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Kim Jun-su controversy puts spotlight on ‘JYJ Act’

  • Published : Jan 15, 2016 - 17:27
  • Updated : Jan 15, 2016 - 17:27

JYJ member Kim Jun-su’s exclusion from Thursday’s 2016 Seoul Music Awards is sparking a heated debate on the effectiveness of the so-called “JYJ Act.”

The controversy grew Thursday evening when Kim revealed on his Twitter account that he was not invited to the event despite winning the most popular artist of the year award.

This comes only a few months after the National Assembly passed a revision bill on Nov. 30, 2015, to toughen regulations on broadcaster’s unfair practices, such as banning certain musicians from making TV appearances or performing at annual awards events. It has since been called the JYJ Act.

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Junsu (left) and Rep. Choi Min-hee (Choi's official blog)
Under the act, media organizations that violate the rules will face fines up to 2 percent of the entity’s net profit, or will be ordered corrections by the Korea Communications Commission.

The history behind the act can be traced to 2009 when three members of JYJ, including Kim, nullified their contract with SM Entertainment, citing unfair contract regarding profit share and the excessively long 13-year deal. The idols made their singing debut under SM Entertainment as members of quintet TVXQ.

The issue appeared to have been resolved in 2012 when the two parties agreed not to interfere in each other’s activities.

But such wrongful practices went on against JYJ, even after the Fair Trade Committee ordered the Union of Korean Pop Culture and Arts Industry to stop blocking the group’s activities in Korea, which was revealed to have been done in collusion with SM Entertainment.

Rep. Choi Min-hee of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea openly blasted the industry for the collective move and sponsored the bill in April 2015.

So when the controversy grew online this week, the 55-year-old lawmaker expressed disappointment on her official Twitter account Thursday, saying, “Kim’s fans have all the rights to accuse the organizers for their unfair practices. We’re making efforts to get the facts straight on why he was not invited.”

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(Rep. Choi Min-hee's official twitter account)
“If there was any injustice, I will try my best to fix the problems like I did by tabling the JYJ Act,” she added.

At the Awards ceremony, Korean boy band EXO from SM Entertainment clinched the top prize for the third consecutive year.

By Son Ji-hyoung (json@heraldcorp.com)