EXCLUSIVE: How the ‘Big Three’ Agencies Are Dealing with Their Current Obstacles

The “Big Three” agencies have traditionally been the center of K-Pop, and recently SM, YG, and JYP Entertainment have all made personal statements within days of one another’s.

This is due to the fact that recently, the “Big Three” agencies have each been deluged by scandals. Our partners over at y-star have prepared a detailed report on how each company is overcoming their respective obstacles. Please note that this is not an attempt to fuel rumors, but instead an outline of each entertainment company’s official position on the rumors circulating, and the general public’s reaction to their respective positions.


Yang Hyun Suk’s Defense Statement on Park Bom’s Amphetamine Use

YG founder and CEO Yang Hyun Suk is still met with criticism even after his explanation for 2NE1 member Park Bom and her sudden involvement in a shocking narcotics scandal. Yang Hyun Suk followed up the news of Bom’s attempt to smuggle amphetamines into Korea by uploading a long explanation letter, but there are remaining questions to be answered.

It is extremely rare for Yang Hyun Suk to personally speak about one of the agency’s members. In all likelihood, he probably spoke up because a narcotics incident is potentially fatal for a girl group member, and could negatively affect other singers within the company. YG has already gone through a similar incidents in the past, particularly after Big Bang’s G-Dragon got involved in a marijuana incident. In fact, there have been multiple cases in which the agency made a full effort to explain a scandal but was met with questions from Internet users.

Even when a celebrity’s love life is disclosed and the agency strongly denies it, Internet users are wary of the denial. While romance is a private matter, the truth seems less pressing, but a narcotics incident is a different scenario. It is in the realm of law, and thus the truth is expected and even demanded from the public. Park Bom’s narcotics incident especially raises suspicion about prosecutors turning a blind eye due to her celebrity status. The general public’s increasingly forceful opinion is that since a narcotics scandal can teach a wrong lesson to younger individuals, it requires strict legal action.


Park Jinyoung’s Firm Reaction Against the Rumors of JYP’s Sale to YG

Immediately following Park Bom’s breaking news, rumors about JYP Entertainment’s attempt to sell the company began swirling online and are now gaining massive attention from the public.

On July 1, a media platform “borrowed” an entertainment industry associate’s words and reported that “Singer Park Jinyoung tried to sell JYP to YG, but because Yang Hyun Suk did not want to be affiliated or involved with a pseudo-Christian sect, he refused.” 

As these rumors began to gain more attention, Park Jinyoung fully denied the news article and retaliated with his own press release. In the press release, he wrote that “the company has never attempted to sell itself to another company or even had a straw poll since its establishment in 1997… We will demand legal responsibility from the media platform and reporter for their misleading and altogether false news about JYP’s sale and and their theory on JYP’s involvement with the Sewol disaster theory, which has had a negative impact on the company.”

Last April, after the Sewol ferry sank off the coast of Jindo in South Jeolla Province, it was made known that Park Jinyoung’s wife is Yoo Byungeun, ex-president of a pseudo-religious sect, and as a result JYP was once again flooded with rumors. The rumors flared up on the internet when stock market info sheets were found indicating that immediately after the distaster, the sect members poured 500 million won into JYP —  a rumor that JYP denied. Then, on the 22nd of last month, Yoo Byungeun’s younger brother Yoo Byungho was arrested, which placed JYP in the hot seat of media attention again. 

As a result, JYP is suffering from numerous unconfirmed rumours. Most recently, JYP has stepped up and taken firm action against the rumors that the company was being sold, demanding legal action against the media outelt and reporter that initiated this new round of rumors.


SM and the Incheon Asian Games Lineup

SM Entertainment is currently ailing from a number of reports about their newest group EXO, who recently lost one member and had another member revealed to be involved in a romantic relationship. This time around, SM’s sour relationship with the group JYJ has resurfaced just in time for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

It is still undecided whether Incheon Asian Games’ official honorary ambassadors, JYJ, will make an appearance for the opening and closing ceremonies. On the other hand, SM’s EXO is confirmed to perform along with the other groups. 

On the issue, the director of all productions for the event, Jang Jin, said “there are no political issues as people are suggesting. There is, however, a performance by musical stars, and if JYJ’s Kim Junsu participates in that show, it will overlap with JYJ’s, so we are still in the final stage of deciding the lineup.”

Despite this statement, JYJ’s agency CJeS revealed their irritation with the lineup conflict via press release: “In July 2011, when they were proceeding with ambassador activities for ‘Jeju’s 7 Wonders,’ JYJ received an event cancellation notice the day before the event for unknown reasons. We hope that the Incheon Asian Games planning committee’s failure to proceed with its promises is not due to the same illogical and unfair external pressure from before.” 

In the past, SM Entertainment has received a correction order from the Fair Trade Commission for interfering with JYJ’s broadcast and performance activities, and now some Internet users who are aware of this fact think there is something fishy and are not entirely comfortable with the younger group EXO performing as a result.

Opposition argues that the others are over-thinking matters, since EXO is a popular group with vibrant activity around Asia.


Thank you to our partners at y-star for this great article! What do you think about the different approaches that each entertainment company is taking to confront their current obstacles?

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