On May 15, EXO-M leader Kris surprised the entertainment industry by filing a lawsuit for a contract termination from his agency, SM Entertainment.
On that day, SM gave only a brief statement saying that they would look into the matter, reports articles on Soompi.
Hankyul, the law firm in charge of Kris’ case, revealed the EXO member’s stance through an interview with Chinese media outlet Sina on May 16.
Hankyul said, “Kris spoke with his agency [SM Entertainment] several times, asking for equal treatment and for the agency to give consideration to his own ambitions as an artist. He had received movie and drama proposals, but these were refused by SM on several occasions,” revealing Kris’ ambitions for acting.
SM Entertainment announced on the same day that they will take legal action about the rumors and falsities spreading on the internet. They released a statement saying:
“We will take legal action for the malicious rumors, false facts, and personal attacks on our people and the EXO members that spread on the internet after news of Kris’ contract lawsuit broke. Because the EXO members are struggling with the rumors and the negative comments, our company will respond to these actions.
In addition, a representative of SM Entertainment spoke to Star News and said, “Next week’s EXO concert will proceed as planned. As it is their first solo concert, they are working hard to bring their best.”
When asked about the current situation with Kris, the representative responded, “We currently cannot reach him, so at this time we cannot say if he will attend.”
EXO had planned and been actively promoting their upcoming solo concerts, called “The Lost Planet in Seoul.” Due to the high demand of the concert tickets, another additional day was added to make this a three day concert event from May 23 to 25.
It seems that SM is still proceeding cautiously about the matter. This is quite understandable, considering that after the news of Kris’ lawsuit went public, the SM stock went down 5.82% to 46,900 won per share (roughly $46 USD).
While SM Entertainment may have been careful about speaking, some of the EXO members have hinted about how they feel through different platforms.
On “M!Countdown,“ EXO-K performed “Overdose” (pre-recorded before the news), but only the leader Suho came up to the last stage to accept the award for their win.
During his speech, Suho talked about how the group’s motto is “We Are One” and that they are determined to stick with it. Osen reported that they talked to Suho backstage, where he said the other members have discussed the situation and cannot understand Kris’ actions.
He said, “I think his actions are irresponsible and does not take EXO into consideration at all. Our members and the company do not have any problems. I think what Kris needs to do now is to take back the lawsuit and apologize to the members and the company.”
EXO-M member Tao took to his Instagram account to share his thoughts about the ordeal. He wrote in Chinese, “The road ahead is still very long/windy. You can decide to go anywhere; no one else can make that kind of decision for you.
"The truth is always hidden from the public, and is something that only the people who are personally going through it can understand.
"For example, our 11 members, our company SM, and all of the staff. The good and bad are turned upside-down on the outside. You guys won’t experience the feeling of being betrayed, and the feeling of having everyone on the side of the person who has betrayed you.
"You can have your own views and positions, but I still want to say, the truth will differentiate who is right and wrong, so we have a clear conscience. There is no stopping someone who wants to leave as they will try to find ways to escape, and now they have succeeded. They did not come back after realizing we and the company were in the dark.
"Greed will accompany many people, but I hope everyone can wield it wisely. Practicing until sweating profusely, and then being told the news that someone wasn’t coming back and that the concert preparations will now have to be rearranged to fit 11 people is very tiring.
"EXO, let’s love.”
Chanyeol and Sehun put up more subtle images on their Instagram accounts. Sehun expressed his uncertainty about the situation with a simple question mark. For Chanyeol’s photo he wrote in Chinese and Korean, “Reward good and punish evil.”
Fans are also commenting that the EXO members who have Instagram have unfollowed Kris, except for Baekhyun.
After laying low since news of his lawsuit broke, Kris has taken to social media to update his fans on his condition.
On May 16, he shared the same photo on his Instagram and Weibo. The photo is of a handwritten note that reads, “This is like David and Goliath*.
"I am doing well. Because everyone is cheering me on, things are getting better. I am thankful to all the people who are supporting me and the comments. Wu Yi Fan will always be here.”