SNSD and EXO were the key artists of SM at that time. The leaving of members affected the reputation of the entire groups.
In 2014, SM was a leading entertainment company because it was the management company of top groups such as SNSD and EXO. While SNSD was gradually becoming a national group with impressive hits like Gee, Oh, The Boys, I Got A Boy …, EXO was also a leading 3rd generation rookie, successful with Growl.
However, at the golden age, both groups fell into a period of crisis when their members left the group.
September 30 – Jessica left SNSD
At the end of September – the first half of October 2014, SNSD and EXO fell into crisis. First was the case of Jessica. At 4 a.m. on September 30, Jessica suddenly shared the announcement about her leaving the group.
Jessica confirmed that she was rejected by SM and the other 8 members: “I was given a notice of departure from Girls’ Generation by the agency on September 29, and I cannot hide my shocked and upset heart about this, so I’m here to reveal my position. I have always put Girls’ Generation’s activities before my business or personal life as a member of Girls’ Generation. However, despite my efforts for the team, I have been asked to leave the team by the agency.”
However, the status mentioned above was not trusted by many people, and they still thought that Jessica’s account had been hacked. Only until 7:00 a.m. on the same day, the fact that SNSD appeared at the airport without Jessica made fans really understand the problem. On September 29, at 8 a.m, pictures of Jessica and her rumored lover Tyler Kwon at Incheon International Airport were publicized by Dispatch. Apparently, she had plans before informing fans about the incident. At 8:30, SM officially confirmed with an announcement that SNSD only had 8 members: “However, before agreements could be made on rising conflicts reagarding the priority and interests of SNSD promotions, Jessica began her fashion-related business, and a situation arose where it became difficult to continue as a team despite continuous discussions. With this, the company decided it had to promote SNSD with 8 members sooner than expected. And while it wa discussing when to announce the news, Jessica posted her own perspective in the early morning. From this points onwards, the company will unchangingly support and manage SNSD with 8 members as well as Jessica’s persional activities”.
October 10-EXO Luhan sued S.M. to end exclusive contract
10 days later, October 10, SM fans continued to receive shocking news when Luhan sued SM and left the group. At 9:30 a.m, the Chinese website Sina posted exclusive news about Luhan’s petition against SM.
Chinese media also reported that Luhan, due to his poor health, asked SM to accept his request to end exclusive contract. The deadline for SM to decide was October 9.
On October 10, Luhan officially announced to the media through his lawyer. He also unilaterally terminated the contract. Two months earlier, this Chinese member also filed a lawsuit denouncing SM because the company did not provide documents proving that the company paid him in full.
In addition, shortly after returning to China, Luhan quickly got advertising and filming contracts. Immediately, SM sued Luhan because, with the company’s stance, every film and advertising projects that Luhan received during this time violated the contract.
Jessica and Luhan were both main vocalists of SNSD and EXO. Both were also the members who had the most fans in their groups. So the moment they left, SNSD and EXO suffered many crises and controversies. The departure of members is always considered the biggest challenge of a group. However, SNSD and EXO have continued to work and achieve new achievements in their careers.