The history of K-Pop would not exist without the presence of Lee Soo Man, founder of SM Entertainment. The musician and producer was the one who became interested in the group format; however, he could lose it all. The creator of this Korean phenomenon is suing his own agency in a legal dispute.
Lee Soo Man started the first group of his agency: H.O.T, considered as the first generation of K-Pop, he also implemented an apprentice program to train idols with all the qualities an artist needs. Since then, SM Entertainment has managed groups such as Super Junior, NCT, EXO, Red Velvet, SHINee, Aespa and Girls Generation.
Lee Soo Man was founder and CEO of the agency SM Entertainment, but a few years ago he resigned from the board and continued to be involved as a producer and in other areas. However, it became known that the company and the Kakao platform made a deal that would jeopardize his position and everything he built.
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According to Korean firm Hwawoo, Lee Soo Man will sue SM Entertainment for illegal practices, as they did their best to make Kakao become one of the agency’s biggest shareholders without consulting the producer. Although he is still the largest shareholder, this could affect him due to the dispute over managing the company. Currently, Lee Sung Soo and Tak Young Joon are the co-CEOs, but they acted behind the founder’s back.
On social media, some fans have reacted to the news as they do not know what will happen to the agency and whether it will affect their artists. Also, it was revealed that Lee Soo Man’s contract ended and the alliance with Kakao Entertainment was not informed to him.