Netizens found the fact that Lee Sun Hee, who was HOOK director for 14 years, did not know about Lee Seung Gi’s settlement issue unreasonable.
According to a report by Tenasia on November 24th, Lee Sun Hee was registered as an executive at HOOK Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as ‘HOOK’) for 14 years since HOOK’s establishment in 2022, except for the 4-year period from 2006 to 2010.
Lee Sun Hee was listed as a HOOK director from 2002 to 2006. She suddenly went to the U.S to study in 2006 then returned in 2010 and served as an in-house executive director for about 8 years until 2018. As an executive, she could possibly know the internal situation of the company better than anyone else.
While singer Lee Seung Gi’s recent “0 won music revenue settlement” controversy shocks the public, many people have raised the issue of Lee Sun Hee’s responsibility questioning, “Did she know about it?”. According to netizens’ opinion, if Lee Sun Hee, who worked as a member of HOOK’s management board until 2018, did not know whether Lee Seung Gi got paid or not, she would be considered an incompetent executive. However, if she knew but did not do anything, she would be an accomplice.
HOOK Entertainment was established by CEO Kwon Jin Young, Lee Sun Hee’s former manager, in 1998 under the name ‘Live Theater’. It is known that Lee Sun Hee, who discovered Lee Seung Gi before his debut, was a major director of HOOK as she ran its theater in Daehak-ro. Appearing on a TV broadcast in the past, Lee Sun Hee said, “When we operated Live Theater in Daehak-ro, a high school student named Lee Seung Gi came and said he wanted to hold a band performance. At that time, Lee Seung Gi was the leader of the band. From the moment he came in, I could see a star aura behind him”. When Lee Seung Gi was recruited in 2002, Live Theater was renamed ‘HOOK Entertainment’. After changing the company name, Lee Sun Hee served as an executive director until 2004.
This proves not only the fact that Lee Sun Hee and HOOK have a special relationship. Lee Sun Hee was also given special treatment last year when CEO Kwon Jin Young made a profit of 44 billion won last year. CEO Kwon gave 16.7 billion won worth of shares to all employees for free. However, the transfer ratio was not the same for everyone. While Lee Sun Hee received the largest amount of 2.6 billion won, Lee Seung Gi and Lee Seo Jin received 1.5 billion won each.
Of course, this could possibly be explained by the fact that Lee Sun Hee has spent the longest time with the company. However, considering the contribution of Lee Seung Gi, one of HOOK’s first artists who has been in charge of 30-40% of the company’s sales since 2002, received the same amount given to Lee Seo Jin, who signed with HOOK in 2010, the above explanation becomes less convincing.
It’s hard for Lee Sun Hee to avoid taking moral responsibility in this controversy. Lee Sun Hee discovered Lee Seung Gi when she founded the company with her manager Kwon Jin Young in July 2002 and made Lee Seung Gi debut as a singer in 2004. As a result, when the recent dispute over music revenue became known, the public poured out criticism against Lee Sun Hee, who is so well-known as Lee Seung Gi’s teacher, for being a bystander. Since CEO Kwon is her former manager, Lee Sun Hee is definitely the most influential artist in HOOK Entertainment.
In fact, as a teacher, Lee Sun Hee did show her support for Lee Seung Gi when they appeared together on variety shows. Stories of Lee Sun Hee taking good care of Lee Seung Gi, making homemade food for him, and even training him at her house were also mentioned on various broadcasts.
Regarding Lee Seung Gi’s “0 won settlement” controversy, CEO Kwon Jin Young said, “If there is any part that HOOK Entertainment or I, personally, are confirmed to be legally responsible for, we will take full responsibility without stepping back and avoiding it”. But why is Lee Sun Hee, HOOK’s former executive and the teacher who discovered Lee Seung Gi, keeping silent on the situation?