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Idol Groups Conflict with Agencies Over Contracts

2011/01/20 | 496 views | Permalink | Source

Following Dong Bang Shin Ki and Super Junior, Kara has become involved in an agency contract conflict for various reasons including profits distribution, which is projected to damage the Hallyu wave.

Star idol groups have requested to terminate their agency contracts one after another, and it is expected to make a large impact on the music industry.

Four members of Kara (Han Seung Yeon, Jeong Nichole, Koo Ha Ra, and Kang Ji Young) made the announcement on January 19 through their legal representative, the law firm Landmark, saying, "Kara's agency misused their authority and made members hold activities when they did not want to perform, and the agency desecrated their human dignity".

The news about Kara's notification to terminate their agency contract is very conspicuous as the issue arose after the conflicts of Dong Bang Shin Ki (Kim Jae-joong, Park Yoo-chun, and Kim Jun Su) and Super Junior (Hankyung). People in the music industry all said that this problem had arisen due to complex reasons such as conflicts coming from the process of their management and profits distribution.

A representative of a certain agency to which many star idol groups belong said, "Agencies and members have come to confront each other over various issues during the process of management such as choosing the style of music and appearing on TV programs. If the members have accumulated dissatisfaction, their trust toward the agency breaks down and if the issue of profit distribution is added to the situation, it could become a serious conflict".

A director of another agency for a girl group said, "These days, idol groups have activities overseas and they tend to regard their profits as small compared to their activities. So they began to be concerned about their own interests and at the same time, they received various suggestions from the outside. They even begin to think that they could continue their activities overseas even though they could no longer hold domestic activities. So when they feel that they receive unfair treatment from their agency, they tend to aggressively move against it".

This kind of conflict has sounded alarms for many entertainment management companies who had treated entertainers illegally unfairly and brought the introduction of a standard agreement for making an agency contract. But this issue can have a more severe impact because it can have an influence overseas. Pop culture critic Kang Tae Kyu said, "The agency contract conflict in Korea can have a negative effect on Hallyu overseas. People in foreign countries might look at Korean music industry with a negative point of view and K-POP could be degraded".

Most people say that the basic solution to prohibit this type of conflict from arising is to keep a solid trust-based relationship between the agency and the group. A manager of a boy group said, "Usually, members of an idol group are relatively young and their parents' opinions are very important, so we have regular meetings with their parents". He emphasized that it was important to explain to parents their children's activities and method of distributing profits in order to build a trust-based relationship.

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