Luhan claims SM treated EXO’s Korean members differently than Chinese members; Two parties to enter a court-referred mediation
It was recently reported that former EXO member Luhan and record label SM Entertainment will enter a court-referred mediation after the Chinese idol filed a lawsuit to nullify his contract with the agency on October.
The Seoul Central District Court revealed on November 25 that the two parties should enter mediation to be able to come up with an amicable agreement. In case they do not come to a mutual resolution, the lawsuit will then be brought to court, KpopStars reports.
However, what surprised fans and observers alike is Luhan's claim that SM Entertainment treated EXO-K (EXO's Korean language subgroup) differently from EXO-M (Chinese language subgroup), in which Luhan and another former member Kris Wu were members.
Through the lawsuit, Luhan said, "SM treated EXO-K, filled with Korean members, differently from how they treated the EXO-M members with Chinese members. From the beginning of our debut, EXO-K received support from SM and actively did promotions, but EXO-M had no promotions, received no financial backing, and endured a difficult time."
Meanwhile, SM seemed to see other reasons behind the singer's move, saying Luhan is only thinking about his own personal gains. In a statement released after the news about Luhan's filing broke, SM said, "As it was with Kris's case, when a lawsuit is filed for no actual reason by using the same pattern and lawyers after a gaining a lot of popularity as a star through group activities, we see this as a suit that was filed because of one prioritizing one's self and ignoring the understanding of the contract with the agency as well as everyone involved in the contract and the activities with the group. We believe there is someone behind the scenes who is pulling the strings."
On the October 15 broadcast of SBS' "One Night of TV Entertainment," a critic discussed that Chinese idols Kris and Luhan's separate filing of lawsuits might have been inspired by a precedent. The critic was referring to former Super Junior and Chinese singer Hangeng who filed a lawsuit against SM in 2009.
During the show, lawyer Jun Yung Suk pointed out that the former Super Junior won his case, perhaps giving the EXO members the confidence to go to Hangeng's law firm to represent their respective cases.
"However, if SM Entertainment had drastically modified their contract and got rid of the unjust conditions, then SM has a chance of winning the suit," commented the lawyer.
Meanwhile, Hollywood Take pointed out that a month before Luhan's filing, he stated that he would be absent some promotions of his group due to exhaustion. It remains unclear whether that has played a role in his decision to sue his record label.