As mentioned the other day, Yu Junwon, the #1 ranked contestant on Fantasy Boys, will not be debuting with the group due to a contract dispute between him and PocketDol Studios. Since then, both sides have made their cases to the public.
PocketDol’s side insists that Junwon’s parents constantly meddled, citing his mother in particular as being overbearing in her demands.
Despite not being a minor, Junwon’s mother also signed the contract. She had also demanded that we speak to her, instead of Junwon, when it came to details in the concert.
She had tried to interfere with fashion choices that are entrusted to the stylist as well as the way members line up, which is looked over by management.
PocketDol showed an e-mail Junwon’s mother sent to the company about these issues.
In reply to this, Junwon’s mother denied that the conflict was about that stuff, saying those issues were cleared up.
I asked that they switch Junwon’s pants that he wore at the airport because they didn’t cover his physique, but they didn’t listen. I then heard, the next day, that another member had changed his outfit, so I asked the label to look into this. After the Japanese interview (Sungmin) was chosen to stand center, and so I spoke up about the difference in treatment. We have since cleared up the misunderstanding. I then heard that they wouldn’t disclose the schedule, so I brought that up, and they told me they would disclose it to me personally but never did.
His parents also then released a statement of their own about the disagreements, saying that the main dispute was still over the contractual clauses, and that the rest is media manipulation trying to ruin in his image in retribution for his decision.
Furthermore, initially, Pocketdol Studio claimed that we requested a profit distribution ratio of 6:4 and hadn’t signed the contract, but in the final statement, the profit distribution ratio was shown as 5:5. This is a self-contradiction in their argument. We have clearly stated that the profit distribution ratio was agreed upon to be 5:5 and have raised no objections. Please stop distorting the truth any further.
The company stated that other teams (other artists under Pocketdol Studio) proceeded with the contract, and all artists were told to pay personnel expenses. Then, what amount of monthly personnel expenses are they talking about? Whether the executive’s words were true or false, it led to a situation where they could not be trusted.
We cannot help but be furious at the company’s media play that is trying to turn this into a FIFTY FIFTY issue. They should stop now. If they intended to ruin his image as someone in the entertainment industry, where image is everything, and prevent him from ever working in the industry again, that’s already enough. Moreover, for the sake of the kids who are about to debut, they should stop. And everything should be resolved in court, not in the media.
They also said that since there was no contract signed, there was also no need for him to be doing group activities, and so there was no unauthorized absence.
Yu Junwon himself then spoke out on Instagram, revealing the contract clauses at the core of the issue. He says the profit distribution wasn’t the problem, contrary to the company claims, rather it was the monthly expenses that they tacked on.
-On-site Manager ₩12.0 million KRW (about $9,030 USD)
-PR Manager ₩8.00 million KRW (about $6,020 USD)
-Contents/photo/marketing/A&R ₩18.0 million KRW (about $13,500 USD)
-General planning/overseas business ₩8.00 million KRW (about $6,020 USD)
-Fan manager ₩6.00 million KRW (about $4,520 USD)
-Rent ₩300,000 KRW (about $226 USD)
That doesn’t include vehicle rental fees, which are estimated to be another ~5 million Korean won.
If we believe PocketDol’s explanation that they also pay half the expenses and it just wasn’t revealed in this contract, then the idol would owe the company around $2k a month. If not, the costs would be around $4k a month.
Some fees are also reportedly waived if they sell more than 500,000 albums within three months.
(Note: SK passed a law a few years ago to limit work weeks to 52 hours in an effort to keep employers from overworking employees) A copy of part of the contract is included in the article and lists the following monthly expenses to be divided by 12:— TMIKpop (@tmikpop) August 23, 2023
Not sure why PocketDol is acting like the 5:5 distribution on profits and expenses is preferable, because if it’s an unsuccessful group then the idol is just racking up debt while working. How is that risk not the company’s responsibility? Literally the only risk there is to take — that they get rewarded hilariously handsomely for if it pays off — is that the group flops and they have to eat the debt. That point is especially relevant because the show had poor ratings, so they’re just passing on the risk to the idol with this contract*.
*Makes it even more egregious for certain sites to editorialize and act like the Fantasy Boys members were getting some great deal or something.
Anyway, I’m not clear on if he has an existing contract with the company at the moment, as some of the article language has been vague*, but regardless, I honestly don’t even really care at this point unless the contract terms offered to him were fabricated or something.
I know that as K-pop stans we’ve been exposed to so much propaganda that many unconsciously think like a company in some way, especially because some fans go overboard in supporting an idol no matter what happens, but it seems perfectly acceptable for a trainee to decide that they don’t want to be a part of a group on a long-term deal and bail if they don’t like the contract.
*Some articles say there’s a lawsuit involved, and I assume there’s some commitment associated with the show … right? Or what are we even arguing over if he’s a free agent?