TS Entertainment have earned their reputation as being a toxic place for artists and employees alike through many of their controversies in the past, though recent accusations levied against them by members of their group TRCNG may be their lowest point yet.
Through their lawyer, members Wooyeop and Taeseon accused the company of forcing the members to drop out of school, providing poor living conditions, not supplying them with food, committing physical abuse, and financial extortion.
TS Entertainment boy group TRCNG’s members Jo Wooyeop and Yang Taeseon sent a certification of contents to the agency on November 4, 2019 to notify the termination of their exclusive contracts, and they filed criminal complaints to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency against two individuals including Director Park Sang Hyun for charges including habitual child abuse and injury resulting from violence on November 12, 2019. The reasons for the termination of their contracts include (1) Long-time absence of a CEO and the agency’s loss of management abilities due to legal disputes with its celebrities and (2) Director Park Sang Hyun’s habitual child abuse to the members who are minors and choreography director Yoon causing injury due to violence to Jo Wooyeop.
They also mention the company’s history and talk about the group’s difficulties.
The statement explains that there has been no one in the CEO position since Kim Tae Song’s passing in April 2018. The agency is currently in legal disputes with several stars and is also undergoing criminal proceedings for failing to pay employees, follow the Labor Standards Act, and pay national taxes. The TRCNG members are signed with TS Entertainment with nine-year contracts. It took one year and seven months following the release of TRCNG’s second album for their third album to be released, and the physical album was released four months after the digital release due to the company’s financial conditions.
Of course, most important is the allegations of abuse.
According to Wooyeop and Taeseon, Park Sang Hyun forced them to practice choreography from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day, and they had to report to the company again at 10 a.m. for vocal and personal practice. The members could not travel two to three hours round trip to properly attend school, so they switched schools in their second year of high school and are currently two years behind other students of their age. Wooyeop and Taeseon said that Park Sang Hyun also assaulted the members using a game as an excuse and cursed at them continuously. The agency did not take any action when the members where injured while B-boying, so the members went to the emergency room by themselves to receive treatment. They were not provided food, and their dorm’s water and power were cut off due to the bills not being paid. As the agency did not take action when their air conditioner, toilet, and purifier were broken, the members’ parents fixed them or purchased new ones. Regarding choreography director Yoon, he is said to have assaulted Wooyeop with a steel chair on June 10 of this year. The company did not take any action, so Wooyeop went to the Soonchunhyang University Emergency Room by himself and was told that he would need 14 days to recover. He went back and forth to and from the hospital for two days, but he was transferred to a different hospital nearby due to a high fever. His temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) when Park Sang Hyun visited the hospital and said, “One person’s life can be ruined because of you, so be careful of what you say.” After Wooyeop was discharged from the hospital, Park Sang Hyun and other managers said that he is lying and that he got sick from drinking and meeting up with girls. Wooyeop is now receiving counseling at a hospital. He shared that another employee of the agency also extorted 1.2 million won (approximately $1,030) from him. According to the statement, Taeseon was scolded and hit often since trainee days because he is the leader, and he says that he was hit in the head and cursed at when being scolded. He decided that he can no longer remain in the company while seeing the lack of action taken when Wooyeop was assaulted and in the hospital.
That sounds … horrific.
TSE of course responded to this, claiming that what was said is not true and that they are suing for defamation.
This is an official statement regarding TRCNG. We clearly state that what was claimed by TRCNG members Taeseon and Wooyeop through the news reports today is not true. What they are claiming is only one-sided from Taeseon and Wooyeop, and the TRCNG members do not all agree with this. In addition, Taeseon and Wooyeop’s actions are causing harm to TRCNG’s group activities, and we plan on taking legal action for the damage caused to our agency including defamation. We thank everyone who shows interest for our agency and gives love and attention to our artists.
Obviously we don’t have a lot to go on at the moment except the testimonies, but given the company’s history, the detail of the accusations with the lack of any real response, plus filing criminal charges, it’s hard to see a reason to believe TSE at the moment.
TSE says the group will continue as 8.
We are conveying our official statement regarding TRCNG’s future activities. Following long discussions with the members, TRCNG plans to promote as eight members in the future without Taeseon and Wooyeop.