It’s no secret that K-Pop idols are overworked. Idols are sleep deprived and often hungry from extreme dieting during their promotions, which can last for months. It’s important to know that SM is not the only company accused of this. B.A.P just had it out with their company TS-Entertainment before they were able to reach agreements earlier this year. So while SM is not the only company accused of slave contracts and overworking their idols, due to recent events, I’ll just be talking about SM.
I don’t know the extent of idol contracts, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that they are overworked. So, I wanted to add a disclaimer so that there are no misunderstandings. I do not know the full extent of the contracts, nor do I know everything that the contract holds or says. This post is all from my understanding of such contracts and the working conditions of the idols.
SM certainly has a history of slave contract allegations. Back when TVXQ was DBSK and JYJ wasn’t JYJ, three out of the five original DBSK members left SM and DBSK to start JYJ. Even though they received a mix of hate and encouragement, they got over many obstacles and made a name for themselves, and now promote as a band and as solo artists. Some of the original Super Junior members have left as well, but recently, three out of the original twelve EXO members have left. Kris, Luhan, and recently Tao, have all left EXO because of slave contracts. I’m waiting for the moment that SM realizes, ‘Hey, something needs to be done here because all my idols are leaving me!’
Negotiations between SM and Kris failed, negotiations between SM and Luhan failed, and just recently, SM and Tao have had a court hearing where Tao’s side claimed that SM was being unfair, that they’s set the contract for ten years from debut instead of from training, and that there had been discrimination against Chinese members. Although SM had refuted each of these claims, there is a scheduled court date some time in December.
I love EXO, but it isn’t fair that EXO is getting a bad rep for SM’s blatant disregard for their idols. This isn’t the first time that idols have left and sued the company. I’m not understanding why they haven’t done something about it. Furthermore, I think that the people who are hating on Kris, Luhan, and Tao, calling them ‘betrayers’ or ‘weak’ or whatever else, is wrong. They’re people too. Just because they left doesn’t mean that they didn’t like EXO, it means that there is something wrong with the contract agreements and the fact that they are so overworked is definitely not good for their health. And if these members are happy and healthy and successful promoting in China, then I am happy for them and I will remain a loyal fan.
So, what do you think?