Uh oh! More EXO lawsuit drama ahead.
Last year, both EXO-M Chinese members Luhan and Kris Wu Yi Fan chose to opt out of their talent company in Korea aka SM Entertainment by attempting to nullify their contracts. Luhan first took a break from promoting with the group but later filed the lawsuit citing an “invalid contract” while Kris’ issue was due to an apparent disagreement between himself and the agency.
There are a few things in common with both Luhan and Kris’ case – their cases are in the hands of the Hankyul law firm. Also, this is not entirely new as SM Entertainment has received allegations of unfair labor practices and contracts in the past (read: TVXQ! members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu as well as Super Junior’s Hangeng).
Now, despite being embroiled in a contract termination lawsuit, and although both Kris and Luhan have ceased their activities as EXO-M members, the idols haven’t quite stepped out of the limelight. In fact, both of them are continuing to pursue their individual careers in China as actors. For example, Kris will be seen next in the upcoming Valentine’s Day release, “Somewhere Only We Know” while Luhan is busy promoting “Miss Granny“.
As such, SM Entertainment has revealed through a press release that they will be taking action to stop Luhan and Kris’s continued celebrity activities in China.
The agency stated the following:
As the lawful agency of EXO members Kris (Wu Yi Fan) and Luhan, SM Entertainment has officially filed a lawsuit against Luhan, who is illegally carrying out celebrity activities, and advertisers, who are using Luhan as their endorsement model; the lawsuit has been drafted into the system at the Shanghai court on February 4, 2015. From here on, we will be blocking the continuation of Kris and Luhan’s illegal promotions, and we are now declaring our official position on the matter so that no further harm will come to more companies [due to illegally hiring these members].
Kris and Luhan filed lawsuits against us in May and October of 2014, respectively, and after one-sidedly filing these suits, the two used EXO’s fame to appear in various movies, advertisements, events, and awards ceremony before the lawsuit’s legal process even officially began. These activities have infringed the rights of the EXO members and SM, and have caused great financial harm to us and our partners.
We invested massive amount of manpower and resources to grow EXO into a top global artist in a short span of 2 years. Without sufficient reason, Kris and Luhan left the group without a notice, and as soon as they gained fame with the group’s name, they ignored the contract, trust, and morals, and only pursued personal profit. This is not only an abuse of the system, but also an unethical move that has betrayed the trust of this company and the other members.
Our contracts with Kris and Luhan remain in effect until the final ruling is made by the court. We will hold them responsible for all the promotions they have illegally conducted during this period. All the activities they have conducted independently including movie and advertisement promotions are also considered a breach of contract. In addition, any individuals or companies that have blindly supported the two’s breach of contract are infringing on the rights and profits of SM and EXO. Thus, we will also hold them responsible and take legal action.
We have already filed a lawsuit with our legal team in China, KING&WOOD MALLESONS, against Luhan and advertisers who hired Luhan, and we will also take all the necessary legal measures to protect the rights and profits of SM and EXO.
Oh boy. And the plot thickens.