Surprising news from the K-pop world today! It was revealed that Kim Sunghyun has left his group IN2IT.
The young idol recently gained a lot of attention through his appearance on the hit show “Produce X 101.” According to Sunghyun, his family has entered a difficult time financially as his dad has some health issues that have left him without work. He alleged that MMO Entertainment hasn’t paid the members anything for the past two years of their activities.
“From the moment I started activities with IN2IT until now, I have not yet been paid, nor received a down payment of any kind. For the last year, I received 50,000 won (approximately $40 USD) per month from the company for my cell phone contract, but for the two years that I have been with IN2IT, I have not received a single penny for my activities,” he revealed in his statement. He also revealed that the company said they could no longer pay for their hair and makeup needs for activities, so the members had to pay for those services themselves.
According to Sunghyun, he first approached the label to ask about future activities since they had not held a comeback in some time and he had to consider whether he should continue working as an idol in order to earn money that way or if he would need to leave to help support his family. According to his statement that was released on his Instagram account, he was told that the company had spent so much money on the “Boys24” show that helped to form IN2IT that they were encountering difficulties in allocating funds to invest in the group itself.
As it was uncertain if the group would be having any upcoming activities, Sunghyun asked the label about cancelling his contract. The label then informed him that he would have to pay a substantial penalty fee to cancel his contract, despite the group having minor promotions since their debut. At first, they said the fee would be approximately $300,000 USD before eventually lowering it to $100,000 USD. When Sanghyun admitted that he didn’t have that much money, the label told him they would announce he was leaving the group and that he would have to pay the fee if he wanted to be free of his contract.
If Sunghyun cannot pay the termination fee, he will remain under contract to MMO Entertainment. However, he will no longer have a way to make money since they announced his removal from the group and told him that solo fan meetings on his own were out of the question. As such, he apologized to fans by telling them he wouldn’t be able to meet them again through activities, despite him promising to return from “Produce X 101” with good news.
“As I said before,” he stated, “I have never received any financial benefit from being part of IN2IT and have never received any down payment, so as you can imagine, I felt incredibly frustrated and surprised that they would require such a large early-termination penalty fee.”
As such, he took to social media to address matters and apologize to fans that he wouldn’t be able to greet them again as a member of IN2IT. As a result, fans are now asking that justice be done for both Kim Sunghyun and the other members of IN2IT who have not been paid either.
While these types of contracts are common in the K-pop industry, many fans believe these types of contracts are unethical since the idols have to work for several years to pay back the “debt” they incurred as trainees and rookies. Once the agency earns back enough to pay for the money they invested to the group, they will finally begin paying the group a wage. Despite K-pop contracts and subsequent conditions improving some over the past few years, it’s still common for groups from smaller companies to go multiple years without receiving any money for their work.
Check out Sunghyun’s full statement by clicking here. As of yet, the company has made no response to his statement.
Media: MMO Entertainment