SM Tries to Stop TVXQ, Suspends Group Activities

Those familiar with the dispute say that TVXQ’s Korean management company, SM, is trying to come between the members because of a scathing decision from Seoul District Court recently.

In a translated report of an SM statement released today, SM is completely disallowing any of the members of TVXQ (Tohoshinki / DBSK) to do any activities as a group and is requesting the money which could have been made by the group were they allowed to perform.

No, you’re not dreaming. They really are stopping any TVXQ activities AND wanting somebody to give them the money they could have been making were they allowed to perform.  It is one of the most asinine statements any management company has made.

There is no doubt now that SM is showing the world just why TVXQ is having this dispute with them in the first place. Rather than treating their artists like contract workers, many people feel that SM really are treating the members like property.

In a recent decision handed down by Seoul District Court, the Court sided with 3 members of TVXQ against SM. And consequently, the details of the “slave” contract between SM and TVXQ were revealed.

Now after a press conference from SM, hundreds of thousands of TVXQ fans around the world are furious with SM. 

In what I can only describe as a totally ridiculous statement, SM claimed the court decision was wrong, and said they requested each member (Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun) deposit 1 Billion won ($847,000) each to cover “damages SM has incurred”. 

In other words, SM wanted TVXQ to pay while they (SM) were being sued. Are they nuts or have they always been allowed to get away with this type of behavior with their other artists?

What this does is make it impossible for other lesser-known artists to sue the company for fear of having to pay SM while simultaneously fighting for their rights.

An allegedly unsourced article appeared today on the seemingly “SM-friendly” site It claims that Yunho’s and Changmin’s fathers have sided with SM in the legal dispute. Whether or not this is actually true remains to be seen as many of the non-Korean fans are scrambling to get verified information about such claims.

SM even had the gall to claim that Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu never complained about anything and are only now complaining because of the favorable court decision.  Many people watching this dispute think SM is flat out lying about that.

At a press conference by SM, they blamed everything on the cosmetics company, CreBeau, the three members had invested in. The members have already completely pulled out of the company because SM is trying to lay blame.

In a recent statement, the three members again stressed that CreBeau had absolutely nothing to do with their fight with SM.

CreBeau, of course, is now suing SM for defamation of character and have absolutely nothing to do with any contract the 3 members signed with SM. CreBeau certainly has nothing to do with unfair profit sharing, missed payments, or any ridiculous demands SM has made from the guys over the years.

This all started because SM wanted to exert its will over three members of TVXQ who wanted to be financially involved in projects outside of SM’s control.  They really wanted to get from under the unfair Exclusivity clause in the contract which kept SM in control over everything they could ever be involved in.

Recently changes in the law in Korea have affected old, outdated contracts between management companies and artists.

The guys sued and the Court sided with the three members while admitting there were many things wrong with the contract between SM and TVXQ.

According to translated reports, the Court ruled “SM abused their authority and profited in an unlawful manner”.

Meanwhile, a letter allegedly signed by Changmin and Yunho siding with SM is making the rounds supposedly thanks to SM.  The problem is that the letter has no letterhead and one fan pointed out that Changmin’s name appears to be signed in Chinese characters. WTF?

Whatever the situation is, I would think fans need to calm down and wait for verified information. Given the history of ‘TVXQ vs SM’ articles on a site like Allkpop, it’s better to wait for verification from a number of other sources.  Big companies are known to play dirty and stir up controversy in an artist’s fanbase.

One roundly accepted criticism of SM is that they should have learned their lesson from the way they botched the handling of H.O.T. and Shinhwa. 

They continue to make the same mistakes. But the problem this time is that TVXQ is massively successful outside of Korea.

This is the first Korean group ever to play a solo concert in Tokyo Dome, have 7 #1 songs on the Oricon chart, and be massively popular years after their debut in places like Thailand, Taiwan, China and many other countries.

Many rival companies to SM are probably praying for SM to screw up their relationship with TVXQ beyond all repair. There are a number of companies desperate for artists of TVXQ’s caliber and will no doubt give the guys anything they want.

SM will pay, no matter what happens. If they destroy TVXQ, TVXQ’s fanbase might try to destroy SM. 

We’ll keep you updated on this situation.


Source Mat:
The Star Chosun
Translation credits:

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