S. Korean music label issues apology for abusing artists

SEOUL • A South Korean music label with decades of history admitted on Thursday to abusing members of one of its boybands.

Media Line Entertainment owned up to allegations after local media outlets reported suspicions of verbal and physical abuse of The East Light by the label's chief executive officer and producer. The boyband consists of six members who are in their teens.

The East Light debuted in November 2016 with the single Holla. They released their fourth album, Real Man, in January this year.

In the official statement, the label said it offered "words of apology for the disgraceful incident" and admitted that "physical assault" had been committed by "the producer in charge of The East Light in the process of coaching and educating the members".

"We have resolved the matter through an amicable conversation with the parents of the artists and promised to prevent it from happening again," the statement read.

It proceeded to say that the producer in question has submitted a letter of resignation to "take full responsibility" for the matter, but denied the accusations against chief executive officer Kim Chang-hwan.

Reports said one band member received medical treatment for physical pain resulting from the abuse.

Media Line has handled some of South Korea's most successful older-generation artists, including 1990s stars Shin Seung-hun and Kim Gun-mo and early 2000s diva Chae Yeon.

The controversy surrounding The East Light and its representing label highlights a less-discussed problem in South Korea's entertainment industry, where lesser-known artists are prone to abuse by the agency until they make a name for themselves.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline 'S. Korean music label issues apology for abusing artists'. Print Edition | Subscribe