7 Times SM Entertainment Engaged In Legal Battle With Their K-pop Stars

By: FPJ Web Desk | June 05, 2023

EXO members Baekhyun, Xiumin, and Chen had recently filed to terminate their contracts with SM Entertainment, citing contractual and wage-related disputes.

Photos from Pinterest

This is not the first time SM Entertainment has faced contractual disputes with its artists. Let's take a look at previous legal battles with the label's artists:


Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun, and Kim Junsu, three members of TVXQ, filed a lawsuit in 2009 challenging the validity of their contracts with SM Entertainment.

The artists argued that the thirteen-year contract term was excessive, and earnings were unfairly distributed among the members.

After a long legal battle, SM Entertainment and JYJ reached a mutual agreement in 2012 to terminate all contracts between the two parties.

2. Han Geng (Super Junior)

Han Geng, the Chinese member of Super Junior, filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment in 2009, echoing similar concerns of unfair wage distribution and a lengthy, biased contract.

After two years, Han Geng and SM Entertainment amicably settled the case in 2011, leading to his departure from Super Junior.

3. Kris Wu (EXO)

Kris Wu, the former Chinese-Canadian member of EXO, filed for contract termination in 2014, citing mistreatment and lack of artistic freedom.

Kris left EXO the same month the lawsuit was made public, but his contract with SM remained in effect until 2022. He could pursue his career outside Korea and Japan through other labels and agencies.

4. Jessica Jung (Girls' Generation)

Jessica Jung, a member of Girls' Generation, claimed she was forced to leave the group in 2014 due to conflicts over her fashion line.

SM Entertainment argued that Jessica had expressed her intention to leave the group after one more album, but issues arose due to her business venture and they parted ways amicably.

5. Luhan (EXO)

Luhan, another Chinese member of EXO, filed to dissolve his contract with SM in 2014, citing discrimination between the Korean and Chinese subunits of the group.

Luhan officially departed from EXO in 2016, and his contract with SM remained in effect until 2022. He could promote outside Korea and Japan through different labels and agencies.

6. No Min Woo (TRAX):

No Min Woo, a former member of the EDM trio TRAX, filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment in 2015, claiming an unlawful seventeen-year contract and sabotage of his career after leaving the group.

In 2016, No Min Woo lost the lawsuit due to insufficient evidence, but the court ruled the contract between him and SM Entertainment as invalid.

7. Tao (Huang Zitao) (EXO):

Tao filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment in 2015, joining the other Chinese members of EXO in claiming unfair contract duration, discrimination, and unfair compensation.

Despite winning a lawsuit in China, Tao's appeal to dissolve his contract with SM in Seoul was rejected in 2017.

His contract with SM continued until 2022, but he was no longer an EXO member and established his own company in China.

Thanks For Reading!

BTS' Jungkook's Surprise Haircut Leaves ARMY Speculating about His Future Plans

Find out More