Image: Omega X via YouTube
Omega X has filed charges against former Spire Entertainment CEO Kang Sung Hee for verbal and physical abuse, including sexual harassment of K-pop members. A press conference was announced on November 16. The legal action, which includes a petition to end his contract with the company, comes more than three weeks after a fan of the boy band posted an eyewitness account of then-CEO Kang’s abuse on Twitter. Omega X consists of 11 senior members aged 21-27, including captain Jaehan, Hwichan, Sebin, Hangyeom, Taedong, Xen, Jehyun, Kevin, Junghoon, Hyuk, and Yechan, who debuted in other groups before their former group disbanded. or took a break. Dubbed the K-Pop Avengers, the group was formed as a second (and, for some, last) chance in a brutally competitive industry. Vulture has reached out to Spire Entertainment for comment.
In the weeks leading up to Omega X taking legal action against Spire Entertainment, evidence continued to pile up against the agency. Kang is eventually fired and the band begins to rock. “The reason we have endured all this and remained silent until now is because we are afraid of our last chance. [in the music industry] If we don’t exist, we will disappear,” Jaehan said at a press conference. Below is everything you need to know about the group accusing Spire Entertainment.
The news was first reported by Twitter user @hwi_418 shared eyewitness testimony about what happened in Los Angeles after his performance on October 23rd. While they were waiting for their Uber Eats order to arrive, the fan claimed to have seen Kang yell at the group and physically attack the boys. “I saw the CEO of the children’s company hitting the kids,” the user said, linking to an audio recording of the abuse. “My hands are really shaking, I don’t know what to do.” One member fell to the ground. The woman in the clip asks, “Have you ever done this for me?” can be heard saying. Then he continued to ask the member, “Did he care about me when I was going through such a difficult time? I’ve fallen before! Get up!” Then the eagle-eyed fans are exposed separate Twitter thread On October 4th, a fan’s mother sparked outrage online when she spotted two Omega X members in Chile “screaming a woman.”
On October 24 SBS news It released information about the agency and its executive director, and released multiple videos showing additional incidents of verbally abusive and disturbing behavior. In one such clip, which may be an extended version of Twitter’s original user account, a man who appears to be CEO Kang yells at the boys in a parking lot in Los Angeles. “Do you think people can love losers like you?” she asked. “You’re big? You didn’t go this far alone.” When Jaehan fell to the ground, he asked the other members if they helped him down. A second video released by SBS shows Kang grabbing the leader by the collar and throwing him to the floor as the group tries to intervene. is
Spire Entertainment denied all allegations of abuse in a phone call SBS. “The person who posted the clip on social media is more against the company,” he said, adding, “I asked them if they helped me when I was in trouble. Attack? No way.” The last post on Instagram shared by Omega X 10 19, but aside from social media silence, the group didn’t address the announcement until next week.
The agency released the full statement on the same day as the original SBS report. “First, we humbly apologize for causing alarm with this unfortunate news,” Spire Entertainment said. wroteThe band and the agency concluded by saying, “For now, all our differences have been resolved and we want to take care of each other and move forward.” The reconciliation did not last long. Another SBS report on the same day leaked details of the company canceling the members’ return tickets to Seoul in what some saw as retaliation, effectively leaving the boys stranded. The next day, SBS reported that the band had to buy tickets with the help of their families.
Omega X broke its silence on November 6th. Spire opened an Instagram account outside of the band’s jurisdiction. shared their statement deal with the incident for the first time. “While we want to thank our fans who love us and those who support us, as parties involved in this event, we wanted to give you a direct update on the current situation in our own words. We created this small communication. What happened,” they wrote, according to the contract. They said they could no longer post on social media without the agency’s permission. “Recently, when our plight became known to the world, we were worried that everything we had accomplished so far would evaporate and go up in smoke. However, we have now put aside our fears and decided to be brave together. “
“Our band overcame a difficult period of despair and a second chance for our eleven members who refused to give up on their dreams…thanks to our fans, we have been able to endure the past two years. The unreasonable treatment from our agency and the days when I felt like crying, but remembering the encouragement of our fans was the only source of strength for us to bear it all,” the statement said. Continue to perform and “pursue our dreams until the end”. Spire announced the resignation of the CEO.
SBS continued to uncover additional allegations of abuse, including claims that members diagnosed with COVID-19 were forced to perform on stage. Screenshot from SBS on November 11th Kang, her husband, and company executives say Jaehan was forced to cover up her positive COVID test alongside a video protesting the plan.
The group held a press conference on November 16, blaming the agency and announcing that it had filed a contract termination petition with the Seoul Bar Association. Korea JoongAng Daily and Korea Herald. Omega X has detailed new allegations against Kang and company, including gassing and threatening behavior. “Not only Kang, but also the workers and managers insulted and angered us,” Jaehan said. said. “Recently on the world tour, we also assaulted them.” Yechan recalled“Another senior official in our agency told us to ‘die’ in a group chat while we were on tour in South America.”
“He not only forced us to drink alcohol after practice, but also used sexually harassing words, touched our thighs and faces, and sexually assaulted us all the time.” Jaehan declared, referring to Can. “Even after these meetings ended, he would constantly call, text and verbally attack us.”
“If we want to remain Omega X, we need to ‘take off’ or he will kill us or kill himself,” he threatens us. he added.
“We had no choice but to stay with him and do as he wished.” Hangyeom accuses. “He would tell us if we stopped drinking there would be no next album.” The group also said they were seeking medical attention. “Every time I came home, I worried if Kang would ever call me,” Hangyeom continued. “Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and started going to a psychiatric hospital. Even now, I get nervous when I hear something in the distance like a phone ringing, a vibration, or an alarm.”
“Once I had another panic attack and I told Kan I couldn’t breathe. He teased me and said, ‘Oh, we’re going to have an article about ‘Omega X is becoming a ten-member band because Hangyeom has a panic disorder’? I was shocked by it.” he finished. Many members shed tears during the press conference. They said Spire Entertainment did not offer them a “sincere” apology and “threatened us with false bank statements.” According to Junghoon. Their lawyers agree with SBS reports that the company is trying to get members to pay ₩300-400 million (about $220,000 to $298,000) each to settle their debts.
“I know not every agency is like this, but I think many K-pop trainees, even current idols, are treated unfairly,” Taedong said. said.
There have been several complaints of abuse at the hands of K-pop companies. Branch of the deity It is a top-down structure where actors and musicians, trained from childhood or early childhood and often living with other trainees under company supervision, are replaceable personnel with little authority in a system where many bands debut each year. . Korean government step taken In recent years, these agencies have come under stardom with laws banning underage singers and performers from late-night performances. A separate law It sought to end “slave contracts,” contracts that forced idols to pay huge sums of money to companies if they broke their contracts or decided to leave. Contracts are prohibited from signing with other agencies.
Members in 2019 TRCNG shared evidence They were allegedly harassed and robbed by TS Entertainment’s chief of staff Eastern Light claimed in 2018 that they were victims of an attack. Big names, etc Super Junior’s Han Geng and EXO’s Lu Han and Chris Wu They filed a lawsuit against their former label, alleging bad contracts and sexual assault. And in 2015, fans were outraged when a behind-the-scenes DVD showed a manager raising his hand against BTS’s Jungkook. In this case, Big Hit Entertainment apologized for what happenedfired its employees and said it would prohibit “coercive and harassing activities” against artists.