With the recent closing of CoKo Entertainment officially announced on January 24th, it has been reported that entertainment company JD Bros will take in all of the comedians who were previously under CoKo Entertainment including one of the pioneers of the company, gagman Kim Jun Ho.
The situation started when CoKo Entertainment’s co-CEO Kim Woo Jung was charged with investment fraud and the company faced financial troubles, hence they were not able to pay their artists. However, on January 26th, a few investors pointed fingers at Kim Jun Ho, who might also be involved in what lead up to the current plight. They said, “We have not agreed to declaring bankruptcy and the fact that the company was led to this point was largely Kim Jun Ho’s fault.” Take a look at some of their statements translated below.
There are three main discrepancies between statements from Kim Jun Ho and statements from the investors.
First, there are doubts on the legitimacy of the company’s declaration of bankruptcy. Investors claim that they have not agreed to the declaration of bankruptcy, but Kim Jun Ho’s side claims that it was agreed upon.
On one hand, Investor Lee stated on behalf of the investors, “All the official statements regarding the fact that CoKo Entertainment has closed doors [are] fake and the statements made from Kim Jun Ho are different from what is actually happening. Kim Jun Ho is simply trying to close doors which is what he wishes to do. We are going to do our best to even keep the smallest flames alive and bring the company back.”
On the other hand, Lee Jae Seung, the legal representative of Kim Jun Ho from KCL law firm stated, “It has been confirmed that the majority of shareholders agreed to the declaration of bankruptcy.”
This brings about the possible point that although some investors may not have agreed to the bankruptcy, most of them did. Lee Jae Seung added, “The decision to declare bankruptcy has no legal problems.” The formal declaration of bankruptcy is set to take place in February.
Second, the contracts of the comedians under the company are under dispute.
Approximately forty comedians who used to be in CoKo Entertainment are reported to be preparing to move to the new company JD Bros, which is operated by comedian Kim Dae Hee, who is a close colleague and friend of Kim Jun Ho.
Investor Lee stated, “This is clearly against their contract. Although most of those who were under CoKo have declared their contracts invalid under orders from Kim Jun Ho, the contracts are still valid. Many contracts including advertisements which were made under the name of CoKo Entertainment are still valid so this can be deemed as actions against their contracts.”
In fact, although many artists have filed for contract nullification, the claims have not yet gone through court.
Kim Jun Ho’s side stated, “This cannot be viewed as contradictory actions since there are clear reasons that require the nullification of contract. Failure of payment is a clear reason for the nullification of a contract and this is stated in the contracts as well.”
Third, Investor Lee also held Kim Jun Ho responsible for the state of the company. He said, “Kim Jun Ho did not even attempt to bring the company back to life. He ignored the opinions and work of other investors and acted along with BRV (the second largest share holder of CoKo Entertainment) and pressed on with the declaration of bankruptcy. The claim that Kim Jun Ho alone tried to salvage the company is different from the truth. We also believe that Kim Jun Ho is also responsible for the fact that the company was brought to this state.”
However, Kim Jun Ho’s legal representative denied Kim Jun Ho’s role in causing the downfall, saying, “The reason for the downfall of CoKo Entertainment was the embezzlement of funds from the ex co-CEO Kim.” Kim Jun Ho was said to be the representative of contents within the company and that he never exerted his influence as a CEO in the business aspect of the company.
Kim Jun Ho’s side continued, “The company was suffering to a point that the celebrities were not able to get paid. Hence the celebrities declared nullification of their contracts and left the company, so there is no way to create profit any more. This led to the decision of declaring bankruptcy. Attempting to frame Kim Jun Ho for the downfall of the company is gibberish.”
Stay tuned for more updates on this situation.