CJ E&M is facing contract violation allegations regarding the management of rookie boy group TOO, who formed through Mnet’s World Klass reality show in 2019. Yes, the show that tried so hard to distance themselves from the ongoing Produce 101 mess. Unfortunately, they are now reportedly in a mess of their own, with CJ E&M ordering n.CH Entertainment to stop managing the group.
According to the report, after the reality show was completed, Stone Music Entertainment (a CJ E&M subsidiary) teamed with n.CH to manage TOO, starting the joint project in October 2018 for a contract of seven years. Promotions and management would be handled by n.CH, while production and marketing would be handled by Stone. However, CJ E&M reportedly unilaterally terminated the agreement.
Newsen further reported that after seven months, CJ ENM unilaterally terminated their contract with n.CH Entertainment due to internal restructuring and urged n.CH Entertainment to withdraw from all matters related to TOO. As a result, this put a halt to TOO’s album production, delaying the group’s third album.
A source from CJ ENM shared, “The exclusive contract for TOO is with CJ. We have all rights to TOO, and we only entrusted n.CH Entertainment with some of the tasks, like management and PR (public relation) activities. We signed a management contract that lasted only until August, and the period ended. After three months of additional consultation, we failed to reach an agreement. We’ve had a month of additional negotiations, but it ended in late December. We could not reach an agreement, so the contract was terminated. All steps of the contract were carried out normally. It was an agency contract and not a joint management contract.”
n.CH released a response expressing shock at the situation.
n.CH Entertainment stated, “We collaborated with CJ ENM to create Mnet’s ‘World Klass’ and even made TOO debut. When we first started working together, we planned to work together for the next seven years, so we’re very shocked that they suddenly changed their mind.”
They continued, “This is upsetting, but we have affection for the members, so we offered to manage them for the next two years, even if we don’t receive any compensation. However, they rejected us. We’re not able to communicate at all.”
They added, “This is a very important time for TOO. They have to release their next album and continue their activities, so it’s a pity that this issue is delaying them.”
Doubt we have enough information at the moment to conclude who is definitively right or wrong. Though when a conglomerate with the history of CJ E&M is leaning on a small company, we can surmise all the roles of the play, so to speak.
Mainly though I feel bad for TOO, who are not really connected to this at all but will likely have to suffer as the suits duke it out publicly and privately. Not only did they have the baggage of being the next Mnet survival show, but now there’s a brand new mess attached to the name as well.