KARA – What really happened? (Part 1)
On 18th January 2011, it was first reported by NATE News & NEWSEN that KARA would be spitting from DSP Media. It is a result of the entertainment company’s poor and unreasonable treatment of KARA, as percieved by most of the group members and their families. The report further adds that the group had always been trying their best to resolve these prolonged issues between them and the company, but to no avail. From a statement issued by LANDMARK (a legal firm representing Hara, Seungyeon, Jiyoung and Nicole), it is known that the members have suffered inexplicable pain that had brought them to this decision so as to protect their rights and future. Being overworked with schedules that were forced upon the popular girl group, they have decided to part ways with the company. Park Gyuri, the leader of KARA is not included in this decision as she was initially not made known to this matter. (Personally i find it abit wierd that the group consensus isn’t there, are they really close to each other?) Gyuri was then reported saying that the other members were doing this eventually because it is for money. (Would’nt anyone claim something that is rightfully theirs after having personally worked hard for?) This move came as a surprise and heartache for many netizens and fans as they are currently doing very well in Japan, recently winning titles from the 52nd Japan Record Awards and the 25th Japan Gold Disc Awards.
Han Seungyeon and Hara Goo shielding themselves from the press after arriving at Incheon Airport from Thailand
After the news about the four members splitting from their entertainment company broke, DSP Media took a pre-emptive measure to trademark “KARA”. This is done so as to reserve the DSP’s ownership rights to performances with the group name. If finalized, the leaving members now requires special permission to continue to be known as “KARA” should they join a new managing company. At this point in time, the girls and their families are furiously enraged by the provocative action and have no thoughts of comprimising with DSP in regards to their lawsuit. Through TV Report, The members alleged that DSP had pocketed the profits from their performances in Japan and had given a mere USD3000 to each of the members, then telling them that the distribution company (Universal Sigma) that had helped to market KARA through the country of the sun took a cut of 85% of the earnings (USD18 million). (From this news you could see that there is no consent given or any agreement upon the splitting of earnings before their debut in Japan). Another entertainment company took this chance to present to the members and their parents a fairer contract and a promotional plan that would “rival that of SNSD’s popularity.” Since then, there were still no news about the girls signing anything with the company.
Subsequently, as reported by STAR NEWS on 19th January 2011, LANDMARK issued a statement saying that the four members would not be engaging in any form of activities as scheduled by DSP Media. However, KARA’s “URAKARA“, a Japanese TV drama featuring the group members, is still set to be broadcasted as planned. Gyuri’s activities remain unaffected as she will still be appearing on shows in Korea. When her mother was interviewed, she shows support for DSP and says that the entertainment company had worked very hard in helping KARA achieve where it stands today. Surprisingly on the same day, as a turn of events, Goo Hara decides not to pursue the matter and cancels contract termination with the company. DSP Media further adds in a official statement to refute all the accusations made by LANDMARK and the members, saying that their one sides declarations were made on baseless claims. It reads:
“DSP Media will be making an official statement regarding the contract terminations reported by Jung Nicole, Han Seungyeon, Kang Jiyoung, and Goo Hara of KARA. We received a one-sided declaration from their lawyers, Landmark, on January 18th, but Goo Hara has decided not to join the others in terminating her contract.
According to their claims, the 10-month hospitalization of CEO Lee Hoyeon caused the management to become inefficient in planning and promoting the group’s activities, but that is not the truth, as the CEO’s wife ran administration in place of the CEO. KARA’s explosive popularity with the Hallyu wave in Japan testifies to these efforts, further proving that the management did not mishandle their activities.
CEO Lee Hoyeon was not able to run the company himself beginning March of 2010, and KARA’s Japanese achievements were made five months later in August. DSP Media has done all they can in supporting and preparing KARA’s Japanese advancement.
Regarding the income distribution claims made by Nicole’s mother and their lawyers, the information they revealed was distorted and is a complete misunderstanding. Income was distributed in a manner that was most profitable to the KARA members, and unlike what they claimed, every employee was paid at the same time the moment profits were received.
They also claimed that DSP used its stature to force unwanted schedules and activities, but this is also a baseless claim. This is a claim that only defames the company employees who have worked their hardest to raise KARA as one of Korea’s top groups and leaders of the Hallyu wave.
And regarding speculations from another report about a competing agency attempting to persuade their parents and lawyers to terminate the girls’ contract with DSP, we ask that they stop such actions immediately. Should such requests be made repeatedly, we will make sure that they are met with legal consequences.
As the company that has poured their sweat and effort into creating who KARA is today, we hope that such issues are no longer exaggerated. Should there be issues between both parties, adjustments and reconciliation should be the appropriate step in continuing to promote themselves as a representative girl group of Korea.”
Following the statement, the remain 3 members, Seungyeon, Jiyoung and Nicole presses on and throughtheir representative they had released a reply:
The loss of faith in our company is what hurts us the most!
The members of KARA and DSP Media began to lose trust in one another ever since the change in DSP’s top management which occurred in March 2010. This is due to the fact that the members of the new management, who lacked professional knowledge, failed to provide proper management for KARA. The current executive director of DSP Media is the wife of Mr. Lee Ho Yeon, the ex-director who is currently ill. She has never worked in the entertainment management industry before; and so far, she has only been concerned about DSP’s profits and the health of DSP. She failed to build a trusting relationship with the members of KARA as she disregarded situations and the growth potential of the members.
The contract turned into a registration form!
The members of KARA signed the contract for their work in Japan under the knowledge that it was a simple registration form. The members and the parents were told that the contract, which was in Japanese, was a form for simply registering as a music artist in Japan. This made them sign the contract without knowing that they were signing a contract, and when they asked for a copy of the contract after the fact, a DSP employee declined their request as the contract was not to be released outside of the company.
The company had no rights to make deals in Japan!
The executive director of DSP Japan, the company in charge of KARA’s work in Japan, is the same person as the original DSP executive director (wife of Lee Ho Yeon). The company removed part of the earnings as a share of DSP Japan, and then paid the members with a percentage of the remaining portion. This means that the same manager, who owns both companies, cut KARA’s share of the earnings through a transaction out of formality, which resulted in KARA getting taxed twice by the company. According to their contract with DSP, KARA members had their rights violated by this action.
Karaya is owned by the executive director and his family!
Karaya is an online clothing store for which three members of KARA (Gyuri, Hara and Jiyoung) work as models. It is owned by the current executive director of DSP Media, and other managerial positions are held by the director’s family members, which clearly shows that this is another scheme to profit from the KARA members. Karaya also made the members wear clothing with the inappropriate line “BEST FUCKIN FIVE” on it then posted the photos on its website, which not only disregarded the reputation of the members, especially Jiyoung who is a minor, but also resulted in heavy complaints from KARA’s fans. This action was a clear display of how DSP disregards the reputation or profit of the artists and is only concerned about the profits of itself.
In the midst of all these matters, both Landmark and DSP Media had revealed that there is no discord between the members. The girls have worked together as a team and had overcome their differences in personality with “extreme trust”, following the years that they have been together. They’ve never fought or argued, instead the five girls respects each other and had never talk about unnecessary things infront of one another.
Credits and Source: Newsen, Natenews, Starnews, Allkpop.