ex-MOMOLAND member Daisy went public with accusations that ‘Finding Momoland‘ was rigged, MLD Entertainment and CJ E&M/Mnet responded with statements that clarified more than denied.
Soon after though, MLD came back with a statement that expanded on their position.
First, there was no manipulation of votes or other fraudulent actions regarding member selection on the Mnet survival program ‘Finding Momoland.’ ‘Finding Momoland’ was not a regular audition program featuring ordinary trainees, but a survival program aiming at debuting 10 trainees from our agency. In order to debut, the trainees had to gather 3000 audience members, but they were unable to fulfill the conditions and their debut plans fell through. This is why it is illogical to say that the show was rigged. As for Daisy’s inclusion, we terminated the contracts of eliminated trainees after the program ended, but the CEO of the agency saw Daisy’s potential and recommended she stay as an agency trainee. Second, the payment of production costs was included in the exclusive contract, which was based on the standard exclusive contract from the Fair Trade Commission, and agreed upon by the members and their parents. Daisy agreed to this part of the contract as well when she was included in the lineup. Starting last year, Daisy’s mother has threatened the agency multiple times. It appears that she has taken further malicious action because we did not respond to those threats. We have prepared documents of proof to refute Daisy’s claims and we intend to respond with legal action. We also deeply regret that although we explained all this to the reporter in question, KBS only reported one side of the story.
MLD again seem to be focusing awful hard on technicalities more than anything. Like they’re just claiming they didn’t technically debut as a result of the show, and are not denying anything she said about the contract terms as much as they are just reinforcing that it was technically legal and agreed to. Maybe they’re shown to be right in the end, but it’s hardly ridiculous to not trust in the integrity of survival shows and companies in regards to contracts at this point, especially if they’re not even refuting things as much as clarifying.
Daisy’s side wasn’t done though, as KBS reported further on the situation.
KBS described how in March 2019, MOMOLAND returned but with a smaller lineup. Daisy did not take part in the comeback for personal reasons. She expressed her desire to promote again starting in May, but she was not given any opportunities for eight months after this. Daisy said to KBS, “I told them that I thought I could [promote] but they kept saying to me, ‘No, it would be good if you rested.’”
KBS reports that she requested a termination of her contract, but the agency demanded a penalty of 1.1 billion won (approximately $943,330). On what’s known as a standard contract, it states that if an artist breaks the contract, they have to pay a penalty beyond compensation for damages.
If that sounds like the agency essentially holding an idol hostage, it’s because that’s exactly what they’re doing, if true.
KBS’s lawyer said that for the tactic to be valid the agency has things to prove, but that generally there are issues with the law that make the practice likely to be judged as valid in court.
KBS advisory lawyer Yang Seung Kook stated, “[The agency] has to prove that they carried out their duties properly, that the artist aims to unilaterally break their contract, and that they have really violated their contract.” This standard contract protocol was put in place in 2009 with the intention of preventing unfair contracts between agencies and artists, however there have been criticisms of it. KBS reports that while it’s the duty of an agency to secure activities for an artist, if they do not do so, there are no ways of disciplining the agency, and the protocol also allows for a system of unfair costs being passed on to the artist. MLD’s representative has said that it is up to the company to decide whether or not a member promotes and that they notified Daisy of the penalty because her side first revealed her desire to withdraw.
Legal technicalities or not, it’s difficult to not take issue with what MLD was doing to Daisy here, especially since Yeonwoo alluded to similar issues.
This is basically she saying: ” I want to go to the stages too, but things doesn’t work just the way that I want. Nobody believes me that I want to go back; at least Merries pls; believe in me. ” #Yeonwoo— Momoland4ever 🍭 (@momoland4ever) December 2, 2019
Doubt this is the end of the saga, so I’m sure more details will emerge, but it’s hard to imagine MLD coming out of this smelling like roses.