Over the past few days, various Korean, Chinese, and K-Pop media sources have reported that EXO’s Kris has filed a lawsuit against record label SM Entertainment to have his contract void. He claims that his basic civil rights have been violated and he wants out.
Now, if we’re keeping it really real, none of this should come as a shock to anyone. This is not the first time that SM has been sued for violating the rights of their artists, and it definitely won’t be the last. SM is known for producing hit-making, photogenic, dancing machines. They’re also known for having multiple artists become ill at the same time, faint on stage and sue. That’s not the problem, because, obviously, the artists should know this from the day they are signed to the label (and that’s why SM is my least favorite label, but that’s beside the point).
My beef is not with SM, but the rest of EXO. Whether Kris was popular amongst the members or not, after spending over four years with someone, it is inherent that one would adapt some kind of empathy or sympathy for that person…right? Well, apparently not.
In order to save their faces, and more importantly their jobs, the members are doing everything in their power to publicly distance themselves from Kris and the situation.
Several members of EXO have already spoken out about the event including EXO’s leader Suho. In an interview with OSEN News, a Korean news site, Suho said, “All the members had a conversation. We don’t understand Kris’ actions at all. Everyone was caught off-guard and has mixed feelings. I think Kris’ actions are irresponsible and show that he’s not thinking about EXO at all. Our members and agency have no issues. What Kris needs to do right now is take back the lawsuit and apologize to the members and company.” But tell us how you really feel, Suho.
Tao, another member of EXO, also decided to keep it one hundred when he took to social media sites to publicly express his dissatisfaction with the current situation. He stated, “…the good and the bad have been switched on the outside. You all cannot know what it feels like to be betrayed, and then after [the] betrayal everyone is siding with the betrayer. You all can have your own opinion and stance, but I just want to say, regarding the truth, we have a clear conscience. If someone wants to leave, we can’t block them, as they try to escape here and have done so successfully. Kept it as a secret from us and the company, and ended up not coming back.”
So on top of being called irresponsible, a betrayer and a liar by people that Kris once considered to be his friends, all of EXO’s members have unfollowed him on Instagram and Weibo. Ouch.
I do not believe for one second that these are the true words/feelings of EXO. While I do think that they are thinking more about their careers than their friendships, it’s obvious that this is the work of SM trying to issue a final warning to Kris: if you don’t cooperate now, you’ll lose your career and your friends.
Fortunately, there has been some public backlash. After SM confirmed that Kris is suing to have his contract nullified, SM’s stock prices plummeted a startling 5.82%. Take that SM!
Nobody is completely sure of when Kris first wanted to leave EXO, but rumors started to appear as far back as May of 2013 when Kris went back to his hometown of Vancouver without giving SM or his bandmates any notice. SM was eventually able to convince him to return, though.
Unfortunately for SM, it doesn’t look they’ll be able to come back this time. A close source recently reported to Yonhap News that, despite EXO’s extreme success in Asia, Kris was still forced into financial difficulties when he received bills from the company without any explanation. They stated that SM, “…has abused its superior authority over Kris to exploit him.”
While everyone is being left in the dark regarding the situation, when Kris finally does speak out about what’s actually going on, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one doozy of a storytime. So get your popcorn and your Snuggie, because this is about to get good!