Hook Entertainment has denied allegations that veteran singer and actor Lee Seung-gi was not paid for his musical endeavors.
The allegations came after it was reported last week that Lee had requested a full report of earnings from his music projects from his agency, Hook Entertainment. Hook said at the time they were “working hard to resolve the issue amicably.” Days later, the South Korean media company To ship issued a report claiming that Lee had not been paid for any of his music since he signed with Hook 18 years ago.
Hook Entertainment CEO Kwon Jin-young issued a statement a day after personally addressing the allegations. “Because there have been bad stories about me and our agency coming out of the news outlets lately, regardless of whether they are true, I feel so ashamed,” Kwon said.
Yesterday, Lee’s legal counsel issued a statement alleging Hook Entertainment called Lee a “minus singer” — or an artist who didn’t bring in profits — and that the entertainer received “offensive and threatening comments that are difficult to pronounce.” are CEO and others”.
As translated from soompithe statement also claimed that “Hook Entertainment officials didn’t even mention anything about paying for music, he wasn’t even aware that he made a profit from music.”
Lee’s attorneys also shared plans to conduct “a close examination of various legal relationships between Hook Entertainment, including CEO Kwon Jin-young and Lee Seung-gi,” and formally asked the agency to “disclose the details of the sales and accounting over the course of the activities.” by Lee Seung-gi in the entertainment industry through multiple content certifications”.
Now Hook has specifically denied allegations of not paying Lee. In a statement released to the South Korean press today (November 25), the agency said allegations that Lee has not been compensated for the digital streams and downloads his songs have generated, or that he has become a was forced into an unfair contract, “not true”.
The agency claimed that when they renewed Lee’s contract with the company in 2021, both parties “reviewed the settlement details” and even “wrote an agreement to confirm.”
“We regret to inform you that there is unconfirmed information being leaked by the media in the process of sorting Lee’s payment records, which was requested by Lee’s legal representatives,” the agency’s statement read Korea Joong Ang Daily. “Nonetheless, Lee has raised the issue again, which is why Hook Entertainment is closely reviewing the details of payment processing.”
Hook Entertainment’s new statement didn’t address Lee’s legal counsel’s claims that its CEO made “offensive and threatening remarks” towards the singer and actor. Yesterday, To ship released an audio recording of CEO Kwon Jin-young allegedly threatening Lee. In the recording, a voice purportedly belonging to Kwon can be heard speaking about what they are capable of when angry and the consequences if Lee demands transparency about the payment.
“I would become so creepy and callous that people would say I would become a murderer and that I would become a very evil person,” the person alleged to be Kwon said, per koreaboos translations. “I’m going to be very [scary] like that, and I’m starting to get like that now. Now that [Lee is] didn’t hold back and asked for our accounting records, he really doesn’t seem to hold back.”
In other parts of the recording, the same voice can be heard threatening violence against Lee Seung-gi. “I swear on my name that I will kill him. I will spend the rest of my life killing Lee Seung-gi. That motherfucker. I swear,” the person is heard saying. “I’ll spend the rest of my life killing him.”
To ship also released a series of text messages, which the outlet said were delivered by Lee’s manager. These reportedly include the exchange between the manager and Kwon. In the messages, allegedly sent by Kwon, she is said to have asked employees in some cases to use company funds to pay for luxury clothing for their personal use.
In other cases, Kwon has allegedly barred Lee from using company funds to pay for parking fees, snacks, and dinner, among other things. In a text, Kwon reportedly told Lee’s manager, “Seung-gi is who he is because you let it.”
Aside from the voice recording and text messages, Lee’s manager claimed To ship that Kwon Lee was “brainwashed,” per koreaboos translations. “The CEO used to say, ‘You’re a minus singer [meaning a singer who does not generate profit]. Your fans never spend money but charge so much. You have made a lot of money through others [acting, variety shows] projects. Just think of your singing career as fanservice.’ She brainwashed him,” Lee’s manager allegedly claimed To ship.
“If he had asked her about the accounts, he would have been scolded. Lee Seung-gi chose not to be cursed rather than get paid.” Hook Entertainment’s recent statement didn’t elaborate on the lyrics and footage it released To ship.