MBC Newsdesk shares allegations of CJ ENM treating trainees and companies unfairly

Published 4 months ago

MBC Newsdesk have brought up allegations of CJ treating trainees and management companies unfairly.

The tripartite agreement revealed by MBC Newsdesk shows the agreement signed between Produce X s101 trainees, management companies and CJ ENM.

It states that idol trainees are to be paid 100,000 KRW ($84 USD) per episode, which stops when they get eliminated from the program.

Produce X participant A had said ‘since we are below our company, [when the company is] below CJ [in terms of contract], we have to be extra careful not to get negative impressions [from CJ].’

MBC also revealed that the distribution of profit on produced contents were unfair.

When a song is released, management company will receive 1,000,000 KRW ($840 USD) regardless of how successful the song may be, with all the remaining profit going to CJ ENM.

It was told that some management companies had to ask for their trainees to get eliminated at the last moment, as the contract had a lot of unfair clauses.

Management company had claimed that "even though it may be a different company in the contract, but at the end, CJ ENM related companies always get the ones that are profitable".

Another audition program, ‘Idol School,’ is alleged to have violated human rights.

MBC claims that even though the program started recording in the summer, and lasted 6 months, trainees were only given summer clothing, having had to endure winter with only the summer clothes.

Idol School participant 'B' had said that trainees would often say "this must be how it feels to be in the military,’ and that they were ‘only in summer clothes even in the winter, when they were freezing to death".

It was told that the trainees were shut off from the outside and were only allowed to buy daily necessities once a month, in a drug store operated by CJ’s affiliate, and it was also told that they were also running short on foods.

Idol school participant 'B' had also said that "we were allowed to go [to school] once or twice a month, and trainees would hide foods in their hats or underwear. When they come back, we would all eat the foods together like beggars".

Most management companies who lack the initial capital has no options but to rely on investments by big companies, such as CJ ENM – and they had no options but to agree with the unfair conditions.

"[from the perspective of management companies] if they make it in to the final rank and makes their debut, they can be successful in a very short amount of time. So even considering the possible violation for human rights or unfair treatments… [companies would take the offer]" said Choi Gwangho, Secretary General of Korea Music Content Association.