Dispatch has revealed evidence of TS Entertainment's alleged abuse and mistreatment of former TRCNG members Wooyeop and Taeseon.
After Wooyeop and Taeseon stated they were filing a lawsuit against the label for child abuse, TS Entertainment denied the claims and announced the two members' exit from TRCNG. The label further stated it would be filing a countersuit against the two former members for libel. Wooyeop and Taeseon then worked with Dispatch to release evidence of their claims, which you can see below.
One of the claims presented by Wooyeop and Taeseon include TRCNG's poor living conditions. It's reported 8 members lived in 2 rooms on the 1st floor of a duplex apartment in Hannam-dong, Seoul, while 2 other members lived in an attic-type room on the 2nd floor of the duplex. Both former members stated the 10 members lived in an extremely cramped space. Wooyeop stated, "The 2nd floor is just a storage room. The ceiling is low, so you can't stand up all the way. It's not heated well either. We had to live in clutter around our belongings, clothes, and equipment." It's also reported the apartment was old and not well-maintained, and the below image reveals flooring damaged by a water leak.
Dispatch also reported the electricity and water to the apartment were often cut off because of unpaid bills, which was the responsibility of TS Entertainment. Wooyeop stated, "In January of 2018, our boiler was shut off. Four to five of our members caught a severe flu, so we washed and slept at the sauna instead. That was when we were promoting our 2nd album, but we went through it and performed on stage. When we went to the hospital, we had to pay for it ourselves."
It was only when the electricity company sent a final notice for unpaid bills and Taeseon reminded the label that TS Entertainment staff finally paid the bills.
The third claim by Wooyeop and Taeseon was broken appliances and the lack of basic necessities. It's reported the lighting in TRCNG's dorms were broken, and on January 7 of this year, the lights in their laundry room and kitchen broke as well, while other lighting broke on the 15th and 21st. TRCNG's manager reportedly continually forgot to attend to the lights, and according to Taeseon, the manager simply laughed and scheduled another day to fix them. However, the lights are reportedly still broken.
It's further reported one toilet in their dormitory had to be repaired, and all 10 members were forced to share the other one toilet in their living space. That toilet also needed repair eventually. Wooyeop and Taeseon revealed this occurred in December of 2017, January of 2018, and February of 2019. Though the members asked TS Entertainment to call the plumber, the label allegedly didn't respond. Wooyeop's mother called and paid for plumbing services herself.
Wooyeop's mother wasn't the only one who had to step in. The other TRCNG mothers took their own time and money to help replace water dispensers and air conditioners as the agency refused. Though the mothers contacted TS Entertainment on multiple occasions, they received no answer. They then banded together with their own money to help TRCNG as they needed air conditioners in the summer.
Taeseon also stated the members bought their own clothing and food, which was usually from convenience stores. The agency is said to have only provided meals if they practiced late at night, and even then, the members were usually given fried rice. Taeseon revealed, "We once bought coffee on the way to our training studio. The label scolded us, saying, 'Why didn't you buy coffee for us?' They scolded us for being rude. We had to buy coffee for agency staff the next day."
In a more alarming claim, Wooyeop and Taeseon stated they were physically assaulted by TS Entertainment staff multiple times even when the members were underage. Chat logs reveal managers berating and cursing at the TRCNG members for starting a live broadcast before he was there though he previously stated they only needed to send him a text message. More chat logs reveal staff members getting drunk and cursing at the members and one staff member asking an underage TRCNG to an illegal entertainment bar, where prostitution is common.
Wooyeop and Taeseon revealed photos of the members being assaulted by staff members as well. The photos show a staff member hitting one member's neck with a toothbrush though the staff member has stated it was simply a punishment while they were playing a game. Wooyeop further stated he was hit with a metal chair and received severe bruises, and he revealed he has medical documents and members as witnesses.
In another chat log, the TRCNG members discuss how all the members were hit despite the TS Entertainment director denying ever assaulting any other member.
It's also said the TRCNG members were used as laborers for a TS Entertainment executive's hobby of collecting Nike Air Jordans. Wooyeop and Taeseon revealed an image of the members and dance team members organizing, posting, packaging, and selling the shoes online. The two former TRCNG members stated, "He would call the members to the practice room and make us research the shoes. We would search on internet forums for Nike fans. We would make post-its and put it on the boxes, and the dance team would make the internet posts."
The TRCNG members also revealed they had racked up millions of Won of debt to their agency. According to TS Entertainment documents, the label spent 1.643 billion Won ($1.4 million USD) on the group from January 2011 to January 2018 although TRCNG debuted in 2017. In the years since their debut, TRCNG reportedly earned 269 million Won ($230,000 USD), but they owe TS Entertainment $1.2 million USD.
The exclusive contract for TRCNG also states a timeline of 9 years starting from their first album release. The profits from their music releases are reportedly divided 9:1 TS Entertainment to TRCNG, 8:2 from their third full-length album onwards, and advertisement deals and events are divided 7:3. As there are 10 members in the group, this means the label takes 90% of the profits, while each member only receives 1%.
Stay tuned for updates.