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Z.Tao's Reps In China Respond To SM Entertainment Lawsuit Citing Mistreatment

By Tamar Herman | September 24, 2015 08:57 AM EDT

In response to SM Entertainment's lawsuit against former EXO member Z.Tao, the singer's agency released a statement citing his claims.

Earlier this week, the Korean entertainment agency SM Entertainment announced that it would be filing an official lawsuit against former EXO member Huang Zitao (also known as Tao in Korea and Z.Tao in China) for pursuing a career in China while still under contract. In response to the lawsuit, Tao's Chinese management company, Huang Z.TAO Studio, released a statement.

The statement cited mistreatment and "moral criticism" from SM Entertainment as the reason for Tao's departure from EXO earlier this year.

According to AllKpop, Huang Z.TAO Studio's statement claimed that SM Entertainment's announcement regarding the lawsuit "is filled with false information."

SM Entertainment announced that it registered an official lawsuit against Tao in China on Sept. 18, taking action against "Tao's illegal celebrity activities," due to the fact that Tao is still under contract with SM until the courts make a decision.

Tao is the third former EXO member involved in lawsuits with SM Entertainment, following Kris (Wu Yi Fan) and Luhan, both of whom left EXO in 2014 citing similar claims of mistreatment.

The full statement made by Tao's representatives reads as follows:

1. SM delayed Tao's treatments of injuries that he sustained during his celebrity activities due to a lack of basic protection of his livelihood. In addition, SM also had many problems, discriminating between their Korean and Chinese celebrities.Due to this, Tao received severe mental and physical stress. However, even in a situation like this, Tao had wanted to continue with SM and tried to improve the situation by expressing his opinions about SM's unfair treatment. SM, however, did not take any action. During the time that Tao returned [to China] to receive treatment for his injuries, he and his father tried to negotiate with SM over 8 times, but SM only brought up extreme measures of solutions and revealed that they cannot modify his contract. It becomes most clear from SM's insincere attitude towards resolving their conflict that Tao had not been respected.

Due to this, Tao filed his contract nullification lawsuit at the Seoul Central Court on August 24, 2015. Tao filed the lawsuit without much choice, no longer able to endure the issues mentioned above.

2. There is an exaggeration within SM's announcement. Blowing up Tao and SM's contract dispute into a matter of [disturbing] cultural exchange between China and Korea, is an attempt to ruin Tao's celebrity life through the means of moral criticism. We think of it as a shame that such a statement has been brought up. According to the principles of contract relativity, no third parties should be brought into the lawsuit between SM and Tao, and no resolution will come from doing so. SM's abuse of the right to bring up legal action in court is also not helping resolve the conflict between the two sides. Also, the dispute must be settled in Korea according to the terms of the contract, and thus, SM filing a lawsuit in China does not correspond to the agreement of both sides.

We are presenting this announcement to prevent SM's one-sided attempt to mislead the public opinion. From hereon, the studio will take legal action through our lawyer against whatever announcement or reports that may infringe on Tao's reputation to protect our legal rights.


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Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy and Noisey.

Tagged :  EXO, tao, Z.TAO, lawsuit, SM Entertainment

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