Star News conducted a survey on FIFTY FIFTY’s “tampering” incident with the participation of 31 industry experts, including representatives of entertainment management companies and production companies
FIFTY FIFTY debuted in November last year and quickly gained international attention. They entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with the song “Cupid” just 130 days after their debut, making them the fastest K-pop act to do so.
However, their success was short-lived as they faced a conflict with their agency Attrakt over their exclusive contract. The group members applied for a provisional suspension of their exclusive contract with the agency. Attrakt then raised suspicions of “tampering” and pointed to the outsourcing producing company The Givers as the “third force”. The issue has had a significant impact on FIFTY FIFTY’s career and image.
According to the survey, 20 out of 31 industry experts identified “incitement from people around FIFTY FIFTY” as the main reason behind the “tampering” issue. They mentioned that young artists, who may not have a deep understanding of the entertainment industry, can be easily influenced by those around them, including advisors and unethical temptations. These pressures can lead to poor decision-making, especially when immediate gains are involved.
Some respondents also pointed to “personal greed” (chosen by 14 experts) as a significant factor, stating that artists’ dissatisfaction with initial contract terms, coupled with incitement from those around them, can contribute to contract disputes.
Others noted issues within the company’s internal system (chosen by 5 experts) and the lack of legal consequences for outside entities encouraging “tampering”.
When asked who should bear the most responsibility for the “tampering” issue, a majority of experts (21 out of 31) pointed to the agency. They emphasized the need for clear boundaries and mutual respect between artists and their agencies. Besides, 13 experts also held artists’ families and friends partially responsible, as they can have a significant influence on artists’ decisions.
Regarding the future of FIFTY FIFTY, 16 experts believed that their career is currently “unrecoverable” due to the damage to their image and public trust. They also mentioned that even if FIFTY FIFTY resolves the issues with their agency, the negative framing of being “backstabbers” could impact their activities in the K-pop industry. Some experts thought that it might be possible for them to continue activities but with significant time and effort required for recovery. However, overall, the outlook for their future appears challenging.
One expert believed that FIFTY FIFTY might have better opportunities in the international market, where their fanbase and music could still make an impact.