Singer Lee Seung-gi. Lee was recently embroiled in a controversy surrounding his contract with Hook Entertainment. The agency allegedly made threats against Lee and withheld funds owed to him for 18 years. [JOONGANG PHOTO]
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on Sunday that “irrational” practices in the entertainment industry such as excessive work by artists and unwritten contracts will be eradicated in the future, in order to put an end to scandals like the recent controversy surrounding singer Lee Seung-gi’s non-payment by his former agency Hook Entertainment.
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Sunday that entertainment industry practices of unfair binding contracts would be dismantled through annual labor practice reports and an amendment to existing laws. , including the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Act.
The announcement follows a legal battle over Lee’s 18-year contract over unsettled payments and alleged threats from the agency. Social discourse related to the nature of artists’ contracts with agencies has recently strengthened, according to the statement from the Ministry of Culture on Sunday.
In particular, the case of pop culture artists who are little followed and “exploited” is becoming more and more serious, the Ministry of Culture said on Sunday.
“In a situation where Korean culture is getting a lot of attention and applause, strengthening the entertainment industry ecosystem is important to seek continued growth and protect the weak within the industry,” the official said on Sunday. Minister of Culture Park Bo-gyun in a press release. “Our goal is to promote equity in the popular culture and arts industry as a central project for the coming year.”
Specifically, the Ministry of Culture said that Article 13 of the Law on Popular Culture and the Arts Industry will be amended so that in the event of unfair contracts, more administrative measures are taken beyond mere warnings. and recommendations to agencies. Remedies such as fines and being investigated by the Fair Trade Commission will be made available.
Under Article 18 of the Folk Culture and Arts Industry Law, a survey of the industry condition, market size and working environments will be made public every two years. In 2021, 4,610 companies registered in the entertainment industry, including 1,416 companies in the most recent survey.
Legislation to protect workers in the industry, especially younger ones, has been proposed by Representative Lim Jong-seong of the National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee. Educational programs will be made available to young workers wishing to enter the industry, including programs on the rights they are entitled to when signing contracts, the culture ministry said.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [[email protected]]