Mediation between SM Entertainment and EXO Member Kris Fails
Kris, member of the popular Korean singing group EXO and burgeoning film star, and EXO’s management team SM Entertainment failed to reach any settlement in the ongoing dispute between the singer and the company. A mediation session in Seoul, Korea was arranged in the hopes of forestalling the singer’s lawsuit against the company seeking the termination of his contract, but the singer himself failed to appear.
Kris is one of twelve members of the singing group, which is split into two sub-groups, one singing in Korean and the other singing in Mandarin. In May, Kris (who legally has no last name) filed suit against SM Entertainment claiming overwork and a constant disregard towards his opinions or ideas for his career and artistic development. Kris described his relationship with the company as being “... treated ... like a machine part or as an object of control rather than ... as an entertainer.”
If the mediation sessions produce no settlement, the singer’s lawsuit will be scheduled. Kris was recruited into the band at the age of 16. Part of his suit claims his contract is unenforceable because he was not old enough at the time of its signing to have an “equal position” in the negotiations over terms.
Another motivation for seeking release from his contract is his rising film acting career; he is currently filming “Somewhere Only We Know” in China. EXO is on tour, but only the eleven other members are participating. SM Entertainment has made no move to replace Kris in the group.