K-Pop Managers Fear Rebellion

Kim Young-min, CEO of powerful South Korean talent agency SM Entertainment, revealed that the K-pop industry is very much concerned with rebellion within the idol manufacturing system. 

Two members of the popular boy band EXO left the group to pursue solo careers in their native China and are now “locked in legal battles with SM” in an attempt to cancel their contracts, according to fan site Kpopstarz.

Kim was speaking at the Korea-China Music Industry Forum when he commented that the “agency system” has been the driving force behind the spread of K-pop. He boasted about the system’s ability to “oversee all aspects, from casting, training, and producing to marketing.” He implied that the two rogue members of EXO had “used the weaknesses in the legal systems of Korea and China … to pursue their personal, economic, short-term gains. They only followed their selves, without any communication with the fans who have been with them from the beginning.”

Since EXO is embarking on a major push to conquer Japan and the rest of Asia, the duo’s sudden departure is seen as spoiling SM’s plans for the group, which are quite ambitious. The Japan shows alone are expected to attract 52,000 people, who might be disappointed at the truncated lineup.