Will Pledis disband fromis_9? Agency to manage girl group, fans upset over past ill-treatment
South Korean girl group fromis_9 has announced that PLEDIS Entertainment, a subset of HYBE, will now be in charge of their management. Going forward, the company expects to ensure fromis_9 reaches the peak of success with its music. In an elaborate statement, PLEDIS mentioned that they were "extremely pleased" to be a part of fromis_9, adding, "We will spare no effort to ensure that fromis_9 can continue to thrive in all their diverse activities and achieve their next level of growth as artists." The company also manages boy bands Seventeen and NU'EST.
However, K-pop fans across the world are sorely disheartened to learn about this transfer of agency for fromis_9. They are quite skeptical about the decision given PLEDIS Entertainment's notorious record of poorly managing girl groups in the past. In fact, the company had faced immense controversy for the disbandment of fan-favorite girl bands like After School, Pristin, and Hello Venus. There had also been allegations of toxic management practices when Jungha, a former member of 'After School', posted a photo of her bruised hands.
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[NOTICE] 프로미스나인 소속사 이적 안내— PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT (@pledisnews) August 16, 2021
fromis_9 Transfer of Management https://t.co/wQSSDqg3Qk?
Who owns PLEDIS Entertainment?
PLEDIS Entertainment was founded in 2007 by Han Sung-soo with its headquarters in Seoul. Last year, on May 25, 2020, 85% of PLEDIS's share was acquired by HYBE Corporation (formerly BigHit Entertainment) — the company which manages BTS. Sony Music Solutions also has a 4% shareholding in PLEDIS while founder Han Sung-soo owns the remaining 11%.
In June 2020, PLEDIS founder and CEO Han Sung-Soo got embroiled in controversy after rumors surfaced that he had registered his wife as a producer to make extra money from project girl group IZ*ONE. Han ended up surrendering his copyrights to the eight songs he produced for IZ*ONE.
However, this is hardly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to controversies plaguing PLEDIS Entertainment. They are regularly blamed for jeopardizing the career prospects of the members of After School and Pristin. They have also been criticized for the poor management of girl groups.
"fromis_9 officially joining Pledis and Hybe is not what I wanted to wake up and see. Both are known for their absolutely horrible treatment of girl groups. It just never seems to get easier for us flovers..." a fromis_9 fan tweeted.
Another fan wrote, "fromis is the only gg in pledis AND hybe. can the two companies pls learn from their past mistakes and manage the group well? the girls are amazing, talented, hardworking, genuine and idk they basically have it all so i don't think it's THAT hard to treat them properly."
"how are they taking on fromis9 when the groups they already have are painfully neglected as it is? what is pledis planning to do with nuest?? im so tired of this company," a third fan tweeted.
fromis_9 officially joining Pledis and Hybe is not what I wanted to wake up and see. Both are known for their absolutely horrible treatment of girl groups.— all things fromis_9 (@allthingsfromis) August 16, 2021
It just never seems to get easier for us flovers... pic.twitter.com/w3GYIFDWBV
fromis is the only gg in pledis AND hybe. can the two companies pls learn from their past mistakes and manage the group well? the girls are amazing, talented, hardworking, genuine and idk they basically have it all so i don't think it's THAT hard to treat them properly.— nic (@jichuufilms) August 16, 2021
Meanwhile, PLEDIS released an elaborate statement on August 16, announcing the transfer, which reads:
"Hello. This is PLEDIS Entertainment.
We would like to announce that as of Monday, August 16, PLEDIS Entertainment will serve as the management company for the group fromis_9 (members Lee Saerom, Song Hayoung, Jang Gyuri, Park Jiwon, Roh Jisun, Lee Seoyeon, Lee Chaeyoung, Lee Nagyung, and Baek Jiheon).
As part of the label reorganization of Off the Record Entertainment, which had previously managed fromis_9, the company, artists, and PLEDIS Entertainment engaged in a thorough discussion of the group’s future path and potential for further growth, and the decision was made to transfer the management of fromis_9 to PLEDIS Entertainment.
fromis_9 will thus continue their activities as part of our company, which has been behind the production of the group’s music from their debut album to their latest creations.
We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of fromis_9. We will spare no effort to ensure that fromis_9 can continue to thrive in all their diverse activities and achieve their next level of growth as artists.
We ask that you continue to keep your eyes on fromis_9 and show them your support as they begin the next stage of their adventure with PLEDIS Entertainment.