While SPIRE Entertainment was surely hoping that a general company apology for OMEGA X‘s treatment and the CEO Kang Seong Hee resigning would be enough to continue moving forward despite the abuse controversy, SBS has recently published an expose of sorts on the CEO and company with details of how OMEGA X has been treated.
The report explains that the abuse caught on video happened because the members didn’t read a thank you message at the concert and didn’t express gratitude to their CEO and company. Also, it’s explained that the CEO’s attitude toward them existed long before this incident, saying the CEO would do things like call members at dawn for hours outside of their schedules and get angry if they didn’t respond to texts. When a manager of OMEGA X tried to intercept messages on behalf of Jaechan, they were fired and kicked off the plane.
CEO Kang Seong Hee (Kang): Manager [Blurred Name], you have caused misunderstandings between the artist and the company with all sorts of lies. You are officially fired as this is cause for dismissal.
Kang: If you accompany our managing artists, I will file a lawsuit.
Kang: [Blurred Name], get off the plane.
Kang: This is an order. [Blurred Name] and Kim Jaehan, get off the plane.
Kang: You will all be penalized for violating orders from the company for getting on the plane. [Blurred Name] and Kim Jaehan, get off the plane.
Kang: You two, get off the plane.
Kang: Get off the plane. You two, get off the plane. I’ve made myself clear. Get off the plane.
Kang: You’re not only fired, but your contract is also terminated. Get off the plane, both of you. Get off the plane right this instant, [Blurred Name].
Kang: Kim Jaehan, get off.
Kang: Do you think this is a joke?
In something that is utterly irresponsible and dangerous, but somehow not surprising given what we now know about the CEO, four members of OMEGA X were ordered to perform with COVID-19 the day after testing positive and were instructed to hide their status.
Chairman Hwang Seong Woo (Hwang): This is an emergency situation. Get yourselves together.
Hwang: Members, get your act together and act like professionals. You need a group mentality, that is how you should respond.
Hwang: This is how you get real experience. Don’t do things on your own. We’re at war now.
Hwang : We are in Chile right now. This is an emergency crisis. No one is going to help out. Good luck.
Hwang: Members Hyuk, Jehyun, Yechan, and Kevin should perform three to four out of the 15 songs and then rest backstage. Jaehan will tell the fans that the four are not feeling well, and sincerely apologize to the fans. Then the fans will think it’s okay. Or, [the four] can try to perform the slower songs.
Hyuk: I have a fever and body aches again, though. I’ve completely lost my voice, too.
Hwang: Then, Hyuk, say hello to the fans and stay out.
Kang Seong Hee: If you’re feeling sick, take a hot bath.
Note that while SPIRE have been trying to make the CEO take the fall for this, the Chairman/Founder/Husband Hwang Seong Woo is completely aware of all this and actively involved.
Furthermore, it’s noted that four members are receiving treatment for panic disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. The kicker is that SPIRE has sent a settlement notice to all the members, ordering them to pay 300-400 million won per member as a fee for ending their contract.
Yeah, well I don’t think anybody believed OMEGA X were in a fine situation just because the CEO resigned in a move that was always purely for show. But this report really destroys any notion that this was a one-off thing or that the Founder/Chairman of SPIRE would be able to claim ignorance on the kind of stuff that was going on.
Again, I think hoping they can somehow get a clean break from the company is the best scenario. And from there, whatever happens is better than being abused like this.