Here are 8 K-pop groups that bravely sued their management companies.
In the world of K-pop, where idol groups take center stage, there’s often a hidden story behind the scenes. While management companies play a vital role in nurturing and promoting these idols, some K-pop groups have taken a bold step by taking their companies to court, shedding light on issues of fairness, transparency, and even exploitation in their contracts. Here are 8 such K-pop groups who have been in the spotlight due to their legal battles against their companies:
Earlier this year, the media was abuzz with the news of EXO-CBX (Chen, Baekhyun, Xiumin) suing to terminate their exclusive contract with SM Entertainment. The three also attempted to expose the lack of transparency in SM’s payments and unreasonable contract terms.
The matter was resolved amicably within less than a month. SM also denied allegations of having increased the profit-sharing rates for the artists through a “slave contract.”
Following the resounding success of “Cupid,” FIFTY FIFTY sued ATTRAKT, claiming that the company lacked transparency in payments, failed to provide support, and lacked resources to support the group’s activities. However, due to insufficient evidence, the court rejected their request. The prolonged dispute also strained the relationship between both parties and affected FIFTY FIFTY’s activities.
The dispute between LOONA and their management company began when Blockberry Creative (BBC) publicly kicked out Chuu, the group’s most popular member, citing her abuse of power. Immediately afterward, nine LOONA members (excluding Vivi and Hyunjin) openly supported Chuu and filed a lawsuit against BBC.
According to the court’s decision, only 4 out of 9 members—Heejin, Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Choerry—won the lawsuit and could terminate their contracts, while the remaining 5 members lost the lawsuit and had to continue working with the company. With Chuu and the 4 winning members leaving, LOONA’s future remains uncertain.
One of the well-known long-lasting lawsuits in K-pop involves B.A.P and TS Entertainment. The members alleged that the company unfairly and non-transparently paid them. Specifically, TS received 9 million USD from B.A.P’s activities but only paid the group 16,000 USD over three years. Eventually, the lawsuit was resolved, and B.A.P had to return to the company until their contracts expired.
All seven members of BLOCK B filed a lawsuit against Stardom Entertainment, citing the company’s poor performance and failure to settle payments for the group. However, BLOCK B lost the lawsuit and could not terminate their exclusive contract with the company.
11 members of OMEGA X made headlines when they filed a lawsuit against Spire Entertainment, presenting evidence of physical abuse, sexual harassment, and more. With the public on their side, the boy group fortunately won the lawsuit, managing to cancel their exclusive contracts with the company.
GWSN, also known as Girls In The Park, filed a lawsuit against The WAVE MUSIC, alleging that the company had neglected and failed to prioritize the group’s development. GWSN won the lawsuit and successfully terminated their contract with the management company.
Similar to OMEGA X, INX also filed a lawsuit against NA Entertainment for harassment, mistreatment, and even starving the group. With clear evidence, the five members won the lawsuit as the company had failed to fulfill its contractual obligations.