Budding entertainers still suffer unfair contracts with talent agencies, with some required to get approval from their agency for overseas travel, according to the nation's antitrust watchdog.
The Fair Trade Commission said in a statement yesterday it ordered 20 small and midsized talent agencies to correct unfair terms or adopt "standard contract terms" until July 20. A standard contract was proposed after the actress Jang Ja-yeon killed herself in March, leaving notes that said she was maltreated by her former management agency.
Now the FTC is working to set up these standard terms by the end of this month. Amid heightened complaints about Korea's talent agencies after Jang's death, the FTC investigated contracts signed between the 20 companies, including YG Entertainment and Barunson Entertainment, and their 203 clients including actors and singers. The agency said it found at least one unfair term in all 203.
In this year's investigation of the 20 smaller agencies, the FTC said it discovered contract terms that excessively infringe on client privacy or are otherwise advantageous only for the agencies, it said. For example, YG Entertainment, which now manages the idol group Big Bang, bans its entertainers from going abroad or resigning without the agency's approval. Many agencies, including K&Entertainment, require entertainers to report their locations at all times, while a large number of agencies including DY Entertainment require entertainers to participate in events they sponsor, the FTC said.
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