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Home » “Are EXO-CBX Next?” — What Happens When An Artist Is Blacklisted In The K-Pop Industry

“Are EXO-CBX Next?” — What Happens When An Artist Is Blacklisted In The K-Pop Industry

by Anna-Liisa Haapakoski

Fans are concerned the trio may suffer the same fate as Junsu and Jaejoong.

On June 1 (KST), EXO‘s BaekhyunXiumin, and Chen shocked fans by announcing they would sue SM Entertainment to terminate their contracts.

EXO’s Chen, Xiumin, and Baekhyun. | SM Entertainment

According to a Yonhap News report, the members asked for a full accounting of their activities and the revenue produced since March, but SM Entertainment has yet to provide them. The members released a complete statement detailing all of their grievances with the company, in addition to an apology to fans.

We apologize to the fans for causing concern, we are deeply sorry.

Although we are currently in a legal dispute with SM, we will choose a gracious path to settle our differences so as not to create concerns for fans.

We are currently, at this moment, very scared and in fear, but we have decided to raise our small voices about the mistreatment we have received.

We hope that you will be interested in our story and our struggling courage. We would like to sincerely thank our fans who have supported us for so long. Thank you so much.

— Lee Jae Hak

SM Entertainment has staunchly denied the allegations of not providing accounting records throughout the many years and insists that the members raised no issue until recently.

EXO-CBX are not the first artists to have had contractual issues with SM — former Super Junior member Han Geng in 2009,  former Girls’ Generation‘s Jessica Jung in 2014, and former EXO members Lu Han and Tao(also known as Z.TAO) in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Han Geng
Jessica Jung
Lu Han and Tao

In 2009, three former members of TVXQ, Jaejoong, Yoonchun, and Junsu, were the first to have their long contracts investigated, ultimately leading to the termination of their contracts after legal battles. However, many EXO fans fear the three members may suffer the same fate that the former TVXQ members faced — blacklisting.

While JYJ, as the trio would re-debut, were free of their contracts, they suffered for many more years because of being blacklisted in Korea. The trio, now duo following Yoonchun’s departure, were blocked from appearing on Korean television, resulting in them promoting solely in Japan for many years.

JYJ in concert in Japan.

Jaejoong did not make his first television variety show appearance since the lawsuit until 2019 when he appeared on Taste Of Dating 2. Junsu, who previously shared he did not feel like an idol because he had not been on TV in 8+ years, also appeared on a major television network in 2019, where he showed off his home.

This blacklisting included all television programs, like music shows — KBS once responded to fans who asked the program why Junsu did not appear after making a comeback, saying it was “complicated.”  The three former TVXQ members also allegedly had their group and individual album sales in Korea affected.

The blacklisting continued even after the “JYJ Law” prohibiting agencies from being unfairly banned from broadcasts was passed, showing companies’ power to move outside of the law.

In the past few months, more content featuring the two current members has been released, but the effects of the blacklisting can still be felt to this day. Regardless of the outcome of EXO-CBX’s lawsuits, hopefully, they will not suffer because of an undeserved blacklisting.


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