SM Entertainment’s flagship K-pop band Girls’ Generation have been reportedly considered by the FTC as witnesses in its investigation of “slave contracts” local talent are subjected to by management companies.
The Fair Trade Commission said Monday it was considering questioning the nine-member K-pop band Girls’ Generation regarding unfair artist-management agreements known as “slave contracts” allegedly prevalent in the entertainment industry.
The anti-trust watchdog affirmed that it was considering the group’s testimony regarding the matter that had been brought to national attention by popular boy band TVXQ since 2009 when they became embroiled in a legal tussle with former management, SM Entertainment.
The FTC said it had an interest in questioning the band about clauses in their contract to determine whether claims made by TVXQ held water, since Girls’ Generation are currently under contract with the same agency.
“It is true that (Girls’ Generation) were mentioned as possible witnesses to testify regarding TVXQ’s charges of alleged unfair contracts administered by SM,” a spokesperson with the FTC said.
“But as of now, there are no concrete plans for our organization to call on (Girls’ Generation) nor do they have intentions of cooperating yet.”
The investigation reportedly began with TVXQ’s fanclub demanding the FTC look into SM’s business practices with its talent, saying the company leveraged a deal that placed the group at a disadvantage by abusing their dominant position as one of the industry’s leading management camps.
In August 2009, three members of TVXQ left Xia, Micky, and Hero with the group citing problems with their contract as the reason for their exit.
Pundits and talking heads say even if members of Girls’ Generation were to be asked to testify, it is likely none would place their careers on the line by disclosing sensitive information about their management.
“Doing that would be career suicide,” a producer and songwriter for a prominent international record label who wished to remain anonymous told The Korea Herald.
“(Girls’ Generation) are at the top of the K-pop scene right now. They have no reason to jeopardize their position as one of the most popular groups by cooperating with the FTC.”
The FTC is currently reviewing documents presented by SM as evidence the agency hopes will exonerate them from such charges.
Source: Song Woong-ki @ The Korea Herald
So it's FTC who wants to get SNSD to testify, and not SM.