The FIFTY FIFTY contract mess has had two legal updates added onto it recently, as well as a couple former artists under Jeon Hong Joon speaking out.
A couple days ago, ATTRAKT‘s side announced that they have filed criminal charges against The Givers and SIAHN for embezzlement.
“While organizing the takeover data received from The Givers, we discovered an embezzlement case without prior consultation with ATTRAKT. Upon checking with the service contract company, it has been confirmed that The Givers engaged in embezzlement by forging a false service contract.”
So that continues to look messier and messier for SIAHN.
The other legally relevant news was that Interpark stepped forward to contest FIFTY FIFTY’s claims that they had to pay back Interpark’s investment in ATTRAKT, saying the ~$7 million investment came before the group debuted and the member do not have to pay it back, “The investment we made was not for FIFTY FIFTY, and the members do not need to pay back the money.“
At the time, we made the investment due to Star Crew Ent’s artist Ha Sung Woon’s (Sungwoon) success as well as Jeon Hong Joon’s abilities. Interpark was aware that Star Crew Ent was planning on producing a girl group. At the time, FIFTY FIFTY’s team name hadn’t been established, and The Givers’ Ahn Sung Il had not joined the production.
We understand that some of the money we invested into Star Crew Ent was used for FIFTY FIFTY. As the group’s debut date came closer, Jeon Hong Joon made launched a new entity called ATTRAKT. We were considering transferring the investment to ATTRAKT, but we didn’t since the money wasn’t exclusively for FIFTY FIFTY. It was also for other artists, including Sungwoon.
Now there are potential rebuttals for this, including that whether Interpark feel FIFTY FIFTY are responsible for the debt isn’t necessarily relevant to whether they actually are responsible for paying it off or if any money they earned went towards paying that off instead of their own debt. But like so many other things in this case, there’s no reasonable rebuttal from the other side at the moment, so if you’re a neutral observer, it’s an unchallenged narrative out there and it’s understandable to just assume it’s true.
In less important news, I’ve talked before (here and here) about how Jeon Hong Joon has apparently used this case as a PR campaign for himself despite a less than stellar past in the industry, and the PR wars continue to bizarrely revolve around him as well.
Anyway, former The Lush member Kim Min Hee, who debuted with the group under Oscar Entertainment in 2014, has spoken out in support of the CEO.
“I’m so sad. Ever since our rookie days, he said that we had to have allowances to spend, so he always paid us from our event schedules, even though there were no profits. Thanks to our CEO, I was able to learn Mandarin, acting, and dance. He recognized me, believed in me, and gave me support. He’s someone that I’m very thankful for in my life. He always said that we were so good at singing, that we were kind, and like his daughters. He said that we only needed to be good in singing, and never let us see the dirty side of the industry throughout our time as trainees and singers. (To the point that after we stepped out from under his care, we really saw so much of the dirty things going on.) He’s really such a good person, and was like my own father. Even just a few days ago, as we texted, he said it was so good to see me living a good life. He was also worried for me as my father passed away not long ago. I hope that things get resolved and he receives the reward he deserves.”
She also shares an interaction with the CEO.
JHJ: Thanks Minhee.
JHJ: It’s so good to see you doing well.
Minhee’s caption: Even though he’s having it hard, our CEO only talks about us. Everyone was worried about him so our OSCAR (Entertainment) family contacted each other in a long time. Sara (The Lush member) heard about things from me and said she couldn’t sleep all night. The reason I keep uploading such things is… Okay sure, let’s say I really hoped they get canceled and that their promotions [as idols] go down the drain. I would’ve heard you guys out as you guys said things were hard but I’m just so mad that you guys planned a backstab so sneakily just as things were going well, so much that I want this to spread far and wide.
That’s … a weird thing to say, honestly. Because if FIFTY FIFTY’s careers do go down the drain, so does the CEO’s investment. Realistically all parties involved with this are almost guaranteeing a loss with how things are shaping up, but them completely tanking is harsher than the stance ATTRAKT is taking publicly for a reason.
Anyway, on the other side was former Oscar Entertainment soloist Gil Hak Mi, who posted vague support for FIFTY FIFTY on Instagram Stories.
I feel bad for those girls… I understand how they feel, because I also wanted to do the same. People who have never interacted directly with him won’t ever know.
A lot more couched, for sure, though I doubt she wants to take the blunt of the public’s wrath. Credit to her for saying anything, as there are others who have far harsher takes that have understandably just wanted to stay out of it completely.
Oh yeah, speaking of PR, here’s The Givers’ SIAHN being a cringe teenager on social media.
He’s already getting dragged, so whatever, but the fact that he came from KAMP (remember their most recent adventure?) should be a red flag for anybody who can think.
Anyway, as I’ve said before, despite the barf-inducing PR campaign the media, netizens, and random fans are doing for a CEO and corporations in this case, ATTRAKT’s side certainly seem to have the better legal standing right now. Hell, even if it weren’t for the evidence they’ve produced, just the fact that so many key elements are basically going unchallenged by the other side, so it’s not exactly been a hard bar for ATTRAKT to clear in the first place.
Just an aside here for me to rant on, but some people have deemed it necessary recently to point out to me that the FIFTY FIFTY members might not be angels themselves and that I don’t know anybody involved in this personally. Very true. And I have said already that unless the situation was completely untenable, I think the timing of this from the members was exceptionally poor. Hell, I’ll go a step further now and say that sadly the move even a couple weeks ago might’ve just been apologizing and gutting it out for a bit just for the sake of their potential careers if they indeed want to continue. We know that establishing yourself and then going to get whatever you want is the way to go in these situation, and that’s what most who succeed in pulling moves like this off do. There’s idealism and pragmatism, after all.
That said, in my opinion, no matter what ends up unfolding publicly, it seems exceedingly naïve to lay the blame for this saga first and foremost at the feet of three teenagers and a 21-year-old, when the other parties involved are a pair of long-time industry veterans with all their connections, a branch of Warner Music, and their parents (within a Korean household). All I will say is that I’m cynical of the industry and companies on this site, to the point where I do get occasional pushback from fans, yet in private conversations with people who have worked in the industry I’ve never been told to ease up on the companies or executives, only that it’s even worse than I assume. And this is mostly from adult men, much less how they might treat teenage women. So yeah, I tend to be skeptical of woe is me shit from companies around here, and I don’t think it’s exactly conspiracy stuff, it’s mainly just gesturing at the history of the entertainment industry.