The rift between Lee Soo-Man and his nephew, SM Entertainment’s co-CEO Lee Sung-soo, continues to deepen as the latter recently uploaded a video to expose the company’s founder.
In summary, the co-CEO, nephew of Lee Soo-Man’s wife, who has been sitting in the CEO position since 2020, uploaded a video on his personal YouTube channel, accusing Lee Soo-Man of ruining the prestigious company due to his greed. In the video, the co-CEO stated that members of SM Entertainment, both its leaders and staff, cannot stand by and watch the Soo-Man control the company, and he explains why.
The co-CEO exposed that Lee Soo-Man founded a Hong Kong-based production company, CT Planning Limited, in 2019. He did this to evade taxes and, from then on, sought to expand that company’s businesses to include all of SM artists’ overseas music activities. SM Entertainment’s founder, according to the CEO, forced artists to publicly announce that he was important to the company and tried to manipulate the staff. He did this by ordering the establishment of a team to sway an upcoming shareholders’ meeting in his favor, with a whopping budget estimated to be more than 10 billion KRW, roughly $7.8 million.
Lee Sung-soo aired how he’s ashamed and feeling wretched and no longer has a face to show to SM Entertainment’s staff, its fans, artists, and every shareholder who invested in the company. He accused Lee Soo-Man’s stubbornness of resulting in Aespa, their popular 4th generation group, having to cancel their album and comeback. Lee Soo-Man’s “green and stubborness” related to his real estate business and production led to the girl group’s new album, supposed release to be February 20, 2023, being delayed.
The co-CEO narrated that since 2022, Lee Soo-Man argued for a KPop festival focused on the idea of ‘planting trees’ and rooting for sustainability. Ultimately, he removed Aespa’s already planned concept and metaverse to be changed into singing about planting trees. He revealed that Aespa members were so sad they were filled up with tears, and the co-CEOs could not stand by content no one agreed with and decided to cancel it for Aespa’s sake. Scrapping the plans delayed the band’s comeback. He revealed that the founder pushed these sustainability initiatives out of interest in real estate and casinos.
Lee Soo-Man hasn’t responded to his nephew’s allegations, but he did express his disappointment towards his nephew to the media. According to the news outlet JTBC, translated by Koreaboo, he tearfully narrated that he watched his late wife’s nephew grow since he was four. SM’s co-CEO has been with him since he entered SM Entertainment at 19 years old, working on managing fans. He’s a kind nephew who grew up in their family with his father being a pastor, and how this hurts his feelings.
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily