan and I want to make sure my idols don't have slave contract like this.
- If they have no problem, full investigation is no problem, right? Even if they do it, there's nothing to harm other artists, right? Why are the fans getting angry at the investigation, but not at the company?
- There are so many SM employees here who work without getting paid LOL
- No, I'd like to investigate and see if my idols are harmed...
- The comments are so weird like they didn't mention any artist name though and is there any reason to be angry at a full investigation?
- Isn't a full investigation good for other artists?
- What's wrong with the comments? That's why SM is still doing all this. CBX is cool! They are taking the lead!!
- I don't understand...Isn't it good to investigate and find out that the unfair contracts of the artists are unfair? Shouldn't we be thankful? I don't know if you are a fan of SM or a fan of idols. I don't even know if it's right that you are SM fans.
- Of course, they have to do a full investigation. My idol is from SM too, so thank you.
- Seriously this is really like SM's gaslighting level. That's why SM has been the same all this while.
these are the positive comments, the korean websites are currently filled with hateful comments against CBX.