Do you remember TV audition show “Mix Nine”? The show was broadcast in early 2018, and in the show, Yang Hyun Suk, the CEO of YG Entertainment, visits all the small k-pop agencies and meets their trainees. The initial plan of the show was to choose competitive trainees and help them debut as a team.
YG is one of the biggest and the most influential k-pop agencies, while it’s really really hard for small k-pop agencies to achieve success in the k-pop industry. At first, Yang Hyun Suk said he wanted to help them, and the k-pop agencies decided to take part in the show because they thought it would be a great opportunity.
However, yeah, as you know, the plan went to pieces. The trainees couldn’t debut, and Happyface Entertainment, one of the k-pop agencies Yang Hyun Suk visited, lodged a compensation claim against YG. Happyface Entertainment is insisting that the trainees were in a state of total neglect after the show went off the air.
What do you think is the reason why YG didn’t actively help the k-pop agencies and trainees then? Well, it’s true YG didn’t keep the initial promise, and many people are blaming YG for its duplicity, but YG has its reason too. The trial is under way, and on October 31, 2018, YG’s attorney attended the trial and defended the big k-pop agnecy’s position. According to him, YG tried to help the k-pop agencies but the original plan went to pieces due to a definite difference of opinion. Check out what he talked about it.
If “Mix Nine” had been very popular, none of this would have happened. We’re very much regret that the show was not that popular and the trainees couldn’t debut. However, we have suffered a high loss due to the show. And releasing the debut album of the trainees is not a contractual obligation. We were given authority over the whole management for 4 months, but we were not sure about the team’s success. That’s why we suggested that we should have 3 more years to prepare for the team’s debut, but not all the k-pop agencies accepted our suggestion. Some of them said it’s too long, and the talk came to a rupture.
So what do you think? Do you think he did have a point? Well, I don’t think so. YG persuaded all the small k-pop agencies to participate in the show, saying it will help them. For YG, the show might have been just a TV program or a marketing tool, but for the small k-pop agencies which don’t have enough money and are desperate for success, the show must have been the chance of a lifetime. The agencies poured everything they have into it, dreaming of a bright future. I understand YG in some way because the show was not that popular and it seemed releasing the trainees’ debut album was not a very lucrative business. But YG should have kept the faith.
Well, it seems Happyface Entertainment thinks so too. The attorney of Happyface Entertainment said “It’s just an excuse. YG utilized the trainees when their services were needed and kept them at a distance when they’re no longer wanted. They said they needed 3 more years, but it’s way too long for small k-pop agencies. YG also knew it. YG said so because they just wanted to justify themselves. In addition, YG was financially responsible for the trainees’ appearance in the show, but YG didn’t pay us at all”.