Korean talent agencies hold more power than talent

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Korean talent agencies hold more power than talent

Tue Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:04PM PST

By Eriq Gardner


TVXQThere's been a wave of client defections at Hollywood agencies lately, as diminishing star salaries have caused talent develop wandering eyes.

If things get too rough for agents, there's always Korea.

According to The Korea Times, contracts requiring stars to remain under an agency's wings for up to 13 years are standard in the entertainment industry there. Currently, Korean pop group TVXQ is leading a charge against so-called "slave contracts," suing their agency, SM Entertainment, in hopes of revising their contract and getting better profit participation. 

The country doesn't seem to have anything similar to California's Talent Agencies Act, limiting the power of agencies over talent here, although the Korean government is attempting to get involved. The Fair Trade Commission is recommending a standard contract for artists and agencies. 

Socialism? There's probably a better chance of health care legislation being passed than that happening here, regardless of what some in town might like.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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