After the various back-and-forth volleys exchanged between SM Entertainment, Kris and Luhan‘s law firm, and Luhan’s team, Kris’s team has finally joined the fight and returned fire against SME with one of the more effective statements yet by addressing a bunch of contractual and legal stuff.
1. The lawsuit in Korea that SM mentions is regarding the only case of Mr. Wu Yifan vs SM’s management contract nullification, the final judgment for this lawsuit is also the only verdict for whether the contract is valid.
2. According to SM’s related statement, SM makes claims of a lawsuit against Mr. Luhan. Mr. Wu Yifan is not one of the parties; Mr. Wu Yifan has also not received any legal documents regarding any lawsuits from SM.
Those are just clarifications, but it starts to get juicy with the third bullet point.
3. According to the management contract previously signed by Mr. Wu Yifan and SM, Article 6 Section 1: “1. When Party A (SM) represents Party B (Wu Yifan) to discuss B’s agreement conditions related to artist activities and engage in agreement negotiations, it is unacceptable to sign an agreement that clearly violates B’s intentions or body/health, or mental preparedness.” Section 6 states, “Party A must first get Party B’s written consent before being allowed to transfer an agreement’s full or partial rights and status to a third party.” Mr. Wu Yifan has filed a lawsuit in Korea for management contract nullification, clearly stating that Mr. Wu Yifan no longer agrees to SM’s representation in any region for Mr. Wu Yifan’s artist works and does not agree to SM’s delegations or authorizations to a third party for any so called rights based on the management contract with Mr. Wu Yifan. No matter whether the management contract between SM and Mr. Wu Yifan is valid, without Mr. Wu’s authorization, no third party is allowed to negotiate for Mr. Wu Yifan’s artist career in the region of China.
It was interesting because while everything else was talking in general terms, this specifically cites the contracts and why they believe SME has no power to regulate Kris in China.
Then came this at the end:
4. SM, up until now, has yet to achieve the necessary license to conduct management activities within Chinese borders.
Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what that means or if it’s even true. It sounds atrocious, but I assume SME set it up that way because they use Chinese liaisons of sorts to manage their artists in China. However, it also seems to imply that SME then can’t claim Chinese companies need to go through them to work with Kris because SME literally couldn’t manage for him even if they wanted to.
Lastly comes the PR stuff:
During the process of mediation and neglecting Mr. Wu Yifan’s wishes, SM’s actions, through announcements, statements, letters, and other different ways recklessly twisted the truth, mislead and interfered with industry friends. Not only does it contradict their expressed contract spirit and attitude, but it also violated Mr. Wu Yifan’s related rights and interests. Although Mr. Wu Yifan has been negatively affected by SM’s actions and also suffered many grievances during his time in SM that he wishes not to speak on, he still feels gratitude toward SM. This is also the reason Mr. Wu Yifan is willing to settle for the lawsuit in Korea. In the future, for any related lawsuits and any malicious actions, Mr. Wu Yifan will continue to use the weapon of law to protect his own legal rights and interests.
Whoever is doing Kris’s PR is doing a great job so far. While I’ve really never cared for him much because I don’t really care about EXO outside of drama like this, it’s a great strategy for his team to publicly acknowledge the most frequent criticism levied against him (that he owes SME) in his own statement, then turn it around and say that it still doesn’t excuse everything that went on. It helps with the people on the sidelines like me because it’s the most logical way to approach the issue, instead of people releasing delusional crap over and over.
So now that both sides are “even” in terms of statements, now what I need for maximum mess is for SME to actually file lawsuits against everybody in China. Will they win? Will they lose? I dunno, but it would be amazing.