All members of the girl group GWSN have reportedly won their lawsuit against company THE WAVE MUSIC and have terminated their contracts. The company reportedly did not respond to the lawsuit, thus the judgment was by default.
It had not been reported that they were taking legal action to my knowledge, but it doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise either. The group hadn’t come back since May of 2021, early last year producer Swin Lee set off alarms when he revealed he hadn’t been paid for his work on one of their albums, and in October it was speculated that the company had shuttered.
Unfortunately, as has become an all too familiar story in K-pop, the lawsuit also revealed the treatment GWSN were subjected to. The problems ranged from being evicted, not providing records for payment, and giving two foreign members criminal records due to not taking care of their immigration records.
Back in February of 2022, GWSN members were evicted from their dorms because The WAVE MUSIC skipped rent. By July of the same year, The WAVE MUSIC got rid of the dance practice studio—a space essential to an idol group. It was at this time when GWSN’s team of managers and administrative staff all left The WAVE MUSIC as well.
The lawsuit further revealed that The WAVE MUSIC completely neglected two members who are foreign nationals from Japan and Taiwan. Because the management failed to take care of their immigration statuses, Miya and Soso were penalized with not only fines but also criminal records for overstaying their visas.
According to the report, The WAVE MUSIC also failed to provide adequate records of having paid the members with their fair shares of wages.
In response to the result, GWSN’s side revealed a short statement.
Management of the signed artists is one of the most primary duties of The WAVE MUSIC as outlined by the exclusive contracts. The failure to care for the members—as well as the failure to provide transparent records of finances have damaged the trust between The WAVE MUSIC and the GWSN members. Hence, the contracts can no longer be held valid.
The fact that the judgment was default makes me think the company is indeed defunct, but man what a way to treat people on the way out. Just apparently close up shop and ditch everybody, leaving foreigners stranded with criminal records.