EXO-Ls make a petition against SM's poor treatment towards EXO, which leaves some fans debating - were former EXO members Kris, Tao and Luhan really mistreated as opposed to many EXO-Ls' previous beliefs?
NOTE: This article is long, detailed and was mainly inspired by the video down below so if you don't feel like reading everything you could just watch the video since i'm not the all of the content's rightful owner anyways. The link to the petition is also in the video's description if you'd want to participate.
→Kris Wu (also known as Wu Yi Fan,) left SM Entertainment's mega-group EXO in 2014 whilst the group was in the middle of their upcoming song Overdose's promotions, which shocked and broke many hearts of EXO-Ls around the globe. He reportedly tried leaving the group back in 2013 when he left Korea for ca. 3 months and went back in Canada for a while, then also visited his home-country (China) but the other members and SM managers begged him to come back since he was the group's leader and was loved by too many fans for the company to lose him. Thinking about it now - it is true. Kris wasn't the most talented member of them all, but he was extremely charismatic and appealed to everyone, therefore attracted more potential fans to the group, which is a trait that not all idols usually have, regardless how much more good-looking or talented they are.
- Although he has always publicly spoken fondly of SM and his bandmates even after he left Korea for real back in 2014, there were more reasons to his sudden departure than "lack of music creativity freedom", as he likes to say in a lot of occasions.
- While demanding the cancellation of his exclusive contract with SM, after he took legal action against the company Kris's court representative claimed that his agency had never respected his opinions or health conditions in deciding schedules for the group‘s activities, treating him like “a machine part” or “an object of control.”
- At the time it was known by many fans that Kris had health problems that were treated very poorly (it was also suspected that he had a heart condition called myocarditis due to which he was seen visiting the hospital frequently). Some time after he had announced that he's leaving the company and went back to China, the largest Chinese internet portal and media Sina (which is just as powerful, if not even more powerful than Dispatch is right now in Korea) released illegally his medical records, suggesting that he really does have myocarditis, but Korean medias didn't really ever pay attention to it.
- According to Wikipedia, in young adults, myocarditis causes up to 20% of all cases of sudden death. Kris was often seen looking sick and touching his chest from a couple of seconds up to a couple of minutes (that is what patients with myocarditis usually instinctively do whenever they get chest pains, which are often described as "stabbing" in character) during concerts long before he had decided to finally leave the group.
→Five months later the former EXO member Lu Han (or Luhan) also followed with a departure from the group and legal action against SM.
- “SM treated EXO-K, filled with Korean members, differently from how they treated the EXO-M members with Chinese members,” Luhan said in the lawsuit. “From the beginning of our debut, EXO-K received support from SM and actively did promotions, but EXO-M had no promotions, received no financial backing, and endured a difficult time.” He sued SM Entertainment in October (2014) for breach of contract.
- His withdrawal was the least "controversial" out of all 3 of them, although it also did cause a huge stir amongst the group and the fandom. He most likely informed his bandmates that he'll leave a long time before he did, because none of them looked exceptionally surprised about it as opposed to when it came to Kris' and Tao' departure.
- →What went down with Tao (also known as Huang Zitao):
(the messiest departure of them all)
- Amongst all of the members, it was Tao who was greatly affected by Kris’ departure. He decided to bring his thoughts to the popular social media network Instagram.
In an Instagram post after Kris’ withdrawal, Tao expressed that he felt betrayed and thought that Kris intentionally hid all of his plans from the group, putting them in a compromise. The post' exact text was far from respectful towards his bandmate and was deleted a couple of months later.
Good things and bad things will always switch, so when it comes to alleged "betrayal", no one should be to blame.
If somebody of this group wishes to leave - we can’t keep him from leaving, Tao. (especially if they had more than enough reason
With two Chinese members leaving, it was being speculated that the China-line members left would also be leaving (him and Lay) but for a while - it looked like Lay wasn't planning on leaving at all.
2015 passed and Tao went on with his promotional activities with Exo (and his individual gigs). He appeared in variety shows both in Korea and China simultaneously. Amidst all these appearances, Tao began sustaining a lot of body injuries. He was also chosen to compete in physically draining sports events such as the “Idol Star Athletic Championships” in 2013 where he suffered from an injury after a high jump event and another foot injury while filming “Laws of the Jungle” in 2014. These repeated reports of injury started worrying fans and fueled rumors of him possibly leaving once again.
In March 2015, Exo released their sophomore album “Exodus” which spawned the hit single “Call Me Baby”. During the promotional rounds for the album, Tao was evidently missing from their performances as it was reported that he is seeking treatment for his ankle injury that he got from his appearance in MBC’s “Idol Futsal World Cup” in February 2015.
Tao’s father posted a letter in the Chinese social media site Weibo in April 22, 2015, in which he stated that he wishes for Tao to leave the group. He cites that the lack of support from SM Entertainment in terms of his recovery from his sustained injuries has compromised his son greatly, thus he believes that leaving the group will serve as the best for Tao.
From then on, Tao went on an abrupt hiatus from Exo, and has remained in China for the time being.
A couple of months after Tao went back to China he begged for Kris' forgiveness in an interview, saying he was sorry about the disrespectful remarks he had previously publicly made towards him after his departure via Instagram. He also stated that back when he was debating on whether he should publish the degrading post, although his bandmates told him not to do it - a SM staff member encouraged him to post it, so he did.
A long time before Tao's father announced that he wants his son to go back to China - Tao was captured in multiple occasions traveling with a wheelchair, not being able to walk, yet was still forced to perform and train for hours and hours in a row.
- 4. EXO-Ls petition against SM's mistreatment towards EXO.
- “Give EXO fair TREATMENT and proper PROMOTION” is the name of the petition.
- Taking into consideration that SM Entertainment publicly treats one of their biggest moneymakers of all times like they don't exist anymore - some old EXO fans can't help but wonder - were Kris, Tao and Luhan's allegations against the company actually completely true? Back when they left EXO many fans were left heartbroken and utterly mad at the former members. Many refused to believe that they were stating the truth and left only because they weren't making as much money as they wanted to/they were lazy and et cetera...
- Some of them even still call them "the traitor line". What is your opinion in this whole situation? Do the EXO members deserve to be treated better than SM and were the former members really mistreated as opposed to the public's popular beliefs?
"This petition was created to fight for EXO’s fair treatment and proper promotion from SM Entertainment. Fans will no longer tolerate poor management of the group, and we call demand to the following:
1. More international stops for the EP5 tour. Places such as the USA, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Oceania, etc.
2. Longer and proper promotion period for comebacks such as variety shows, Vlives, radio shows, music shows, etc.
3. Creative freedom for the members who want to write, produce, and publish their own music
4. An accessible platform to view EXO reality shows i.e. YouTube or Vlive
5. EXO as a group/EXO members individually appearances on variety shows (Masked singer, Dingo, Idol Room, etc.)
6. Usage of EXO’s own youtube channel where MVs, dance practices and other EXO related content can be uploaded
7. Upload Ooh La La La, Tempo, and Love Shot’s dance practice as well as any other new dance practices in the future on EXO’s own YouTube channel
8. EXO members as coaches on shows such as Under 19, The Unit, etc.
9. Members’ solo debuts
10. 2019 comeback without abnormally long delays or rushed scheduling
11. Allow EXO to work with international brands and artists i.e. Fenty Beauty, Clean Bandit, YouTube Premium
Please sign the petition against SM Entertainment and join us on Twitter @EXOSUPPORTCREW for the spam we have planned! #BetterForEXO"