Female idol group GWSN (Girls in the Park), who has been inactive since May 2021, won their lawsuit to have their exclusive contracts with The Wave Music terminated. The announcement came January 22, 2023, but the verdict was announced by the Seoul Central District Court January 12.
According to Asian Junkie, The Wave Music did not respond to GWSN’s lawsuit or appear in court, so the seven-member group won by default. If The Wave Music does not appeal Judge Yoon Do Geun’s ruling, the ruling will become final.
Despite there not being any prior news alluding to their being a lawsuit, the news wasn’t a surprise to fans of the girl group. Back in February 2022, #SaveGWSN trended on social media as fans demanded better treatment for the girls. However, it appears fans weren’t aware of how bad things supposedly were for GWSN.
In their lawsuit, GWSN pointed out the severe mistreatment they allegedly experienced while with The Wave Music. They joined the company in 2021 after their original label, Kiwi Media Group, went under in 2020. Since being with The Wave Music, in exception of The Other Side of the Moon and “Like It Hot” in 2021, GWSN’s promotions decreased and eventually stopped.
The lawsuit states “The agency neglected care for [the members] since the last album promotion in June 2021, making it impossible for [them] to continue working in the entertainment business.”
Along with lacking promotions, GWSN members were not paid, and The Wave Music could not provide adequate records to show the members were provided fair wages.
“Management of the signed artists is one of the most primary duties of The Wave Music as outlined by the exclusive contracts,” GWSN’s lawyers said. “The failure to care for the members—as well as the failure to provide transparent records of finances have damaged the trust between The Wave Music and the GWSN members. Hence, the contracts can no longer be held valid.”
In February 2022, GWSN members were also evicted from their dorms when The Wave Music stopped paying rent. The company also got rid of the dance practice studio and released GWSN’s administrators, producers, and managers. Members Soso and Miya, who are from Taiwan and Japan respectively, also have criminal records and had to pay fines for overstaying their visas. The Wave Entertainment failed to take care of Soso and Miya’s immigrant statuses leading to their penalties.
The Wave Music only has until January 26 to appeal the ruling according to Pinkvilla. If The Wave Music does not respond, GWSN’s contracts will be nullified, and the group is free to promote and sign with a different company if they choose.
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