EXO just recently became one of the biggest boy bands in the world, but one of the group's star members is already trying to sever ties with the K-pop juggernaut. According to new reports, 23-year-old Kris Wu Yifan has filed a lawsuit at the Seoul Central Court requesting a termination of his contract with EXO's record label, SM Entertainment.
SM has confirmed the news, although no official reason has been given for Kris' actions just yet.
Kris' case has already been picked up by the same lawyer who represented former K-pop star Han Geng, who was a member of SM Entertainment boy band Super Junior until he too filed for contract termination back in 2009, claiming that that terms were restrictive and unfair. Like Kris, Han Geng is Chinese, and was also the leader of Super Junior's Chinese sub-group, Super Junior M, while Kris is currently the leader of the Chinese half of EXO, EXO-M.
(If you're unfamiliar with K-pop, all this stuff about sub-groups and bands being split into different parts for different countries is probably very confusing, but this is how a lot of the Asian pop world operates.)
Sadly, both Kris and Han Geng aren't the only artists who have fought to cancel their contracts with SM. Back in 2010, three members of TVXQ --which at that time was the biggest boy band in Asia, if not the world-- entered into a legal battle against the label citing similar issues to Han Geng. Although they were able to branch out and form their own successful trio together, the lawsuit dragged on until late 2012, and to this day the members are still blacklisted from certain parts of the Korean entertainment industry.
Considering that EXO is currently so popular that their latest EP was able to sell 660,000 copies from pre-orders alone, SM probably won't take too kindly to one of the group's biggest stars trying to jump ship right in the middle of a promotional cycle.
Good luck, Kris. You're gonna need it!