Fury Erupts Again as KEPA Steps into JYJ-SM Controversy

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It seems as if those with loyalties to SM are hard at work to discredit the lawsuit between JYJ (Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong), and their former Korean management company, SM Entertainment.  Fans are fighting mad at what seems to be an attempt to turn public opinion away from JYJ and put undeserved pressure on those who want to allow the group access to the Korean airwaves. 

Other SM artists got slapped down — sometimes by some of their own fans — for publicly jumping into the dispute between SM and JYJ.  Now another outside 3rd party has jumped into the fray in what looks like an attempt to affect the Court’s decision in JYJ’s lawsuit.

An organization calling itself the Korean Entertainment Producers’ Association (KEPA) released a statement allegedly expressing negative concern about what effect the lawsuit filed by JYJ, and former Super Junior member Hangeng, will have on the entertainment industry.

Among KEPA’s blustering nonsense includes an accusation that JYJ only filed suit for “personal monetary profit”.  It doesn’t seem to worry KEPA that this is a flat-out lie based on the actions of JYJ since the lawsuit.

For example, JYJ gave a series of FREE showcase performances in the U.S. after having VISA problems which made it impossible to reap monetary gain.  When faced with this crisis, they didn’t cancel those expensive showcases — which they probably had to pay for out-of-pocket — even though they wouldn’t get paid for doing them.

Members of KEPA don’t seem to understand that people who have jobs usually receive money for their services. That’s the way things work.  A person works…. and that person gets paid.  Or does KEPA think JYJ should have enslaved themselves to SM without any concern for their own well-being?

KEPA also completely denies the existence of “slave contracts” even though various entertainment companies have already changed the contracts of an unknown number of K-pop artists BECAUSE they fell into the category of “slave contracts”. In SM’s case, they saw nothing wrong with signing underaged kids to 13 year contracts even if that kid had his/her parent’s permission.

The KEPA statement goes on to talk about what other people could do if JYJ were to win their lawsuit as well.  They claim if JYJ were successful, then other celebrities would try to “abuse” the precedent by suing entertainment companies. And yes, they used the word “abuse”, as if hundreds of stars are somewhere plotting, waiting for their chance to challenge these gigantic, all-powerful companies in Court.  Get real.

__ Ah, yes, the crystal ball defense!__
If other artists were going to sue their companies, they certainly wouldn’t need someone else to do it first.  The facts of JYJ’s situation totally discredits KEPA’s fake-a$$ psychic predictions.  The fact is that 2 members from TVXQ DIDN’T sue SM even though 3 of their fellow members did.  So KEPA’s cause/effect scare tactic makes no sense.

JYJ’s lawsuit didn’t even cause the other 2 members to go against SM, let alone start a revolt of “abuse” (their word).  Honestly, more artists are signed with these companies than those who have sued them.

The merits of JYJ’s lawsuit don’t have a damn thing to do with what other stars may or may not do in the future.  If other idols are working under unacceptable conditions, it’s the fault of that idol’s agency and NOT the fault of the idol with courage enough to complain about it. 

In addition, KEPA apparently has disdain for the Court system.  The decision of the Court — assuming the Court hasn’t been corrupted — will be based on the merits of each case being tried.  Does KEPA think the Korean Courts are filled with mindless fools who can’t tell the difference between a legitimate claim and an attempt to “abuse” the system?

KEPA cannot hold JYJ responsible for what may or may not happen with other artists at some unknown time in the future. 

JYJ have absolutely no control over the working conditions of other artists, or the manner in which their agencies treat them.  For goodness sakes, they barely had any control over the way SM treated them! 

If the 3 members had such power, they wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.  It’s asinine to try to make JYJ responsible for the relationships between other artists and their agencies; or to make them responsible for what could, may, might, possibly, someday happen with other artists in the future.

KEPA must think it’s easy to for an artist to put their career and livelihood on the line  — not to mention miss 1, 2 or 3 years of their prime years — to sue a company when there is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that they will win the lawsuit.

To their defense of the way things are, KEPA claims the Courts just don’t understand the Korean entertainment industry.  In fact, the Courts are getting a hard, eye-opening education about korea’s entertainment industry.  That’s why a number of cases have gone in favor of the artist who sued the agency.

As part of TVXQ, JYJ were massively popular FOR YEARS before they ever mustered up enough courage to sue SM to protect their rights.  Thus, it’s safe to conclude that for most celebrities, something decidedly intolerable has to happen to force that celeb to seek legal recourse.  That artist obviously knows they won’t be able to perform in their home country until the lawsuit is resolved, AND almost no one will broadcast them for fear of retribution from that artist’s former agency.

The hateful tone of KEPA’s statements seem to assert that the process of suing a huge agency is something which can be entered into lightly by artists who only want to “abuse” the poor, poor, poor agency… the poor, poor agency who did nothing but good things for them. Seriously?

Regardless of the outcome of JYJ’s case, SM no longer has access to all of the money they would have been able to grab had they simply appeased some of JYJ’s concerns.  These 3 were never asking for anything outlandish nor for anything they didn’t deserve.  

SM will never know how far a tiny improvement in the income distribution or a fairer working schedule would have gone to solve this entire issue without it going public.  Honestly, can JYJ ever trust anyone at SM again after all that’s happened?

__Still ticked off at Hangeng, I see__
Hangeng, a (former?) member of Super Junior (SM) sued SM for the termination of his contract.  He won his case against SM after the Department of Justice found that the contracts were invalid. KEPA mentions Hangeng’s lawsuit too.  They malign him as someone who “immediately went to file a lawsuit without making any attempts for reconciliation or compromise…”.

What part of ‘the contracts were invalid’ did KEPA not understand about Hangeng’s case? 

Regardless of Hangeng’s motivations to file suit, whether or not Hangeng should have been grateful to SM for his success, whether or not he should have left for China, or whether he signed with another company, the DAMN CONTRACTS WERE INVALID.  Period.  None of that other stuff matters at all if he’s signed to SM with an invalid contract!  That’s not Hangeng’s fault. And it certainly isn’t JYJ’s fault.

Hengeng didn’t ask SM to sign him up under those conditions and he has every right to fight for his rights regardless of whatever JYJ decided to do or not do.

SM lost because of their own business practices, not because Hangeng “abused” them by making a false claim.

__Unethical Practices 101, Lesson 763: How to behave like a douchebag __
KEPA apparently makes no mention of some of the most blatant actions taken by SM against JYJ.  Translated reports stated at the time that JYJ’s concerns were repeatedly ignored by SM. 

JYJ’s legal representative was quoted as saying, “…We will try our best to solve these issues harmoniously with the SM side.”  That seems like a fairytale statement after seeing the way SM has behaved since that time.  SM’s my-way-or-the-highway type of reaction is the reason why the public is waiting for a decision in this case.

After they filed suit, SM forged JYJ’s signatures on a document promising to perform in China. Then, lied about it. After the person who forged their signatures confessed, SM tried to blame the 3 members as the reason for why they had to cancel the concert.

SM falsely accused Junsu of possibly taking money from them (SM) to finance the lawsuit against them. Moreover, SM is/was being investigated by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for unfair contracts with all of its artists.  They were later ordered by the KFTC to revise the “unfair exclusive contracts that their celebrities and trainees have signed.” SM was told to reduce the length of all of their contracts.

Back in Oct 2009, translated reports containing statements from JYJ’s legal representative stated that SM hadn’t paid TVXQ for their activities from Feb 2009. Those unpaid earnings were just a part of the total problem with SM. 

SM falsely accused the cosmetics company CreBeau as being the reason why JYJ sued in the first place.  The also falsely accused the three members of lying about being on vacation and secretly flying to China to attend a CreBeau event.  Of course they got SM’s full permission to attend and fans subsequently busted SM with photos clearly showing the SM-appointed manager right next to the trio at the event.

The situation with JYJ is at this stage because SM refused to address these concerns, and SM only has itself to blame for mishandling this entire situation.  High level officials making decisions at SM have behaved arrogantly, stubbornly and spitefully throughout this entire dispute.  And it is the attitude held by those like the members of KEPA which have caused such problems in the Korean music industry.

It cannot be excused how this self-important, opportunistic, 3rd-party know-nothing KEPA organization seems to be trying to protect the a$$es (and assets) of those who want to hold their thumb on the scale while raking in massive amounts of money from the hard work of these kids.

The only reason KEPA and those like them are bashing JYJ is because it’s scaring the hell out of some powerful people that JYJ could win this case and open up an entire system to public ridicule. The problem is that their system is ALREADY the object of ridicule.  With an alarmingly high number of suicides by Korean entertainers, something has to give.  Ridicule of this system was coming, with or without JYJ’s lawsuit. 

According to the translated reports, KEPA said that judgments like Hangeng’s will “erode the very foundations of the industry”.  No. It is the deceit, totalitarian rules, bone-crushing scheduling, 90%-10% splits, and old-style attitudes which are eroding.

And directly to the members of KEPA, I think that many fans would rather see you rot in hell wearing gasoline draws before they allow you to make fools out of JYJ, or to make them scapegoats for why your friends and associates have problems with their other artists. 

Give your colleagues this tip: Those artists are the reason your company exists. Stop treating them like $hit and you won’t have to worry about the Courts ruling in their favor.

Source Mat:
Jaechunsu signatures were forged on the shenzhen contract
SM blames 3 members for China concert cancellation
FTC Investigates SM
JYJ Lawyer Angry over 45M false Rumor about Junsu
SM Ordered to Revise Unfair Contract by FTC
SM hasn’t paid TVXQ for Feb 09 activities
SM Busted by CreBeau, Shown to have Lied about Involvement
http://www.allkpop.com/2010/12/hangeng-wins-lawsuit-over-sm-entertainment
KEPA report: http://www.allkpop.com/2011/01/kepa-expresses-concerns-over-the-impact-of-jyj-hangeng-terminating-their-contracts

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