TS Entertainment’s Girl Group SECRET: Future Plans After Members Have Left
Do you know the girl group that is famous in the 2nd-generation K-Pop with hits like “Magic,” “Shy Boy,” and “Love Is Move?” The girl group which consists of four members and often uses sexy concepts has quite a lot of fans from South Korea and is also famous among international fans.
But unfortunately, the popular girl group, deemed as one of the legendary K-Pop groups did not get a chance to continue their careers together and get a decent comeback from their agency.
What will SECRET and its members do after leaving TS Entertainment? Will they reunite as a girl group in the future? Well, let’s take a closer look at the details of SECRET members’ activities after they left the company.
Ji-eun’s Transformation Into an Actress
Song Ji-eun began her career when she debuted with SECRET in 2009. After being under TS Entertainment for nine years and getting a chance to debut as a solo singer, Song Ji-eun decided to terminate her contract with TS Entertainment and leave the girl group.
The initial news of Song Ji-eun leaving SECRET and suing TS Entertainment has been circulating since February 28th, 2018. The news included information that Song Ji-eun submitted a request to the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board in August 2017 to verify her contract.
She wanted to ensure that her contract with TS Entertainment is invalid due to several reasons. The reason is the payment of appearing in a drama that is not appropriate, contracts that are not according to her wish, failure to provide compensation, and transfer of contract rights to third parties without her permission.
Also on the same day, Song Ji-eun announced her departure from SECRET via her Instagram account @SECRET_jieunssong.
In her post, she wrote her expression of gratitude to the agency for changing her small dream into a bigger one. Not only to thank the agency for raising her, but Song Ji-eun also thanked fans who loved and supported her.
Song Ji-eun said that she had reached a decision about her contract that was already invalid, leaving SECRET and starting anew with the name Song Ji-eun. “I will leave SECRET and make a fresh start with the name Song Ji-eun. In my opinion, all your enthusiasm and support will be a great strength for me,” said Song Ji-eun.
The former member of SECRET, Song Ji-eun, ended her writing by giving hope to fans that she would greet fans again under better conditions. Song Ji-eun also apologized to fans for having to preach the bad news to them.
In her Instagram post, Song Ji-eun revealed the reason why she left the group and broke the contract with TS Entertainment.
It’s true that I submitted a settlement to the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board in August 2017 about the illegality of my contract with TS Entertainment, and recently reached a decision that my exclusive contract was invalid. The statement of an article that says that I am currently in a civil suit is incorrect.
They realized that many fans were waiting for SECRET’s return, so they were very careful to make this announcement. I will leave SECRET and undergo a new career as Song Ji-eun. I feel that your enthusiasm and support is the biggest strength for me. The time has come for me to develop through experiences like this. I hope to see you guys again with a more cheerful image and like the original Song Ji-eun. I’m sorry and thank you.
– Song Ji-eun
Nevertheless, Song Ji-eun who slowly but surely began her career as an actress is increasingly reaping praise from the public and the fans who have watched several K-Dramas where Song Ji-eun is starring.
After Song Ji-eun sued TS Entertainment and hoped that her rights could be protected, the agency that enabled SECRET’s debut and promotion also gave a statement that they would sue Song Ji-eun’s side.
Song Ji-eun revealed, TS Entertainment did not pay her honor after playing in Sweet Home Sweet Honey. She also accused the agency of transferring her exclusive contract to a third party and signing a commercial work contract unilaterally without her permission.
On March 2nd, 2018, through a press release, the agency said it did not know anything about the decision of the actress who appeared in the drama My Secret Romance.
“This is a unilateral decision! We even learned about Song Ji-eun’s decision from social media. To find out the real problem, we then asked the SECRET members. But they also claimed to be surprised by the news,” said a representative from TS Entertainment.
TS Entertainment also explained the accusations of not being able to pay for the drama project that Song Ji-eun starred in. “We have never had a problem with the payment of our artists. Keep in mind, TS Entertainment signed a non-exclusive contract with an acting agency to diversify the business. That agency is in charge of the drama cooperation contracts for our artists,” said the agency.
“If the agency sees an attractive employment opportunity, TS Entertainment allows the artist to sign a new contract before starting the drama project. So, this should not directly involve us,” they continued.
The war between TS Entertainment and actress Song Ji-eun invited quite a lot of attention from the public, especially SECRET fans who have been impatient to wait for their favorite girl group comeback after more than four years of hiatus.
Some comments from netizens read, “She is an artist under your management. You should give her a job. I will also quit if the agency does not pay attention,” commented a netter. “SECRET is as good as disbanded because they are doing individual activities. Their agency should move on and release them,” said another netter.
“Let her go,” a netter said. “Song Ji-eun is also human,” commented another netter. “No wonder she wants to get out. It would be better for the image of her agency if they just let her go,” added another.
After filing a lawsuit against TS Entertainment, Song Ji-eun slowly restarted her career and was ready to star in a new drama. On January 23rd, 2019, actress Song Ji-eun reportedly signed an exclusive contract with Haewadal Entertainment.
“Song Ji-eun is not only a skilled singer, but she is also a versatile actress with great potential in acting. We will fully support her activities in the future.” Haewadal Entertainment is an agency for artists Ha Ji-won and Park Ki-woong.
After about three months into the exclusive contract with the new agency, Haewadal Entertainment, Song Ji-eun returned with the shocking news that she terminated the contract for some reason. The agency commented, “This decision was taken by both parties, namely to terminate the contract because we have concluded that our direction is different.”
On April 1st, 2019, news about Song Ji-eun and her old agency, TS Entertainment, re-emerged and several sources provided developments in the two parties’ claims. “TS Entertainment has requested and registered to mediate the issue of Song Ji-eun’s exclusive contract with the Korea Entertainment Management Association’s Disciplinary Mediation Committee (DMEC).”
A committee source stated, “There is a problem between TS Entertainment and Song Ji-eun regarding an exclusive contract, and we have received a request for mediation. At the moment, we are talking about ethical considerations in managerial regulations. Because we are understanding the authenticity of all aspects of this issue, (Song Ji-eun) cannot contact other agencies regarding exclusive contracts and related matters before the matter is resolved.”
On June 22nd, 2019, Song Ji-eun again signed an exclusive contract with her new agency, 6 Ocean. “We have signed an exclusive contract with Song Ji-eun a few days ago,” said a representative from 6 Ocean. After joining the new agency, Song Ji-eun is one of 6 Ocean’s celebrities besides Park In-hwan, Go Eun-mi, and 2 AM’s Changmin.
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Up until recently, Song Ji-eun has starred in several K-Dramas such as Sweet Home, Sweet Honey, My Secret Romance, and the last one is Melting Me Softly which was broadcast in 2019 on the tvN television channel. In the drama Melting Me Softly, Song Ji-eun played the role of Oh Young-seon who was a college student.