TVXQ to Stick Together Despite Legal Dispute
By Han Sang-hee
Three members of the pop group TVXQ ― Micky, Xiah and Hero ― said Monday that their recent legal action against their agency did not signal the disbanding of the group and they, along with members Max and U-Know, will keep their promise to fans to stick together.
In a legal document released through the law firm Kim & Shin, the three stated that their 13 year exclusive contract with SM Entertainment was no different from a binding lifelong contract. They also said that they were not treated fairly by the agency in terms of profit distribution.
The press release explained that they have been carrying out a vigorous schedule ever since their debut in 2004, flying between Japan, China and Korea with only three to four hours to sleep everyday.
``(They) have had health problems and finally reached their physical limits, but SM Entertainment continued to send them abroad and plan excessive activities. Thus, the three members have started to hope they will be able to continue their careers as they wish, instead of being used as tools for the agency's profits,'' the statement read.
It also said that the provisional disposition had nothing to do with the members' private business endeavors in the makeup industry, and was focused on the unfair contract.
``The contract period spans 13 years, and including military services, this can add up to almost 15 years. This is basically until we retire from the entertainment business. The contract also states that if we cancel the contract, even under agreement, we will have to pay several trillion won in penalties,'' the statement said.
The members were given 0.4 to 1 percent of total album sales following a revision of the contract in February. The initial contract stated that the members would be awarded 10 million won each if the previous album sold more than 500,000. If the albums were sold fewer than 500,000, the members would not receive anything.
The statement added that the three members tried to communicate with SM Entertainment, but the agency continually brought up the issue of their makeup business and avoided further settlements.
``SM Entertainment's attitude made them realize there was no hope in solving the situation through communication, and the members finally decided to take legal action to further settle the case.''
The members concluded the statement with a comment to their fans, saying that they ``were sorry for surprising and disappointing their fans.''
Micky, Xiah and Hero stirred fans and the industry by submitting the application for provisional disposition to terminate the validity of their contract to the Seoul Central District Court Friday.
SM Entertainment did not release a follow-up statement, but said that the band would continue performing and that it believed their career would continue.