Kris, a Chinese member of boy band EXO-M, on Thursday filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment, demanding a cancellation of their exclusive contract.
According to a report by The Korea Herald, the leader of the Chinese subunit of K-pop boy band EXO filed the suit with the Seoul Central District Court. SM Entertainment has not yet released an official statement.
“We are perplexed by the incident ... we will do our best to keep EXO’s activities on track,” an SM Entertainment spokesperson told Yonhap.
The filing came eight days before EXO’s upcoming concert at the Olympic Gymnastics Stadium in southern Seoul on May 23.
This is not the first time for SM Entertainment to lock legal horns with its boy band members. Hankyung, a Chinese member of boy band Super Junior, sued SM in late 2009, claiming that his contract with the agency was unfair.
In mid-2009, three former members of TVXQ -– Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu -– also filed an injunction to undo their exclusive contract with SM.
Kris entrusted his case to Cho Beom-seok, a partner attorney at Hankyul Law Group, who specializes in M&A and China practice.
The lawyer had been a legal representative of Hankyung, who won his contract nullification suit against SM in December 2012.
The contract nullification cases of the former members of TVXQ and Super Junior have elevated public attention on the impartial contracts between the celebrities and their agencies, with some angry fans calling them “slave contracts.”