Can I just say, the truth behind SM Entertainment’s constant law suits with their artists is because a of flaw in their management. I know that is a bit of a generalisation, but I mean honestly think about it. Kpop, more than anything really is a business, and as a business SM has a certain amount of duty of care to their employees (artists). If one person isn’t happy with the way they are being dealt with, of course they will do whatever it takes to leave. What make me say this? Well the other day my sister (who is an auditor) told me about one of her colleagues who left during a really busy time because she could not take the stress any more. It was obvious that they were being overworked (she would stay up until 2AM trying to finish work and still have a ton left over and this is during normal time). In a way this is negligence on the part of the company she works for as they need to employ more workers and have a better handle on their work loads rather than put all the pressure on their limited number of employees.
SM Entertainment is a very large company with a very high stake within the Korean entertainment industry and media. They have a lot of power so in a way they can do what they like and not really have to worry about rumours because of the amount of power they hold. We can parallel this to major corporations around the world who also exploit the workers who make their products. Heck if SM is exploiting their artists in front of the camera, who knows what they’re doing to the people behind the scenes?
What I’m really trying to say is that the law suits they’ve held against JYJ, Hangeng and most recently Kris shows that there is something going wrong behind the scenes. I know not everyone is going to be happy with their jobs and the people they work for, but because of the nature of the industry SM works in, they need to take extra care with their artists, no matter how solid and strict their contracts may be. It doesn’t excuse negligence to provide artists and workers with happy and healthy working environments.
To be honest this newest law suit that Kris filed against SM makes me really disappointed in SM. You would have thought that they would have learnt their lesson with the last two but no, they obviously didn’t. Also I don’t think that the entire things is because Kris wanted to act, law suits are expensive and EXTREMELY strenuous (especially if it is against a major company like SM, they would basically have lawyers trained in turning your words against you which is why Kris would be staying quiet until the end of the case). In a way you could say that he would have been better off waiting for his contract to end, but we don’t know what really happens when the cameras are off.
And to the question of why others haven’t left, well as I said before, law suits are extremely strenuous and very expensive, they’re not for everyone. Also Kris leaving could be him trying to address an issue that the rest of the group would be facing too, its just he had the courage to try and take a stand against it. Anyway what I’m really trying to say is, the news of Kris’ law suit could have been handled better by SM themselves. The way the news went out of control just showed how little tact they have in solving issues. If they themselves had any wish for Kris to withdraw the suit, they would have kept Exo out of the spotlight when they weren’t going about their daily schedules. It was unfair of them to let reporters in as soon as the case was confirmed as the boys would have been extremely emotional and still trying to register their own feelings, as we, their fans, were.
This entire case also highlights how manipulative the media can be. In almost every media outlet I looked on, Tao’s comment on Kris’ leaving was an act of “betrayal”, however I scrolled through one Allkpop article which added in brackets that “betrayal” could also be interpreted as “an act of bad faith”. I think we are all aware of how big of a word “betrayal” is compared to “bad faith”. Also, the very first Sina article that was publish on the matter had “Could result in him leaving Exo”, of course no teenage fangirl would take the word “Could” into consideration (I know I didn’t). This in turn basically put through an entire whirlwind of events where we all took in the worst scenarios possible, believing the most insane rumours, all the while both parties remained silent with only really Kris coming out to reassure fans that he was okay. Can we just understand here that neither party said anything about what they wanted, only Kris’s representatives said that they wanted to deal with it quietly. So again most of what had exploded was pretty much a whole bunch of rumours and speculation. Some of which we all took seriously (again, I know I did for sometime). Because of all of this, the case could have taken a different turn, but since SM has to take public opinion into account, I think its pretty obvious what they want now.
Many members of boybands have left their groups before with a lot less drama, for example: the three members that left U-Kiss, more recently the member of Busker Busker that is leaving the band). This could be because they had solved their issues outside court, which in turn leads me to my first argument. SM has bad management and they don’t know how to deal with their artists or how to manage them (at least, that’s what they are showing to the world).
I could keep going on this topic, but I think that this is enough to get my point across. Sorry for such a long post, but its honestly what I’ve learnt from this entire thing.