• http://twitter.com/kmi_chan Camille カミーユ

    the worst company here are SM and T-ara’s company, Krystal is so out but she tried her best to sing and dance but you can clearly see she’s about to faint anytime (which she’s done).
    I totally agree with your article, even if idols were “raised” by their company, of course they wouldn’t there if it wasn’t for their company but it doesn’t mean they can be treated as products to sell. How can they forget, they are just teenagers ?
    I still don’t why there is no law to protect idols, and as it was said in another article, the actors are not in a better situation either.
    I hope there will be more JYJ and Hangeng’s case for people to wake up and not let those companis rule the entertainment world.

    • idontknoe

      And then when SM takes it easy on F(x), it means they’re ignoring them.

      • http://arbitrary-greay.livejournal.com/ Arbitrary_greay


    • YourYG Bias

      About the Krystal incident, f(x) was the maknae group of SM at the time, and still fairly new. They were rookies that were expected to promote regardless of what condition they were in and as I’ve heard, Krystal has anemia which just set her up for disaster during that performance. 

      I think CCM is worse than SM though SM has more hate directed towards it because it is the more well-known company. I’m not defending either company because they both need to clean up their act when it comes to handling their idols. I just feel like SM idols could snap at any time because of how much their image is controlled. 

      • Black_Plague

        Generally speaking, yes, CCM is far worse. You’re correct that SM has more hate directed towards it because it’s a more well-known company to the public (having a large presence in the industry since the 90s) but also because it houses more idol groups, each with hundreds of thousands of fans (though fx can be seen as a small exception) that form a significant portion of the entire Kpop fandom.

        Personally, I’d say SM is only slightly better than CCM – at the very least, SM’s idols get a break once in a long while (though Hangeng is an exception), whether as a group or individuals.

    • Janee’

      Yea I don’t understand why there aren’t any child labor laws or government regulation of some sort when it comes to overworking idols AND ACTORS. It’s sad.

  • YourYG Bias

    If these companies are businesses, then they would know how much employee satisfaction affects profit and results. You can either gain moderate amounts of profit while managing to keep your idols healthy and happy, thus ensuring scandals and rumors to be stopped in their tracks. I’ve heard of so many pity stories of idols venting on twitter, sharing sad stories on variety shows and going as far as suing their company. You know who I’m talking about… Or you can treat your employees like shit, pardon my french, and gain lots of money as demonstrated by a few companies. 

    I seem like I’m talking about certain companies but as an international fan who doubts most of what fansites and supposed “insiders” are telling me, I can’t help but perceive certain companies to be more humane than others. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WB2AGJ6Q2U43TZHKNPQGFEGWOI Madhuri Sharma

    I feel like this debate has been written about too many times and the comments usually end up with a lot of people taking sides (anti SM/pro SM). Seoulbeat readers give something more productive usually but there really isn’t a right or wrong answer/solution to this.
    And I’m just wondering because there has been some really heated debate over this, but are you even allowed to call these contracts ‘slave contracts’? I’m by no means supporting 13 year contracts (especially JYJ’s), but I’d be careful with throwing that word around so casually in an article.

    • Haibara Christie

      I agree. The article mentions that the idols make a “poor man’s salary.”  This cannot be entirely true since idols still don designer threads and are able to buy their families businesses and homes in Seoul.  They may have killer schedules, but they do make loads of money that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.  If the life of an idol was that bad, why do people continue to sign up for the job? Even people like Choi Siwon, who already had tons of money and initially defied his parents to take the job?  Yes, idols do work in some hard conditions, but I think many, many, people work in conditions that cause them to make great sacrifices just as these idols do. I’m with Madhuri on the fact that words must be carefully chosen when discussing this.  Idols make WAY more than a poor man’s salary, and they are NOT impoverished and it is insensitive to say that they are. Poor people’s lives are much worse than idols; poor people struggle to get meals each day, idols need to worry about whether they can afford their next Prada bag.  

      This is why I’m not entirely supporting JYJ in their argument against SM. Yes, SM needs to compensate and treat their idols much better, but JYJ to argue that they are under “slave” contracts and deserve tons of sympathy for the lives that THEY chose, is selfish (using the word “slave” and “poor” for their life is something that is hard to overlook.)

      I do support their cause, but not the way they pursued it.

      • muggle87

        actually on average kpop idols make less than office worker. here is the article,  

        why do u think so many idols are taking on dramas, variety shows, etc. its the only way for them to make some real dough. they have to take multiple jobs just to make it, they can’t depend only on their music sales.

        • Haibara Christie

          If we were talking about Unknown groups like C-Real or something like that, yes you have a very valid point.  However, the focus of this (seoulbeats) article was NOT on the unknowns, it was on JYJ and high profile groups that DO make tons of money.  The average salary is completely misleading.  There is a huge income schism between the famous and the not so famous that is not reflected in the mean salary figures. Also remember that part of being an Idol includes having various jobs outside of music, including cfs, variety appearances, and dramas. That’s why they’re idols and not musicians. 

          (Btw, “sharingyoochun” shows a bit a bias.  Not saying that your source is bad, but keep in mind the people who are writing the article.  They need and want to capture DB5K in the best light possible.) 

          Muggle87, please don’t take this the wrong way. There are many, many people out there who share your view, and it is a valid one to have. Kpop generally ellicts and unconditional love from its fans for its idols, and I wanted to take a step back from that emotional connection. There are people in the world who suffer quietly and there are those who suffer in front of the world–idols are of the latter group. Everyone knows that idols suffer, but we also know that being an idol is also a privilege. There are plenty of people who continue to sign up for the job well aware of the hardships that come along with it. Their payment for that sacrifice is fame as much as it is monetary compensation.

          Again, remember that this is just my interpretation, and I have nothing against any kpop group on the planet, including JYJ.

          • muggle87

            “Kpop generally ellicts and unconditional love from its fans for its idols, and I wanted to take a step back from that emotional connection.”  <– that made me lol a bit cause that is the first time someone thought i had unconditional love for kpop. no offense, okay back to the debate.

            1. not even big acts get a lot money from their music sales only. one of the reason why the lawsuit happen was unfair income distribution.

            2. idols originally start off as singers. to be quite frank, if they did get a lot money from being singers only. i doubt that they will venture off to do dramas, variety etc and overwork themselves till they drop. idol these days can't survive not doing extra jobs that is why most of them get into variety, dramas, going to japan, etc.

            3. i get what u saying about the poor man salary and slave but to be quite frank once again, i doubt the author meant it literally. I think she used it like how ppl use metaphor. ex. "i have been working like a dog all week." at least that is what i get from it.

            4. as sharingyoochun source, i just grab it cause that is one that pop into my head first. i also remember reading it on allkpop, soompi, and maybe omona. i am sure if i did some more google search, i can give u more sources that are not bias. if u want.

            5. like the author point out, is not like they can find better deals when it comes to contracts. also recently fair trade commission did major changes to those contracts so oblivious something had to be unfair or why else would FTC make changes to them.

          • Haibara Christie

            I wasn’t addressing you with the statement of “unconditional love,” but many of the fans out there.  I, like you, have very little investment in the idol industry (aka, not even one cent) but I am trying to address the fact that there ARE fans that do.  Please believe me, I had NO intention of labeling you with that.

            1. I did not say that they have obtained their income from music sales only.  Also, income distribution varies among companies.  Btw, what is “unfair income distribution?” Isn’t that relative to the person? Isn’t that why DBSK broke up? addressing 5, the government’s understanding of fair is also relative. The FTC’s interest in both the idol case and the drama case started because of high profile cases.  The various strikes in the broadcast stations however gained little.

            Yes, I agree with the fact that there is indeed something wrong (imo, mind you) with the contracts that idols have been getting.  But do we have a right to decide for each and every idol whether they wanted to or not wanted to enter into a contract? Indeed there are some idols, many even, that believe their contracts are unfair and their work hours excessive.  Yet there are others who maintain that that lifestyle is for them.  We need to give them that respect. 

            2. The people who decide to be idol recognize the fact that they are not just singers, and there are many of them who can’t survive by just singing either. I agree that no one wants to work themselves like crazy, but they are seeing some value in what they are doing that we don’t quite understand. (Yeah, this a kind of repeat of 1.) 

            3. This address the most important thing that both I and Madhuri Sharma were trying to say in our posts.  Speaking for myself, I did get off track quite a bit, hence the five point debate we now have on our hands :)  
            Metaphors are fine to use, and I can understand that particular interpretation of the article. However, words must be meticulously chosen, and for a sensitive topic such as this one, even more so.  I too have admittedly made some poor choices in words in this very conversation, and I accept that (“unconditional love”…yeah. bad choice).  But using words such as “slave contract” stirs up irrelevant debate and could cause some issues concerning how we use the word “slave” in everyday language.  Slaves from any era of time have suffered through numerous grievances that are impossible to list here at a level much more drastic than that of idols.  Again, this is a matter of sensitivity. “Slave” and “poor man’s salary” are metaphors with great power, and I don’t think that they should have been used here.  

            4. I don’t blame you for using sharing yoochun, and I am absolutely certain that other sites have the same information. I simply highlighted that the site might be carrying unneeded bias that could hinder your argument (ergo side note), considering the topic we’re dealing with.  But again, I don’t blame you and I honestly would have done the same thing. 

            Hopefully we understand each other a bit better now. I really have learned from your insight.  :)

  • noiha

    come on, enough about idols suffering, they’re not the only one who suffers from this business/compassion thing. and imo, it’s not even called “compassion”, it’s called “treating human as human” :p

    random: when i saw the title, i thought you’re going to write about mbc (though dbsk pic gave me a hunch of what’s this article about). that company sure has sold their soul to devil completely, knowing that (jerk) kbs even tried to compromise with the staffs who also suffer from the strike (kinda compassionate for kbs, isn’t it? :p), and yet this company still held their nose high up there.

  • Haibara Christie

    Talking about the compensation of STAFF is a much better cause to talk about than Idol compensation.  Because they are idols, JYJ got high profile coverage and compassion from hundreds of thousands of fans.  These poor staff members of MBC and the like, working 20+ hours a day, making a mere fraction of the money that idols and actors do, should get the attention and care that they deserve.  

    • idontknoe

      Yea, it’s always about poor Oppas and unnnies, what about all the poor saps that make your beloved idols look good? There are so many people in the entertainment industries that work sooooo much harder than the stars in front of the camera for ALOT less money and some of these b***** feel the right to complain? At hey even get to break or sleep in between takes while everyone else is scrambling to fix things. It’s not easy being in the SK entertainment industry, but most of the idols have it the easiest.

      • Regina Schneider

        While I’m not trying to put down your argument, since I do agree with it to a fault, I can’t wholly agree with giving more sympathy to staff members because, well, just like idols, they did choose to take up the job.

        • YourYG Bias

          Agreed, and you don’t know the amount of mental and emotional stress that idols go through. Heaps more than the average staff member.

          I find mental to be more taxing than physical. But the discrepancy in salary is too big, LOL. I agree with that as well. 

        • Haibara Christie

          You’re right. They did choose to take the job.

          However, we could say the same thing about people who worked in textile factories and meat packing factories in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Workers rights are important, and even idols deserve some workers rights.  Like a lot of people have been saying idols do receive enough compensation, whether through sponsored clothes, money to send to parents, etc., such that they look like they are living lives that many of us could only dream to have (wealth-wise.)  

          Honestly this is a well covered topic in kpop that I have read dozens of articles on, and I though that in the time that a lot of fans spend worrying about idols, we need to remember that there are many people behind the stage working a very similar job (hours, lots of travel, stress levels) that don’t even get close to the same fame and monetary compensation that idols do (and there IS good reason for it. Remember, this is just perspective.)

          So no, I’m not really asking for sympathy, just awareness :)

    • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

      Just because one is suffering doesn’t mean someone else isn’t also suffering. Why do we have to compare who’s suffering more than the other? When it comes to who is ultimately WINNING, it’s the companies. Idols NOR staff should be treated the way they do. 

  • http://twitter.com/Noobologie Jub Jub

    A note here… It will be pretty unfair to be commenting unkindly here, since we never really got a clear presentation of the idol’s salary… one thing is sure however, and that is the years of a contract, should always be reasonable no matter what. I have a contract of five years to serve because of my scholarship… but that is because my company is actually paying for my degree plus my living finances even when I am not working for them for the time being, I can only say that a contract for a decade is kind of a rip off. Take JYJ for example… they never did received anything from the company to be needing this type of bond right? They probably only had to pay off the exhausting ‘training’ they have to go through to equip them… that will be worth say… 5 years?
    A contract for what it’s worth, is only a kind of safe keeping option for companies to make sure their stars do not get ‘poached’ when they become famous… but even with that said… they should give a reasonable period instead of a decade worth of your life.I personally found SS501’s contract of five years more or less reasonable even though that didn’t do them any good… for their youth that is. Compassion… what are we actually expecting from any money making company? Overworked… no matter the pay… should never give people the excuse to say that the pay is good enough to even out the effort they have put in. Never!Contracts are a bitch when misused… and sometimes, I can only say that the idols should know what they are signing up for… yet it is very unfair to say they actually truly know… since most of them aren’t even of legal age when they are signed on. Poor poor dani… she knows nothing and  her company is exploiting that to the maximum.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Cottle/1297801414 Jessica Cottle

    I can understand certain aspects about contracts, like wanting to be reimbursed for the training period, but there are others I can’t. I remember reading about JYJ’s case and when they were in DBSK they didn’t get paid for fan meets or variety shows, the money goes straight to the company. I just found that unacceptable. I am sure that they are not the only ones that have contracts like this, but this doesn’t make the argument any less valid. There needs to be more laws out there to protect not only idols, but the staff, too. There also needs to be reforms in the way the trainee process works. Signing on so many “talents” (I think SM has around 100) at young ages is high risk in terms of business. Instead of taking it out on successful acts, perhaps companies should re-evaluate their own business models. 

    • xNoirX

      It seems many “guest”s on variety shows are not paid by the show producers: essentially guests are buying face time on TV.  And when they get paid, it’s not much because of low viewer rating numbers.  Once you deduct expenses, I doubt much is left to go to performers.  Another thing: even when payment is due, it takes months(and sometimes, literally, forever) for the management company to receive it.

      As for the SM signing up so many kids, it’s actually correct strategy: basically you should not put all your eggs in one basket.

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  • http://twitter.com/zemasrunner Zemas

    I think this article points out the one thing I’m still uncomfortable about in Kpop. It’s a world that might seem flashy, entertaining anf different, but still there is a really ugly reality underneath the bright sparkles.
    When you go through Korean media outlets and news sources, you see idols everywhere. Each and everything serves as news to nurture the fans mania, a tweet, a selca, a bug on stage, or even a 3-second answer to a question on a variety show can make it on the news…
    We as fans are often too hugry, too selfish, aming to see our biases everywhere we turn, and the entertainment companies all but know that. 
    These business companies thrive on the fans’ hunger and adoration for their favorite stars at the expense of the artists’ health and security.
    Saying those idols knew what they were up when they first signed is not the point because we tend to forget that entertainment companies don’t deal with the trainees as artists before debut, and they continue not seeing them as artists but just as mere products and representations of potential market expansion. However sometimes the outcome of this is ugly and heart-breaking for the artists and their fans.
    One famous exapmle is the case of TVXQ, one of the hugest and most successful Kpop groups in history. SM was well aware of those boys’ potential, and they invested a lot in them, and the boys not only did the job, but also exeeded all expectations when they broke through the huge asian and (the most important) Japanese music market. In those years they were at the top of their game, but JYJ still chose to step knowing what they would lose; that they might never find a similar success or a more powerful company than SM. Isn’t this a bit surprising knowning that TVXQ boys were SM’s long favored performers? 
    Well the reasons were already pointed in the article, but it’s important to draw the analogy with almost ALL the other idol groups. When TVXQ signed under their entertainment, they were only teenage kids dreaming of stardom! 
    Nurturing a dream of success and luxury is natural to any kid that age, but who are we kidding? At 15 there is hardly any young boy or girl who is stupid enough to refuse a proposal to debut because of contract issues!  Who would take such a risk or even be aware or the risk at all? The bait is too tempting for them and their family to even start dicussing the contract if it’s offered. 
    But then, evenwhen they debut and strengthen their status in the entertainment industry some idol groups like Super Junior or SNSD are still obliged to be over worked especially during their album/single promotions. Having to handle performances, DJing, MCing, inteviews, TV show appearences (I chose those particular two groups for them being the most on demand for their variety show value in the last 2/3 years) while having to look happy and always mentioning the how good “family” is. How “heart-warming” is that? 
    In the process those kids (idols) lose their youth, they have both emotional and physical problems. Being away from family at such a young age, and having to live under the judgement of the public eye all the time is really scary. But an over load of work isn’t the only problem with the lack of compassion of enetertainment companies.Another outraging example of luck of compassion is dealing with the artists’ personal lives. It is commonly known how good of a reputation YG has in handling their idols while respecting their humanity, but still, things like “dating-ban” have to exist in spite of the age of some members like Bom and Dara (same thing in JYP with Wonder Girls).What is really most scandalous, is how these things (like insane schedules, unhealthy diets, special codes of conduct, degrading fanservice) transform into the standard. We all know the HUGE entertainment companies are important in making and unmaking stardom, they are even able to create any image they want with any idol group member. as long as it sereves a good (profitable) cause. Entertainment companies can make the public opinion believe a rumor, ship a couple, hate an “unfaithful” son… Their power in the Korean entertainement scene is unlimited, however,  they can’t hide or push the human limits.I think this must be the biggest threat on Kpop international expansion, because sometimes, the business side in the Korean entertainment industry is uglier than anywhere else…I think if the hallyu wave aims at expanding world wide, there still a litle work to do at the level of business management while keeping in mind that the products they sell are only young kids.

  • lektuvas

    but it painful to see that they do to talented idols, they cant breath……….

  • straighttohelvetica

    If these companies don’t have compassion, then it is bad for business. I can’t even begin to imagine the cost of losing JYJ and 2-year hiatus of TVXQ had for S.M. They lost three of members of their most popular band after nearly six years of development and training; and in the midst of that, lost the opportunity to market and sell music under the TVXQ name at a time when TVXQ as a brand was under the threat of disappearing.

    I’m not anti-SM, but I side-eye them a lot. They’ve had too many artists leave under bad circumstances. 

    • idontknoe

      Actually SM made the most money off DBSK ever the year they broke up. I think their Japanese company milk the shizz out of fans and SM got a good portion of that. I think this year they’re making quite a lot with Homin too. Moneywise nothing really plummeted, reputation wise yes.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

        Besides, when the lawsuit happened, SNSD and Super Junior were making bank from “Gee” and “Sorry Sorry.” So even after taking such a huge hit like 3 members of DBSK leaving, SM was fine and even earning more than ever because two of their other groups rose to prominence and has dominated ever since.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    Apparently JYJ never even saw their Japanese contracts with Avex. In court, their lawyers stated that when JYJ had asked to see them, the company pretty much ignored their request. The fact that they didn’t/don’t even know the terms of that contract scare me. And the members of DBSK were minors at the time, so I don’t know how it’s even possible. Don’t they have to have parental consent to sign contracts or something? Even their parents hadn’t seen them… O.o

    I wish that businesses were more humane as well. Every time the topic of very little sleep comes up, I think of an interview with Lee Min Ho when he was shooting “City Hunter”, and he said he hadn’t slept for three days because of filming. Both actors and idols have it bad. It makes me appreciate JYP more. I know their idols work hard, but it seems that they have less complaints about idol life than other artists. Plus, Suzy even said on Strong Heart that they are given Sex Ed. classes (is it not taught in Korean schools…? O.o). I don’t know how important that is, but it gives me the impression that JYP cares more about the well-being of his artists. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tunmi Turayo Tijani

    There needs to be laws to protect the minors and the workers. This entire matter scares me and to know that some may still be living under these harsh realities is terrifying.

  • kk

    The workforce is extremely competitive in Asia, it’s a completely different mentality and lifestyle. It’s not JUST idols that are working their butts off and sleeping 4 hours a day. If you want to get somewhere in life, in any work field, you have to work just as hard, if not WAY harder, and get paid 20 times less. Why do you think all these young girls and guys want to become idols now, it’s a very well paid job comparatively.

    • idontknoe

      Thank You.

  • http://www.michelle-chin.com/ Michelle Chin

    I think in the entertainment industry, business and compassion do go hand in hand but in a different way… 

    The entertainment industry can be difficult and cruel because of the business factor. Thus, the unreasonable contracts, lack of holidays and rigorous training. I mean, granted, idols do not sign up for this but I think they do sort of expect it. My sister, who is in the music industry can vouch for that. Competition is fierce, sometimes friends can turn their backs against you due to monetary gains and working hours are kinda inhumane because you have to train for really long periods and have weird schedules to gain the exposure you need. According to my sister, the only reason why you would choose this path must be partly due to compassion and burning dreams because no one would be crazy enough to sign up for a route constantly filled with challenges and difficulties. So, the compassion bit, IMO, comes from the idols. Having said that, I do not agree with what most entertainment companies are doing now. Granted, they make huge investments on their idols (teasers, CFs, landing a role in a drama, variety shows, interviews…) and they expect some sort of return from the idols. But I do not think this is a legit excuse for crazy schedules and poor treatment that potentially wear the spirits of the idols down. Also, psychologically, it is not good. If an entertainment company is far sighted enough and are aware of the psychological implications, they would not have put too much stress on their artistes. Unfortunately, it is the psychological aspect that people tend to miss or choose not to acknowledge, which is why we get celebrity suicides. But I think some people will agree that it is the inhumane regime that partly contributed to the success of K-pop. My mom recently read some news of the papers that few Mandopop artistes are being criticized for being not has hard working as the K-pop counterparts…


    OMG Krystal I NEVER Sow this…

  • Medusaspeaks

    Treat your people well and most of the time, they will take care of you.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  I understand business exists for profit, but burning these kids out and running them ragged produces lack luster/mediocre music and performances.  It’s not a complicated equation.  The problem is greed.  Once an organization finds the right formula to generate maximum profits, they’ll ride it ’til the wheels come off. 

    However, these kids aren’t machines, but human beings.  They are an “investment” on the part of the agency.  They are Human Capital.  Just because a company has poured a ton of resources into a group does not mean abuse is acceptable. Abuse is never acceptable.  I want the Korean gov’t, it’s agencies, the fans and the industry to start ACTING as if they give a damn about the welfare and well being of these idols.

    Better treatment means better talent.

  • ShineeWorld52911

    I feel like the subject of this article, has been discussed so many times, either out of true concern for the idols or out of curiosity, that its practically pointless to bring it up again. But im not here to shit on your article as a writer I totally understand if you just need to talk about things. No matter how cliche. But on to my opinion, now me, myself personally, would go the fuck off! Maybe it’s because I have a short fuse and can only take so much, but that goes for anyone. Idols too (yes idols are people just like us, I needed to stress

  • Janee’

    On a side note, I was so glad about how the KARA situation turned out. I’m glad their parents stepped in to have their girls’ backs. I was so scared that they’d be disbanded and split but they came back better than ever. :)

  • http://twitter.com/#!/lovetigerfist xnopex

    it can but this is why unions and govt regulation exist. for a country that has strong worker and trade unions, i have never understood why that didn’t transfer to the talent portion of the entertainment industry.  i get that this is why stars have “agents”, but these agents are up against huge entertainment companies that can blacklist them for speaking up. there’s power in numbers.

    someone more familiar with this can probably help me out but does korea have something similar to SAG?

    • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

      I looked for something similar to SAG. Couldn’t find it :( Although it would be such a useful resource for entertainers.

    • xNoirX

      Unions exist in SK, but not as big a force as in US, or Europe. 

      Cee Jay E&M(JYJ’s management company) founder was “enforcer” for Sam2Sung group.  It’s not just some rumor: he was convicted.  Now his grandson is the president of the company, and he seems to be active in under-world activities as well.  I am sure they police their own house too.

  • kelliusmaximus

    First of all, it’s not a Korean music industry thing, this is just a Korean thing. They have very long work hours and very long study hours, it’s something pretty common and accepted there. Just off the top of my head, they have a saying that goes like, if you get 5 hours sleep you’ll fail the exam, but if you get 4 hours sleep you’ll pass. That doesn’t make it right of course, but it’s important to acknowledge.

    Secondly, you have to consider that the idols may not avoid overwork even if they could. As I said, Korea really likes good work ethic and hard work is highly valued. Even JYJ immediately jumped into 40 hour straight drama filmings after leaving SM. There’s a good chance idols ee overworking themselves as a good thing. Imagine if they enforced a limited 18 hour work day for idols (like they’re doing for dramas). I’m sure they would love some extra sleep, but I’m not so sure they would skip practice for it. They want to be famous and they want to do a good job, it goes hand in hand with hard work and they won’t necessarily do what’s best for their health when it’s their fame and reputation at stake.

    Thirdly, do some research on the JYJ vs SM thing. The Korean FTO did rule 13 year contracts too long, and lbr, they are. That’s an extremely long contract. But you need to take into account the fact that the members of DBSK and their families actually pressed for an extension of the contract in 04 (the rotation crisis). It was 10 years and they chose to lengthen it to 13 years. The 13 year contract is an important strategy of SM for foreign activities, SES failed in Japan because their contract was too short, and DBSK’s success overseas speaks for itself. Even now they’ve still got a lot of potential and ways to go, they’re going to need these extra 3 years in Japan to get the best result. And then after the FTO ruled that it was unfair, SM changed it, so it’s really a non issue- they changed what needed to be changed even though it was a strategy meant to benefit the idols. Interestingly enough, the 13 year contract was actually fair under the FTO’s guidelines but I guess they can change their minds about it. In any case, if you’re happy with your job, the longer the contract the better. The FTO didn’t say anything about the profit distribution either, it is pretty typical for a music contract (which will never be that beneficial to artists, there’s just not enough money in album sales).

    Not to start SM vs JYJ wank, but it became clear that the contract was never the real issue when JYJ continued with the lawsuit after SM offered a compromise and contract changes (13 years to 10 years, a 5% increase in payment from album sales, a clause in the contract giving them the right to refuse schedules). I’m not saying SM is innocent, but I’d be a lot more sympathetic if their problem was with overwork rather than the length of contract.

    Yes, idols are overworked. but you can’t just condemn companies as not compassionate when things like that happen. It becomes much more complicated when you realise that the overwork still ends up benefiting the idol- what benefits the group benefits the company, and a lot of idols are so hard working and driven that you can’t assume they’d want it different. And it’s an unfortunate part of the job that they have a lot of responsibilities and obligations to fulfil, there would be hell to pay if they missed an important schedule. It can’t always be helped if the schedules come from outside the company (CFs for example).

    I do have a big problem with the lack of sleep, excessive dieting, dancing on injuries, performing while ill, etc. Health should be the main priority. I do agree with it being screwed up and I would NEVER want to be an idol, but I thought I’d offer a different perspective because this article came across as kinda idealistic.

    • kelliusmaximus

      Oh and another point, I’ve seen a couple of other people mention it- idols get paid much much more than their staff, but the staff do the same hours and work just as hard. Managers in particular, they wake up before the idols and sleep later, they drive them too and from activities (and they’ve always exhausted, that’s why there’s so many car crashes). I’m sure a lot of you saw the average staff member’s salary in that AKP article, it was something like 19k – 25k, with SM paying the most.

      People are so concerned about their idols but never care about the rest of the company. It’s only natural, we care about our favourites and don’t care about the anonymous people behind the scenes. It’s too much to call them slaves and act like they’re suffering more than everyone else.

    • http://twitter.com/yuka5470 Yuka sato

      actually, the way i see JYJ vs SM problem kind of different from yours. sure, what start the lawsuit was probably the slave contract, but somehow, i see that aside from that reason, what JYJ was fighting are more than more sleep time, payment or more break time. it’s more like their creativity rights.

      SM own the rights of every songs that was made by their artist, without even bother to credit to where it’s due.

      if SM really negotiate with a better terms, why didn’t JYJ agree? so i believe that there’s something deeper that we didn’t know what happen behind the door. and my mind goes to 2 things.
      1. their rights of their own music,
      2. their right to agree or disagree, to say yes and no. SM own that all.

      just like you said, JYJ work like 40 hours right after their lawsuit with SM, why? they walk out of SM because of that, exhaustion to the core. but the difference is it’s their own choice. if before SM who make the choice, now, it’s JYJ themselves who choose to work to death. it’s crazy, but it’s relieving.

      the difference is little, but the impact is bigger. the will do what they choose wholeheartedly. 

      then again, if SM use YG way to tied their artist tight with giving them their rights to music and freedom to choose. even if GD and TOP fainting from too much working, they won’t complain much since it’s their own choice (to promote their music), and YG is smart enough not make his artist to appear if every tv program to get popularity.

      • Haibara Christie

        I agree with both you and the OP…which is exactly the problem.  We can only speculate the real reason for the DBSK lawsuit, and it will remain speculation until BOTH sides agree upon what really happened, or in other words, never. If either the OP or you are correct it undermines why the other side chose to act the way it did–on both sides.  We make the situation for them so black and white when looking at the validity of the contracts, but for each of the members its very, very grey/gray (I never know which spelling to use..lol) and they have to take into consideration what is most important to them individually.  JYJ and TVX2 made their choices, and they have to live with the consequences due to what they personally found important, whatever that may be. Part of the consequences is a divided fandom–and that’s something we all have to deal with. 

      • kelliusmaximus

        It’s all well and good for them to want to be creative and control their schedule, but SM owning songs and deciding their activities is not inherently wrong or bad. It has nothing to do with compassion, that’s just how companies are run. And honestly, neither of those things are illegal and they can’t sue on those grounds so it’s irrelevant to me. If they were the reasons they left, I couldn’t support it at all. It’s poor business ethics to break a contract without good reason other than wanting more control.

        For me, there is no speculation involved when it comes to ‘why didn’t they accept the offer’ and ‘why did they leave’ . Yunho and Changmin said (in a signed statement, which can be used in court) that the root cause was the cosmetics company, and I believe them. Not everyone else will trust them like I do, so I can understand why people question it, but their statement combined with other observations and knowing their personalities makes it pretty clear cut from my perspective.

        But there’s no need to get into it, I’m sure it’ll annoy people…

        And yeah, I it’s impressive how YG doesn’t make his artists go on variety shows and is still successful with them, but I don’t know if SM could pull it off tbh.

        • aratin

          Your premise about the break up of TVXQ seems flawed, considering all 5 members initially wanted to leave. However, unlike you, I do not like to post speculations as 100% fact, so I won’t go any further.

          What is fact though, is that SM was unfair in their treatment of JYJ and there were many things wrong with the JYJ-SM contract that even outside observers agree was too one sided in favor of SM. And this will be revealed to all by the release of the court findings in just under a month.

          • kelliusmaximus

            I’d like to see some receipts on Yunho and Changmin wanting to leave, if you got it from the 6.25 meeting rumours you might need to rethink that idea. They never said so, it’s all just speculation like you said.

            Of course it was a one sided contract. SM invested millions in training, debuting and promoting them. TVXQ is a business investment and the contract was drawn up to ensure the company makes a profit from it. Business isn’t a charity, and contracts are a compromise- you give some, you lose some.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

          You have a point, because if they left because of overwork well look at them now they are more overworked than before.And if it’s because they were treated unfairly, I’m sure Yunho and Changmin were treated the same if that’s true but they did not sue and remained loyal to SM instead. Then the contract must’ve been adjusted to suit Yunho and Changmin and their parent and their lawyers better.
          Anyways some comments juts thinks about their beloved idols while I agree that the staff,the managers and everyone behind cameras are in far worst situations than the idols.
          I saw Rain’s interview in CNN from way back and he was asked if he feels tired that he’s so busy he could barely get to sleep. What Rain said made me think about my unemployed state back then. Rain answered that before he became he is and all he did was do nothing  he used to just imagine all what he should be doing, so now that he’s busy its like a blessing(though I forgot the exact words he said but that sums it up)

    • CJux

      From my understanding after reading the translated documents, the court ruled in JYJ’s favor because not only SM contract violated civil law code (not just the length, but the unfair clauses against DBSK in case of violation of the contract), JYJ also managed to prove SM failed to honour their own part of the contract, as their bank accounts didn’t even receive the payment previously agreed. In this specific case, JYJ were not compensated for their hardwork, regardless of what the contract promised or not. 

  • haiitsvi

    I think I can say for all of us that we want entertainment companies to treat their idols well. There’s really no point in trying to say it anymore. But what I would like to say is that if companies could see that not giving their employees a break would lower the quality of their performance and as a result lower popularity or revenue from that act, they might be more willing to give them a rest after a while. But that won’t happen because fans will eat up anything their favorite groups give. It’s like when a group gets a break, fans are begging for new material and the company will comply because they know they can get money out of it no matter how low the quality is. If the system is money driven, you need to fight it with money!

  • sherbet_lemon

    I think today, compassion becomes subjective. Depends on whom you are asking for it, and where you are. Asians have a different mindset with regards to work, success, money, etc. These issues are everywhere, from 1st-world to 3rd-world countries, experienced by almost everyone whose salaries range from a few dollars to millions of dollars.

    At least the idols are being paid really good and receive extra freebies that normal people can only dream of. I’m not saying that being in their situations are okay. It’s just that they are definitely not the only ones, even in the entertainment industries. I mean, if the idols are working for 22hrs a day, think about the people working around them! Their stylists, assistants, trainers, driver, whoever.. They may not be with them at the stages but they are just as awake and going whenever and wherever the idols are. And they receive much, much less than half of the idols’ paychecks.
    Somehow, the idols also know the kind of industry they are getting into. They are AWARE of the crazy schedules their seniors have. And what happens after that? They still want it so bad. Money makes the idol world go round. Then fame. And then music. Honestly, do you think idols really want to be idols because they love music so much? A few maybe. But looking at the degrading talent we see now, majority of them do not. It’s not just the companies fault.. You know it always takes two to tango..

    Not to mention the fans.. They’ll eat up anything that their idols give them.. even outrageously crappy songs. When the idols look tired, the fans beg them to rest. When idols rest, they beg them to comeback. When idols never rest and are always everywhere, they happily spazz over everything. When they deliver crappy songs and performances, they’ll empty their wallets voluntarily. They’ll just defend their idols’ lame performances by saying that the idols are busy and have no time to practice. It’s vicious cycle.

    I think the idols themselves, esp the more popular ones, have the most power to change the crappy situations they are in. For the new groups, I feel for them. But when you’re already established and the cash cows of your companies, you can demand for something better. Just like what JYJ did. It became messy and all, yes, but at least they stood for what they want. It may be risky for other idols, but they have to learn how to fight for themselves. Most of them are adults now anyway. Maybe they can organize a strike and rally like the writers, producers of tv stations. Or ask the fans to boycott their album? I don’t know. After all there are at least 4 people in a group now, and the fans love them so much too. Maybe they can use them to their advantage.

  • Alex O.

    THIS is why I don’t understand why people want to pursue the idol lifestyle. Particularly in Korea. There are few laws to protect idols and it’s hard for the idols to actually help each other because all of them are stuck within their respective entertainment companies. Should they try to defy them and go solo they’d be screwed because every other entertainment company, INCLUDING the one that they were formerly a part of, would snuff them out because those companies have more money to shell out for huge performance venues and merchandise.

    From what I know, being an idol in Korea is particularly difficult, not only because of the lack of labor protection laws for them, but also because they don’t get paid a lot. The entertainment companies take a huge bite out profits and then leave the scraps to be distributed among group members, and since the number of members per group just keeps on growing, that money gets spread pretty thinly. 

    Also, another problem is OLD AGE. A lot of idols rely on their looks — that’s why so many of them have plastic surgery. But once you’re old you can’t dance and it’s hard to sing and perform like you used to and you become dead to the entertainment industry unless you have enough personality to appear regularly on variety shows (Also true in the U.S. but a lot of the entertainment industry in the U.S. is exported to every continent except for Antarctica so there’s a much greater, longer lasting influence there).

    Forgive the random capitalized words. Those are points I’d just like to touch on. Not parts that I’d like to emphasize through uppercase shouting.

  • http://twitter.com/KristyHearts_05 Kristina

    I can’t understand why people think idols have a lot of money. They don’t actually OWN all the money they make/or the cars and whatnot they’re given.  A lot of that stuff is basically loaned to them. They don’t actually own that stuff. The companies basically “pay” for all of that. By the time, the companies get their share, the idols are left with like 5% (depends on the popularity and size of the group too….though it’s still not a lot). Plus, you have to look how the idols have to pay off their debt from their years of  training and preparation. Now of course, idols are entitled to stay in their companies. Not every idol will feel like they are being treated unfairly.
    Personally, for JYJ, I always thought they left because 1) they wanted freedom in their music and 2) they wanted more cash in THEIR pockets for how much they worked. Which is reasonable.
    As for JYJ working overtime even after they left SM….well…that’s up for interpretation. It could be that they’re trying to keep themselves out there in the K-Pop fanbases’ eyes (after all, they are blocked in many areas) or the members enjoy having something to do (especially if the members are depressed. I remember reading that Yuchun wanted to work more to keep his mind off the unfortunate happenings in his life recently).

    • cloudy90

      Yes. Junsu said in his Tarantallegra album press conference that he released his album because they needed to be relevant to the industry and because both Jaejoong and Yuchun was in drama, he was contemplating getting in acting but he chose to do what he was best in, singing, which was the main reason for his solo album, to be relevant in k-pop.
      As for Yuchun, I think working helps keep his mind of grieving and he has said in interviews too that he wants to work as much as he can before enlisting for military so that he can earn as much as he can before he reach 30 and also his family will not have to worry about financial.

  • black_rose45000

    I agree that “companies can make capital gains while taking a humanitarian approach with their idols” obviously. While I do see why overworking idols will be very profitable for the companies, I can’t help but wonder whether it wouldn’t be profitable for them to also act less inhumane. What about hospital and doctors’ expenses. What about milking their money cows dry, meaning, overworking them till they do a lower-quality job, thus endangering their reputation and the company’s (normally i don’t see why tv stations would like to bring in idols who seem fainty/bored/etc, though again, there’s the money factor). And last, they risk law suits that will definitely prejudice them. Now I’m not sure how TVXQ fandom pre-slip and post-split was, but sure there must’ve been a change in incomes. Then there’s the money spent on trials, plus, again, bad reputation gained. I’d love to talk to their accountant or business planner, and see the differences between “being the absolute inhumane company” strategy and the “be more careful at potential losses and consequences” strategy.

  • http://twitter.com/_chansu michelle

     ‘TVXQ has always received the best treatment possible that is far superior to that of other artists in the industry.’  This statement is actually really worrying, because if TVXQ received treatment that was superior to other artists, how badly must other artists be treated? As a TVXQ/JYJ fan I can’t deny that during their years together, they were overworked excessively, and treated as super humans who could sing and dance and work promotions for hours straight. In one of their History in Japan videos, you can see and hear Yunho being berated for saying that the hairdresser was pulling on his hair. Does that really call for the need to be yelled at? I think not. Another time, after A-Nation, Jaejoong could barely walk upright after performing. And to think, this is only in Japan, where  I think that they were treated with more respect and were much happier. If all this counts as ‘superior treatment’, what must other artists be going through?  

    Also, I find it hard to believe that idols will know from the moment they decide they want to become an idol what they have signed up for. All they know is that they are finally going to be living their dream, after years of training. They have no idea of knowing whether or not they will be successful, whether they will reach a point where every part of their lives is documented and laid bare for everyone to see. But these people risk it, just to see their dreams come to function, just like anyone would. 
    Most of the time, artists want to enter this industry because they have a passion for music that they want to share. Take Yoochun for example, his dream all along was to become an artist, he, like others, gave up his American citizenship to work in Korea, and when he first started, you can tell, he absolutely loved it. But as they years went on,  as he got deeper and deeper into the industry, as he grew older and began to truly understand what the contract he signed meant for him, he grew less enthusiastic on stage, and was frequently depressed.  While this may not be the case for every idol out there, I’m pretty sure that none of them knew that they weren’t going to be given the chance to see families, rest,  or take holidays like any normal person. Sure, maybe they would have known about sacrificing their time and sleep, but not to such an extent. 

    However, companies can’t always be to blame. You have to take into account different factors too. Korean culture, from what I have gathered, is geared towards putting long hours and hard work into succeeding. You can’t deny that the hours students put into their education doesn’t pay off, nor can you deny that they work that artists do, and the things they have sacrificed was all for nothing. As with everything, balance is a must. It’s just unfortunate that in such a savage industry such as the Korean music industry, where new groups are popping up nearly every other week (thus making the need to be at the top of their game to ensure continued success is paramount)  this balance is virtually non existent. 

    • inxomnia

      I agree with you. As a DBSK/JYJ fan, this is why it’s become so hard for me to watch their stuff because it’s so saddening to see the loss of motivation and the waning passion. They seem so drained all the time. 

      I don’t mean to bring biases into this, but truly, this is why I prefer YG because there seems to be an increased degree of freedom with what the artists want to pursue musically. Big Bang all have been given opportunities in creating their songs, whether it be composing or production. Even Seungri had a say in his MV concept and adding in more mature content (lol). Daesung wrote Wings, and even with his solo ventures, he followed his own interests by releasing trot songs even though that’s obviously not the stuff typical idol fans dig but something he personally likes. Whereas SM artists are shoved a bunch of songs and concepts which they have to promote even unwillingly at times. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513439726 Sharon Overlord

    I saw a documentary recently about this and the things idols have to go through with their company. They got a short interview with one of the members from Raina and she kept saying how she missed her family. how she really wanted to see them but she can’t. She was almost on the verge of crying and I felt horrible for her. She sounded like a slave that is being held captive. It was hard to watch. 

    People say Sm is not that bad. Maybe their not the worst but they still need improvement. Being a fan of both Super Junior and Big Bang I can see the difference. When I first tarted to get to know Super Jnior I thought they were poor. If  see Full Hose,  will know what I mean. My house is better than theirs. When I got into Big Bang I was surprised to learn they did not live together. Pls their hoses were not over the top but they didn’t look like a bunch of poor students living in a dorm.

    Not to mention them being overworked so they can pay everything back and sholder all the expenses of the trainees. If entertainment companies stopped picking idols based only in looks alone they wold not need that many trainees. Sm’ formula is to pick good looking kids and trains them so they can sing. That is why they are trained for so long. Start picking pll that actually have talent. U wont need to train 100 people only to debt 1 person. Then make them work for the expenses of all that 100 pll. 

    Plus I love it when they give mediocre performances and fans defend by saying their tired and overworked. So we should just accept it? If fans spoke up about this then maybe they will give their idols a rest so they can preform well. No instead fans support idols who are half dead zombies bc its not their fault they are overworked. Sometimes fans dont complain enough. 

    The whole entertainment industry is messed up and the government really needs to crack down on them. System is corrupted. But then again, the government is probably messed up in the first place. What is happening in the entertainment industry is reflective of Korea in general. People being overworked, too much emphasis on looks, high suicide rates, etc. Pll are being treated as commodities and their feelings and mental state are not being taken into account. 

    • inxomnia

      I agree. As profitable, flashy and entertaining as it may be, the Kpop industry itself to me appears very … oppressive and saddening. Just pretty messed and up and a horrible place to be. I understand that others have said it’s a work ethic embedded within Korean society itself, but to me, whichever it may be, seems way overboard. 

  • destined2bebossy

    That clip of Krystal makes me cry  everytime.

     Businesses should definetly give their employees the option of whether they want to do a certain job or not. But i’m not sure that they would even ask for the break. Like people are pointing out, idols can be in it for the money or the fame or the music. To obtain these things you can’t be lazy. I wonder what the companies tell them. I personally could not be over worked and still walking around all jolly go-lucky. I couldn’t even pretend. Given that alot of idols are young and surrounded by people who they expect to have experience in this field they are told what works and what doesn’t. Even if they gave them an option to sit out i’m sure they’d add on with something like “of course opting out will make you lose money and a chance at more fame.”

  • Rafaelchick1

    Everyone in Korea overworks.. EVERYONE.. This article shows which countries get the most vacation and how much offered vacation is used for top developed countries. Guess which country is at the bottom??!!!!
    I have lived here (in Seoul) for over 3 years and am still in my early 20s. I am a workaholic but I have never been so exhausted in my life until I came here. I mean no one stops working. My friends in businesses (hwesa) like Samsung, LG etc.. work from 7am-12am go home which is usually an hour away and come back again in the morning. And maybe they get about 2 weeks a year but only take a few days of that for vacation. I even met people going  to work during Chuseok (Thanksgiving) the biggest holiday for the year.
    It’s hard to work here, teachers are exhausted who work in academies and not public schools…unless you teach high school seniors because they study from 8am-10pm before the graduate. And if you are foreign like me, its so awful. So for entertainers its even worse, they virtually never sleep. They actually don’t make much money. I saw another article  from the tax office showing their average pay which was like 35,000 a year!! I mean come on!!!
    Celebrities in Korea have also stated how they only feel happy on the stage but depressed behind the scenes. I have been behind the scenes here as well for shows, dancing, and kpop related stuff and its just sad. I felt bad for the artist who look confused and tired. Korea is hell for work but paradise for playing since nothing ever closes and it is a culture that does things outside of homes (no space at home).. But man.. everyone here is stressed out.. then you throw in saving face and the Confucian culture and competitiveness.. and yoou have a whole separate article that I could write from my perspective lol..
    Anyway.. I feel for these entertainers.. its hard enough for the rest of the citizens here. I must admit Koreans are hard working, driven people that run this country virtually on human resources since they don’t have natural resources..also another article..

    • inxomnia

      I don’t mean to sound rude or condescending to another culture, but that really does sound sad. Apart from travelling there, I think I would hate living there by your description. 

      But this reminds how Lee Jun Ki mentioned his friends from America think Korea is paradise because of the convenience since delivery can come at 2AM in the morning and nothing ever closes, yet he disagrees because of the poor working conditions and gruelling work hours. 

  • http://twitter.com/ikkemenJJ jjikkemen

    its kind of unrelated but when i read this article, i remembered the scene from a Korean Horror movie called Whispering Corridors: Voice..there’s a scene where those korean students finished classes and were released from school at night..ummm..they go to school at night too??

    • igbygrl

      It’s called cram school.

  • mybiasbeatsyourbias

    I understand that some points in this article pull some emotional heart string for some readers. But the real question in business today is “can business have compassion?” Not in the sense that both business and compassion can coorelate but more so if business. In the idea of industrail recognize responsibility to both its enviorment, employees and consumer.

    Business is pretty much about exploitation of resource,limits and the public or cumser to employee. So taking this into the concept of music industry. You know both record labels and those artists under management can both benefit but also exploit one another. With the comsumer (you the fan) being the reason for need of supply and demand. But how these record lables go about reaching the expectations of its comsumer. Yet try to balance moral ethnic behavior and not over worked its artist IS virtually impossible.

    At some point the artists will have to sacrifice a great deal in order to maintain a certain level of popularity. But also meet the demands of its consumer the fan. All the record label can insure is that artists will be there to perform or supply the materials,technonlogy,funds and transportation etc….for that artists or groups.

    So when you read about reports of idols suffering fatigue because he or she or that group was peroforming for this music show. Or they need to do this variety show or need to model for this clothing company. All this is feeding a constant demand that never wavers. That must be exploited in order to stay revelant.

    We the fan, the music fan is an unpredictable abstract variable that can make or break a music label and its artists. We are the reason why idols get sick,suffer injuries but our power of influence is limited. It is still up to record label to regulate some sense of order and control within this constant demand of product(supply) of that particular group or artist.

    So music industry is unique compare to other business industry. Compassion is wanted by record labels and its artists and its comsumer. Yet these relationships have such a close bond and fatal dependency that exploitation is enviable. There will always be someone getting the short straw. Unfortunate this usually means the group or that artist.

    We’ve seen it and read about it. Groups dismember or a particular person is terminated. A soloist struggler to find a new label after being drop for low sales.Again that comes from consumer demand not necessary of the music label will.

    I don’t think fans realize how much power they have. If we did we would feel obsucre and less likely to buy music.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507824553 ICassie Gaemgyu

    I just hope that in the end, after the hallyu wave is over, or when my bias and fav group has retired.. somebody PLEASE write a book about their lives (NOT entertainment-company-authorised crap.. but something that they do after they have left the industry) and somebody else please translate it to English… or even better, somebody please do a documentary about the TRUTH behind this industry.. before I die… just please do it… we need to know.

    • http://www.facebook.com/asha.bradford Asha Bradford

      I’ve always wondered about upper drugs. If these were western pop groups with the same schedules, I would assume they were on something, but with the whole east Asian hardcore anti drug mentality and drug testing, I’m not sure. I don’t see how they could possibly function if they weren’t on drugs though.

  • goldengluvsk2

    “If there was a lack of support or an unfair income distribution during
    TVXQ’s activities, the exclusive contract would be a problem; however,
    TVXQ has always received the best treatment possible that is far
    superior to that of other artists in the industry.”

    DAMN… if JYJ with the slave contracts, insane schedules, etc. were treated better than others in the industry then i’m scared to death to know how others are treated…

     i’m no expert in the topic but this “culture” of overwork is something normal in SK… the thing is that through idols this topic is more well-known as we can give it a name and can identify the problem as “x company overwork my bias”… in every field in SK there’s overwork…
    I remember the ambassador of SK in my country was talking about how the education is so important that kids spend in school ALL DAY and go back home late at night… and I was like THEY SPENT MORE THAN 8 HRS. IN SCHOOL?!!! WHY?! thats overwork too… it was shocking for me to know this because -at least in my country- i’ve always heard that the correct distribution of the 24 hrs. you have in a day is: 8 hrs. sleep, 8 hrs. work/school and 8 hrs. to do what you want/free time…

    and then to think those kids grow up and become adults that have to work 12+ hours a day is depressing because all that time they’ve been rehearsing to be overworked since school with those maratonic school journeys. sooner or later, all these bring issues like depression that most of the time end up in suicide because the ones that are successful and have a job dont feel okay with it and those who cant have even that feel are seeing as lazy asses that are not working hard enough who left them even more depressed than the 1st ones… 

    no one starts a business to fail or not make money but companies should learn how not to bite off more than they can chew… I’m afraid that instead of trying to bring back idols to life with the IVs and admitting them everytime theyre exhausted, they’d make them do drugs leading them to addiction like some major filming companies like MGM did in the 30s -like Judy Garland- to make their artists keep up with their hectic schedules.

  • Almira Agathas

    I smell Ethics Politic in here…

  • http://twitter.com/greenSabrewing Kay

    ♥ #SB always refreshing to read ’em

  • pagal

    AWEsome article! o.o And I totally agree that business and compassion can and should go hand and hand.