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Girls' Generation to Appear in Court to Testify on 'Slave Contract'

2010/11/16 Source

Girls' Generation will attend court to testify on the case regarding Dong Bang Shin Ki's "slave contract" with their agency, and their testimony seems to have become a turning point for the current controversy on the slave contract.

The star girl group "Girls' Generation" will attend the court of the Fair Trade Commission in the beginning of next month. They will testify on the truth behind the "slave contract" accusation, which has become a heated controversy after being provoked by the late actress Jang Ja Yeon's suicide and star group Dong Bang Shin Ki's exclusive contact. Girls' Generation originally had planned to attend the Fair Trade Commission at the end of this month, but their agency SM Entertainment (hereinafter refer to SM ENT) had requested to postpone the timing to prepare more evidential documents, so their appearance in court had been delayed to the beginning of December.

They would come to court not to testify on their own agency contract, but to make a statement about the "slave contract" accusation of Dong Bang Shin Ki, who had belonged to the same agency. In the beginning of this year, Dong Bang Shin Ki's fan club had requested the Fair Trade Commission to find out the truth concerning the "slave contract" by SM ENT while asserting that SM ENT had abused their position over Dong Bang Shin Ki and given disadvantages to their singers. When taking into account the fact that Girls' Generations is the most popular girl group not only in the domestic market, but also in other countries including Japan, their testimony in the court of the Fair Trade Commission seems likely to have a huge influence on the judgment on many entertainment agencies' "slave contract" accusations.

But the specific members who will appear in court and whether they will all come together or not has reportedly not yet been decided. A person in the Fair Trade Commission said on November 15, "We think that it would be very meaningful to have the statement made by Girls' Generation, which is the biggest star girl group in Korea, about the reality of exclusive contracts between entertainment agencies and entertainers. SM ENT also had the same opinion with us, so they had let Girls' Generation testify in court".

But it seems Girls' Generation will not make a statement against their agency SM ENT by saying that there will be any possibility of engaging in a "slave contract", so the final verdict by the Fair Trade Commission has drawn attention. A person in the Fair Trade Commission said, "We know that many entertainment agencies made a contract with applicants who hope to become entertainers, and they had signed the minimum ten year contract period (seven years as a trainee and more than three years after their debut). As the court already regards the agency contract with more than a ten-year contract period as a problematic contract, we will examine thoroughly whether the agency had made a 'slave contract' or not by taking the Girls' Generations' statement into account". He added, "After we finish our own investigation and finish reviewing the document to be presented by SM ENT, we will decide the time and place that Girls' Generation needs to attend to make their statement".

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