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EXO's Baekhyun, Chen, and Xiumin terminate exclusive contracts with SM Entertainment

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 01, 2023 10:53 am

Baekhyun, Chen, and Xiumin of K-pop group EXO have filed for the termination of their contracts with SM Entertainment. 

According to K-entertainment site Allkpop, LIN—the law firm representing the EXO members—said on Thursday, June 1 that the notice has been sent to the management, including “a total of seven requests for documents detailing the earnings and payments of all three artists from March through May.”

Looking into some issues with their earnings within the said period, the singers asked for a copy of official records of the agency’s income, which Allkpop referred to as their “fundamental right as artists.” Their management, however, denied their request.

LIN wrote in the notice that SM Entertainment “forced” its talents to stick with their exclusive contracts for 12-13 years and made them renew their agreements “prematurely” for an extension of up to 17-18 years. 

The law firm also explained that the EXO members are pushing for a legal case against their management due to the unfair “slave contracts” and to serve as “spokespersons” to their artists who are in the same situation as them under the agency. 

SM Entertainment has issued a statement on the matter, saying they “have confirmed the presence of outside forces approaching our agency’s artists, providing them with false information, false court documents, and irrational offers.” 

"Despite a complete lack of genuine thoughtfulness toward the artists, these outside forces are using groundless rumors, libel and slander, and sweet talk to coerce our artists into violating their exclusive contracts or signing multiple contracts, engaging in clearly illegal activities,” they said. 

“Furthermore, these outside forces are not stopping at simply enticing one or two artists into violating their contracts, they are using the artists they have made contact with to tap even more of our agency's artists,” they added. 

The management noted they will “not stand by idly and watch while forces with no interest in ensuring the future of our artists, or making sure of their fair legal rights, chase after their greed for money.” 

SM Entertainment added that they are set to pursue “all possible legal action” in line with the issue. “If we do not act now, the tyrannical activities of these outside forces will significantly damage our artists' brand and image, and inflict negative influence on our artists' bright futures." 

EXO is a K-pop boy group consisting of Kai, Suho, Xiumin, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., and Sehun. It debuted in 2012 and is known for their songs Growl, Love Shot, and Call Me Baby, among others.