BTS’ agent Big Hit Entertainment on Tuesday flatly denied a report that the label and BTS members are in a legal dispute over profit-sharing.
On Monday evening, local cable TV network JTBC reported that the K-pop group had reached out to a large law firm in Seoul to pursue legal action against Big Hit over how profits are distributed. The news was broadcast as part of the channel’s flagship current affairs show “Newsroom.”
Shortly after, however, Big Hit issued a lengthy rebuttal, calling JTBC’s claim “groundless.”
BTS (Big Hit Entertainment)
“The following is a shared opinion with BTS, their parents and the agency. As of today, BTS members and their parents are not considering any lawsuit against the company,” reads a statement from Big Hit.
“While the report doesn’t clearly state about the profit-sharing issue, the agency and BTS are currently discussing an issue that does not affect our existing contract. If (the broadcaster) exaggerated this report as a dispute, it is not accurate.”
While admitting that the BTS members and their families did consult with a Gangnam-based law firm two months ago regarding a video content business, which Big Hit stated as a part of the exclusive contract, the agency stressed that it wasn’t a result of failed negotiations. They continued, saying that they have been encouraging the artists to seek external legal advice on issues of finance and accounting considering their ever-increasing value both as a team and individuals.
“The subjected issue is just a small part of many businesses run by BTS and us. Even if problems arise, it’s just a small clause that won’t affect the existing contract. We also confirmed that this did not develop into an official request nor official consultation with the law firm. Since then, BTS has been discussing the matter with us. JTBC has switched the order of events,” said Big Hit.
“Having BTS as our important partner, we are aware of the fact that we may reach different opinions, and we’ve been working through all issues through active discussion regardless of their importance.”
The company went onto deny JTBC’s claim that BTS had a conflict with the agency over profit-sharing when renewing contract last year. Expressing “deep regret” for the misleading and distorted report, Big Hit said, “We recognized each other as equal partners at the time of renewing the contract. The process wasn’t simple due to BTS’ astronomically growing value, but after a long discussion, we elicited the most exemplary contract.”
Big Hit also accused the channel for not following proper journalistic principles, claiming that JTBC reporters entered and filmed the agency headquarters without permission. The agency asked for JTBC to respond and make an apology, saying the report had distorted the facts and damaged BTS members.
The seven-piece boy band, who debuted in June 2013, renewed their seven-year contract with Big Hit in October last year.
Following the mega hit of their latest “Map of the Soul: Persona” album, the members recently revealed they were working on a new album. A Tuesday report said the new album could come in mid-February but Big Hit didn’t confirm the report.
By Hong Dam-young (email@example.com