K-pop girl group GWSN have won their first trial to terminate their exclusive contracts with management company The Wave Music.
On January 22, South Korean media outlet The Hankyoreh reported that the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favour of GWSN, after representatives from The Wave Music failed to respond to the lawsuit and did not attend the trial.
The report adds that, should the agency not appeal the ruling within 14 days, the ruling will become final and GWSN will be allowed to terminate their contracts with The Wave Music. Representatives from the agency have not responded to the lawsuit or the ruling at the time of publication.
In their lawsuit against the agency, GWSN alleged that The Wave Music had neglected the group since 2021. The seven-member group claimed that they had been evicted from their accommodation after the agency failed to pay rent from February 2022.
In June of that same year, GWSN’s dance practice room had reportedly been closed down, and GWSN’s team of managers and administrative staff left the company.
The lawsuit also claims that The Wave Music failed to renew the visas of members Miya and Soso, who are from Japan and Taiwan respectively, which led to both members being penalised with fines and criminal records for overstaying their visas.
“[The Wave Music] has 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,” GWSN’s lawsuit reads, as translated by Koreaboo.
Prior to GWSN’s lawsuit, Swin Lee, who produced the girl group’s last record ‘The Other Side Of The Moon’, had claimed that The Wave Music was “gone” and “closed”. In a live broadcast held on October 2022, the producer claimed that the company functioned more like a “paper company” than an operational one.
GWSN debuted in 2018 with single ‘Puzzle Moon’. In May 2021, they came under the management of The Wave Music (formerly known as Kiwi Media Group) under an agreement with their first agency, Kiwi Pop. The group’s last comeback was mini-album ‘The Other Side Of The Moon’, which was also released in May 2021.