Ever since former APRIL member Lee Hyunjoo and her younger brother exposed the alleged bullying that took place within the team during the time she was a part of the girl group, DSP Media has made it clear that they will take legal action against the former member for the “spread of false information.”
In fact, DSP Media released several official statements following the allegation — all of which insisted no such bullying took place and that the truth will be revealed by law.
So the truth will be revealed by law. The members who have been accused will have their names cleared through this legal process. Again, we apologize for having caused you concern.
— DSP Media
Regarding the lawsuit, the former member clapped back saying she too will “respond to the legal action they have taken against [her] with the help of the people who are keeping by [her] side.” So their legal battle is seemingly inevitable.
According to the Korean media Ilyo, however, K-Pop industry insiders highly doubt that DSP Media has an actual chance of winning the lawsuit against the former member. These insiders pointed out that regardless of whether an actual bullying took place or not, DSP Media as an agency carries the full responsibility of resolving all and any complications involving their managing artists. Hence, the insiders claim, the agency’s utter failure to correctly handle the alleged tension among the members is going to play a key role in driving the case to DSP Media’s defeat.
One anonymous idol management professional added, “Generally, all entertainment agencies are required by contract to provide quality management for their signed artists.” And because physical and mental care falls under what defines quality management, DSP Media would technically be at fault for the “difficult times” mentioned in both the former member’s and the agency’s statements.
Generally, all entertainment agencies are required by contract to provide quality management for their signed artists to carry out activities without issues. If their signed artists develop physical or mental conditions during the period of contract, they are responsible to support recovery — though the details on how are to be discussed with the artists.
— Anonymous Industry Insider
Plus, this professional revealed, DSP Media could be held responsible for the violation of the South Korean Youth Protection Act. In 2014, when the alleged bullying took place, the former member was only 16 years old — making her a minor. And as a minor, she should have been protected by the agency. Thus, if it becomes evident that DSP Media lacked to provide the proper care for the minor, the agency would likely be at a tremendous disadvantage during the trial.
And as per the Youth Protection Act, if their signed artists are minors, they must guarantee and protect the minors’ basic rights like moral rights.
— Anonymous Industry Insider
Unfortunately, as the conflict continues to only deepens between the agency and the former member — following the endless back-and-forth in revelations and denials, industry insiders concluded that the lawsuit is possibly the only way to bring an end to the controversy.
Meanwhile, Korean fans continue to demand DSP Media to terminate the contract they currently have with the former member as they seek legal action against her. Previously, the former member has claimed that DSP Media is stopping her from working while keeping her from leaving the agency.