Thursday, October 1, 2009

SM Entertainment: Is it really a Hell Hole?

Some people think SM Entertainment is terrible, but are they really that bad? It’s not that shocking that some of these celebs are underpaid- training their ass off and then a full schedule of live performances. Then why does it seem so glamorous to be an artist? I’m sure many of us are aware of the “shady things” that go on in these entertainment companies. Then why do people still want to become famous? Because they simply don’t think through the “what if’s” before signing a “life long contract.” Shouldn’t the artist in question read the fine print and know what’s ahead for them before actually singing? Some artists make it big, some don’t; it’s just another gamble in life. If you make it, you make money. And chances are when you make money, it’s only human nature to ask for more or finally realize what you’re worth and what you deserve. On the other hand, the management companies feel that artists simply don’t understand that it cost them hard work, time, and money to train / mold the artists into what they are today.

TVXQ are just one of the few that have decided to stand up for themselves, but they have built the clout to do so. They probably aren’t the only ones suffering. Catching up with the basis of other artists in SM, it has been reported that each individual member of Super Junior, SNSD, and Shinee all have different contracts ranging from five years to thirteen years. Some get signed earlier, some get signed later; some debut faster, some waited longer. And because of the individual contracts, some have more “solo” projects than others- with this in turn making more money.

I’m sure many of the artists want to speak up about their situation. I think it has only come to our (the fans) senses that these artists really do not make much money, especially groups like Super Junior who has to split up their profits not only with the company but with twelve other members. But they’re the ones who signed on the dotted line and given the big picture, they’re still better off than most people on the planet. I mean TVXQ was said to receive around $2,000,000 US each (excluding advertising money and others). For most people, $100,000 / year is a great salary. It would take you 20 years of work to acheive $2,000,000.

The industry is a two way street. The artists need the company to market them, and the company needs the artist to make money. And I’m sure the TVXQ dispute has caused the owners of these management companies to be more aware of their own actions because their artists may turn their backs on them any minute. This controversy has opened the public to a whole new insight of the entire industry and this may cause for coming debut artists to experience either, better opportunities or even stricter rules depending on the ruling of this lawsuit.

It’s not like we (the fans) don’t know what’s going on, we choose to look over it. “Glamour” is how you look at something. So is SM Entertainment a hell hole? Probably not, you can look at it from both perspectives and it can be argued both ways but at the end of the day it’s the responsibility of the individual, no one forces anyone to do anything. Sign on the dotted line and you reap what you sow.