“He got 0 won”… Lee Seung Gi, HOOK’s slave for 18 years

Lee Seung Gi finally fights back after working like a slave for HOOK Entertainment.

In June 2004, he debuted with his first full-length album “The Dream of a Moth”.

6,743 days have passed. In terms of years, it’s 18 years.

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However, he didn’t even get 1 won.

This is, obviously, a slave contract.

Lee Seung Gi.

He lived as a slave on an island called “HOOK” for 18 years.

◆ “Because Seung Gi is my slave”

“Because you’re my woman, because you’re my woman”

lee seung gi hook ent

Lee Seung Gi rose to stardom by singing “Because You’re My Woman”. When Lee Seung Gi sang “Love Taught Me To Drink”, his agency realized “Seung Gi can make a lot of money”.

Lee Seung Gi has been “losing his mind” for 18 years. He was deceived again and again by his agency’s “White Lie”. In addition, his music profit from 2004 to 2009 has already been “deleted”. He cannot even confirm how much he earned.

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Lee Seung Gi delivered “hard-to-say words” to HOOK Entertainment on Nov 17th. He said, “Please provide the contents of my music revenue.”

Read also: Lee Seung Gi sent payment-related content certification to HOOK Entertainment, going through the procedure for contract termination

◆ “10 billion won in bankbook”

From 2004 to 2022, he released a total of 27 albums with 137 songs. How much did he earn?

lee seung gi hook ent

From October 2009 to September 2022, the music revenue earned by Lee Seung Gi is 9.6 billion won. In other words, 9.6 billion won was recorded as music sales in Hook’s bankbook.

However, Lee Seung Gi earned 0 won with “Because You’re My Woman”. 0 won with “Return”, 0 won with “Delete”, 0 won with “Love Taught Me To Drink”, 0 won with “Hard to Say”…

lee seung gi hook ent

◆ “I didn’t get paid for my songs”

What’s more surprising is the missing of Lee Seung Gi’s music activity payment data. In particular, the five-year accounting book (from June 2004 to August 2009) for Lee Seung Gi’s music revenue has disappeared. 

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There is no way to check how much he spent and earned with hit songs, such as “Because You’re My Woman” & “Delete” (2004), “Please” & “Words that are hard to say” (2006), “I’ll Give You All” & “Let’s Go on Vacation” (2007) and “Will You Marry Me” (2009).

As such, it is estimated that Lee Seung Gi’s lost over 10 billion won in music sales and profits from 2004 until 2009. Therefore, this amount of 10 billion won went to HOOK (the distributor). 

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◆ “It all started with with a message”

On January 29th, 2021, Lee Seung Gi received a message.

“The Ordinary Man: 63,823,490 (digital)

The Project: 169,784,100 (physical)

Total: 233,607,590

MG: 200,000,000

Difference: 33,607,590 won. Tax invoices will be issued from this month and deposits will be processed from the following year.”

lee seung gi hook ent

According to Lee Seung Gi’s side, Lee Seung Gi was very happy that he made profits from the songs, so he shared the text message with a senior musician. However, Lee Seung Gi only got “reality hit” after chatting with the senior musician. 

– Lee Seung Gi: Bro. I guess I did make money from music. Aside from 200 million won in MG, HOOK received 33 million won.

– Senior: What are you talking about? I received the copyright fees a long time ago. You made lots of money. Haven’t you received any payments?

– Lee Seung Gi: Yes. I thought I’m a ‘minus singer’ who doesn’t make profits.

– Senior: What are the terms and conditions in your contract with HOOK? Why didn’t you get any money?

◆ “Lee Seung Gi, I checked the terms of your contract”

lee seung gi hook ent

According to the terms of Lee Seung Gi and HOOK’s contract, it started at the rate 4 (Lee Seung Gi) : 6 (HOOK) in 2004. The ratio was changed to 6:4 in 2009 and then adjusted to 7:3 in 2017.

HOOK decided to deduct all expenses incurred in entertainment activities from the company’s shares. That’s the way the company handles costs. In fact, at the level of Lee Seung Gi, he can sign an 8:2 contract. However, HOOK raised their proportion to 3 on the condition that the company is responsible for the costs. 

◆ Estimated revenue Lee Seung Gi should have earned from his music activities

According to the terms in Lee Seung Gi and HOOK’s contract, Lee Seung Gi should have earned 60% of the sales (6.5 billion won) from 2009 to 2016, and 70% (2.9 billion won) from 2017 to 2022. (This number already excludes the number of profits in the period of 2004.06~2009.09 when HOOK lost the payment data.)

Dispatch estimated the production cost of Lee Seung Gi’s 6th album “And…” released in 2015. 

Lee Seung Gi

HOOK spent 172 million won in making this album. The settlement that went into HOOK’s account is 210 million won. Adding the physical revenue (131 million won) and direct distribution revenue (13 million won), the total number was 354 million won. In addition, MG received from Kakao was 700 million won. 

In short, Lee Seung Gi made 1.054 billion won in profits for HOOK with his 6th album. Even if the 172 million won of the production cost was subtracted, the album still made 882 million won. Supposing that Lee Seung Gi paid 100% of the production cost to HOOK, he could still receive 529.2 million won, which is 60% of 882 million won.

◆ “You’re a minus singer”

Lee Seung Gi’s close acquaintance said to Dispatch, “Lee Seung Gi did ask the executives of his agency and tried to find his rights”. However, here are the answers that Lee Seung Gi received.

“Seung Gi ah! I don’t want to say this to my agency’s singer… You’re a minus singer, how can we pay you?” (June 2021)

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– “Do you know how much it costs to promote the album?…” (August 2022)

“You’re so noisy! We asked accounting team staff to prepare the settlement data, but he didn’t want to do it” (November 2022, at the time of the meeting after Lee Seung Gi sent the content certification)

◆ “Lee Seung Gi has finally begun counterattacking after working like a slave for 18 years”

HOOK has gaslighted and psychologically abused Lee Seung Gi for 18 years. HOOK executives told Lee Seung Gi, “Your fans don’t buy albums”.

Lee Seung Gi

On November 17th, 2022, Lee Seung Gi decided to take action. He texted HOOK’s CEO A, “It’s been a year, but you still haven’t answered my request for payment statements. I’ve been working hard since I was an 18-year-old high school student until now when I’m already 37 years old. I got cursed and endured many things. I’d like to talk to you through a lawyer from now on. Please understand. I’ve worked really hard for HOOK. I don’t want things to get any worse. Please contact me through your lawyer from now on”.

After working like a slave for 18 years, Lee Seung Gi has finally begun to fight back. 

Source: Nate

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