The representative director of Fantagio Entertainment, Wei Jie of the Chinese JC Group, unilaterally dismissed Woo Young Seung, the executive representative of Fantagio Music. They’ve reportedly replaced him with his Chinese secretary. Woo Young Seung submitted his letter of resignation on the morning of the 13th.
Fantagio Music is a subsidiary of Fantagio Entertainment and is responsible for the company’s music and audio business. Artists such as HELLOVENUS, Dave, ASTRO and Weki Meki all belong to the label.
One of the issues with this dismissal is the fact that the leaders of Fantagio and Fantagio Music now do not hold proper license to run a pop culture and arts business in Korea. In order to run a pop culture and arts business in Korea, a person with at least 4 years of experience in the business must be listed as the representative or a registered executive. However, since the dismissal of Na Byung Joon and now Woo Young Seung, the company no longer has any executives with the proper license. The company announced that they would be appointing a registered director within 45 days through a general meeting but apparently, it is essentially being run illegally at the moment.
With the dismissal of the former representative, activities of the artists may be halted and their future now lies in the hands of Wei Jie and the direction of his new management staff. Fans have began expressing their concerns about the future of their favorite artists.
Fans concern over Wanna One Ong Seongwoo‘s career as he had signed an acting contract with Fantagio. Thankfully, his schedules are currently managed by YMC Entertainment until the end of this year, so his activities will not be affected immediately.
However, media outlets speculate it will be challenging for the new Chinese executive to manage the fate of the other artists. They doubt the new management team is familiar with the Korean music industry, and will have trouble filling in Woo Young Seung’s shoes. Moreover, the artists’ futures stand uncertain because of the legality of Fantagio Music at this immediate point in time.
In particular, ASTRO’s comeback, which was scheduled for June, could possibly be halted due to the issue. If the agency affiliates responsible for creating contents and distribution are vacant, ASTRO will have no choice but to delay their comeback. The dismissal of former Fantagio Entertainment CEO Na Byung Joon had previously delayed Weki Meki’s comeback by about a month last year.
In response to reports, Fantagio Entertainment has made an official statement explaining the reasoning to the dismissal. They claimed the replacement of Woo Young Seung was imperative considering the current debt Fantagio Music has accrued.
“Fantagio Music is a subsidiary of Fantagio who holds a 95% stake. As of the end of 2017, it is in an impaired capital status with assets of $1.5 million USD, a debt of nearly $8 million USD and net assets of about (-)$6.5 million USD.
Fantagio Music is currently not in the position to support the activities of its artists and essential expenses such as tax or utility bills are not being dealt with smoothly.
Therefore, Fantagio came to the conclusion that replacing the representative director was urgent for improving the financial structure of Fantagio Music, as well as the rapid and active investment in its artists.”
ㅡ Fantagio Entertainment
Fantagio also informed that they will continue to actively invest in supporting their artists and engage in more activities by recruiting experienced management staff.
“We plan to actively invest in and support our artists and engage in more activities by recruiting experienced management executives with expertise.”
ㅡ Fantagio Entertainment