Korean media pointed out the reason the public couldn’t sympathize with the singers in FIFTY FIFTY controversy.
K-pop fans and netizens nowadays have more background knowledge and information analysis power. In the old days, the public would unconditionally take the side of artists when it comes to exclusive contract disputes. However, in the recent case of FIFTY FIFTY, the public have gradually formed negative opinion towards the artists based on their claims.
It all began when Attrakt complained on June 23rd that external forces, including an outsourced service company, had been trying to lure FIFTY FIFTY members into violating contracts. Later, Warner Music Korea and “service company” The Givers were identified as the mentioned external forces. In particular, The Givers CEO Ahn Sung Il has been with FIFTY FIFTY since the album planning stage. As Attrakt signed a service contract to produce FIFTY FIFTY’s album, Ahn Sung Il became the executive producer in charge of planning and production.
When the controversy first broke out, many netizens believed that it was a tug-of-war battle over FIFTY FIFTY between Attrakt and the producer. They even expressed regrets that the rookie got caught up in a difficult situation between the two sides. Attrakt CEO Jeon Hong Joon did not blame the members either. He said, “I’m worried about FIFTY FIFTY members who must have been hurt by this incident”, and expressed hopes to resume the company activities as soon as possible.
However, everything changed when FIFTY FIFTY broke the silence and applied for an injunction to suspend their exclusive contracts with Attrakt. Through their legal representative, the members pointed out “untransparent settlement” and “forced activities despite poor health conditions” as reasons.
As unusual things happened, netizens immediately doubted the members’ claims. Eventually, FIFTY FIFTY’s position only worsened the situation.
It’s hard to understand that FIFTY FIFTY, a rookie group that just debuted 7 months ago, already wanted to claim settlements. Of course, FIFTY FIFTY has the hit song “Cupid”, which even succeeded in charting in the US Billboard Main Single Chart “Hot 100: for 14 consecutive weeks. The problem is that this is not the group’s first album. FIFTY FIFTY actually released four music videos at the time of their debut but did not achieve remarkable results.
Moreover, royalties from overseas charts are often settled late, and FIFTY FIFTY carried out little promotions, such as advertisements, content, etc., in Korea. The members have also suspended their activities since May due to a member’s health issue. Considering the lack of profitable activities, the public disagreed with the members’ “settlement” claim and poured criticism.
FIFTY FIFTY was only in the process of building their name. During the time when decisions on the next album and next moves were more important for the future of the group, FIFTY FIFTY decided to cause a conflict with their agency, which eventually formed a negative public opinion towards themselves.