Recently, the ambitions of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment Co. have hit some unexpected challenges. Firstly, Kris, one of the members of its hugely popular 12 member boy band EXO made a legal move to bail out. EXO, with over two million fans registered in its official fan club, is extremely well known for songs like “Growl”. The group is sometimes split into two sub groups EXO-M, performing in Mandarin and EXO-K, performing in Korean. However, this successful group has also been plagued by rumours. The first hint of problems was when the leader of the EXO-M subgroup, Kris, went missing in action for an extended period of time in 2013. Then, Kris filed a lawsuit against SM in December 2014, saying that he had been mistreated by the company in a bid to nullify his contract with SM, which was unfortunately successful.
EXO’s remaining 11 members and SM Entertainment assured fans that EXO would continue with eleven, but the rumours began again several months after Kris left the group. This time, SM Entertainment announced that member Luhan would be sitting out several of EXO’s overseas concerts to recover from health issues. However, next month, following an abundance of rumours and fans worrying, Luhan filed a lawsuit to cancel his contract, accusing SM Entertainment of discriminating the Chinese members of the boy band.
“SM treated subgroup EXO-K, filled with Korean members, differently from how they treated the EXO-M members with Chinese members,” Luhan said in the lawsuit. “From the beginning of our debut, EXO-K received support from SM and actively did promotions, but subgroup EXO-M had no promotions, received no financial backing, and endured a difficult time.”
He also revealed that he had missed some EXO shows due to exhaustion.
There were even rumours that Tao and another member would quit EXO as well, though it appears those reports were unfounded. Luckily, EXO is officially coming back in 2015! The confirmed that a new album is in the works which is great news! So it seems the K-pop group is moving on despite the exits of Kris Wu and Luhan last year. Indeed since then, the group has released a concert album, complete with a new single. So it appears the comeback will continue as planned, even without Luhan and Kris Wu :))
This is a difficult time for SM Entertainment, which is also dealing with Jessica Jung’s shocking departure from Girls’ Generation. Jung claims she was forced out when her fellow members complained about her putting her fashion line ahead of her music career. Both sides seem to be moving on just fine since Jung’s exit, but it’s unclear if SNSD’s record sales will suffer without one of its most popular singers.
-Genevieve Sim (2 Purity)