The K-pop industry is ugly

This blog was supposed to be happy-go-lucky but I really really really want to rant somewhere about this issue. So read on, if you’re interested.

On November 26th, news broke that K-pop boy band B.A.P filed a lawsuit against their company, TS Entertainment to nullify their contracts. It came as a great shock to the entire fandom, and me.

I am a huge fan of B.A.P ever since the day I’d seen their teaser for their first music video. I was obsessed. I willingly spent my money every time they released a new album (with the exception for the Japanese ones). I tried my best to collect as much merchandise as I could. They were my idols, I wanted to support them as much as possible. But now? I feel cheated.

I should have seen this coming. The signs were all there for a while now. There were rumours of fights between the members and the company, members falling seriously ill, so-called ‘homesickness’ and even news sites hinted as early as May an upcoming lawsuit filed by a ‘anonymous group’. Previously in the same year, there were many cases of groups falling apart, such as SNSD and EXO. There was a load of paranoia floating around, but many of us refused to believe it.

But the unthinkable happened. First off, I was relieved to hear that all six members are filing the lawsuit together. This is a big thing because so far, in similar cases, most of them have resulted group breakups. Second, I am absolutely appalled at the details that followed the initial news.

B.A.P signed a contract two to three years ago which stated that the profits were to be split in a 1(B.A.P):9(company) ratio. This is already a ridiculous division but we cannot say much since B.A.P agreed to the terms. What really got our nerves was the fact that TS did not even pay the 10% in full. Articles have emerged that calculated out of the approximately 10 million in profit made, the group ONLY received 16K over the course of THREE years.

Why in the world?

As if that wasn’t terrible enough, the company apparently paid no heed to the welfare of the members. Others have long pointed out the K-pop industry can be compared to a factory at times. This issue is the very definition of that. 11 albums, world tours, Japan promotions, music shows and countless schedules are cramped into three years. B.A.P were like robots running from one place to another. With such a hectic lifestyle, health is definitely a concern. But TS neglected that. A member was reported to have fainted due to stress and exhaustion. He was taken to hospital, but then you have TS dragging him back to Changwon for a performance.

Unbelievable.

What angers me so much is TS denying all accusations against them. I expected this response but it is irritating to see the company have the cheek to run away from their problems. I sincerely hope B.A.P wins this lawsuit. There is no place in K-pop for such disgusting greed. Hopefully, this issue will encourage other artistes suffering the same fate to stand up for themselves. This has been going on in the industry for way too long.

It has to end. Now.

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