FIFTY FIFTY has personally spoken up for the very first time on their ongoing dispute with their agency.
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On August 17, FIFTY FIFTY shared handwritten letters to their fans in both Korean and English. A representative of the group confirmed, “It’s true that the members personally wrote [the letters].”
FIFTY FIFTY’s full English letter is as follows:
This is Keena, Saena, Sio, and Aran from FIFTY FIFTY.
We would first like to begin by apologizing to everyone who loves us for causing much concern.
We know that there are fans who believe in us and are waiting for us. And that is why the members of FIFTY FIFTY decided to put our hesitation aside and stepped up to share our position.
We also know that many of you are confused by the current media and press coverage. Misunderstandings and accusations have been snowballing. We were deeply shocked by this and have been going through a tough time.
Nevertheless, we believe there is a truth that needs to be uncovered despite these difficulties. And we have strong faith that our fans will understand us and support us even more when it is clarified.
The members of FIFTY FIFTY have received overflowing love and encouragement from our fans. We also have many people around us who have worked hard and helped us. We have never forgotten, not even for a single moment, how thankful we are to our fans and everyone who supported us. We would like to take it to our hearts and return our gratitude by working even harder in the future.
However, we first wanted to take this opportunity to right the wrongs that have been forced in our relationship with the agency. And to protect our music, we had no other choice.
So, after a lot of consideration, our members have decided to face this path. We will continue to move forward by making careful decisions to overcome the current confusions and difficulties.
It has been heartbreaking to see so many untrue stories being reported in the media articles and social media these days. Nevertheless, we have been careful about commenting on ending our exclusive contracts with our agency. This does not mean we admit or accept what has been reported in the media. We believed that taking this issue to court based on facts was the right way to solve the situation. We had hoped that the truth would be uncovered during the trial process and our right would be guaranteed. This is something we hope for even to this day. To realize that hope, we will continue to collect and submit materials and evidence based on facts. In doing so, we hope to clarify any doubts and misunderstandings. We sincerely hope that you do not make too much criticism based on false suspicions and misunderstandings and look at the facts objectively.
Right now, every one of our members is in this together, relying on each other to stand strong.
What we really want, however, is to carry out our activities as true artists in a trustworthy environment. Our members will do everything in our power to make this wish come true. We will do our best to come back in good shape and return our thankfulness to all of you who have been following us.
Back in June, FIFTY FIFTY filed to suspend their exclusive contracts with their agency ATTRAKT, and the court ultimately recommended mediation between the two parties. However, on August 16, the FIFTY FIFTY members informed the court that they had no intention to continue with mediation, meaning their legal dispute with ATTRAKT will return to trial. The following day, FIFTY FIFTY filed criminal charges against the CEO of their agency.
Meanwhile, ATTRAKT previously claimed that FIFTY FIFTY had been persuaded by The Givers CEO Ahn Sung Il (who was formerly in charge of producing FIFTY FIFTY’s music) to illegally violate their exclusive contracts with the agency. ATTRAKT also filed criminal charges against Ahn Sung Il and several other The Givers employees for fraud, breach of duty, and obstruction of business.
Although Warner Music Korea initially denied allegations that they had been involved in approaching FIFTY FIFTY about violating their contracts with ATTRAKT to sign with another agency, ATTRAKT later released an audio recording from May in which an executive director at Warner Music Korea asks ATTRAKT CEO Jeon Hong Joon about a 20 billion won (approximately $15.3 million) buyout that he had already discussed with Ahn Sung Il.