SPIRE Entertainment commented on more details that have been reported about the former CEO’s power trip against the OMEGA X’s members.
Last month, one of OMEGA X’s fans reported on Twitter that they had seen the CEO of the group’s agency SPIRE Entertainment hitting the members after their concert in Los Angeles. SPIRE Entertainment initially released a statement claiming that OMEGA X and the agency had “resolved all their misunderstandings.” After the controversy continued to draw attention, SPIRE Entertainment released an apology on November 7 along with the announcement that the CEO in question had resigned.
However, on November 11, SBS News reported more details of the abuse with a new video and alleged chat logs.
In the video footage, SBS News stated that the reason for the verbal and physical abuse in Los Angeles was because the members did not properly thank the CEO and the company at their concert. The CEO also told the members to pay the company’s 1 billion won (approximately $760,000) debt before leaving the company. The next day, she reportedly made a fuss at the hotel by roughly knocking on the members’ doors and cursed at their manager for not opening the doors to the point that locals and hotel employees had to break up the fight.
Following this incident, the co-chairman of the agency Hwang sent a message to the OMEGA X members, saying, “I know what CEO Kang did was wrong.” However, he also stated, “I cannot allow group action. Mannerless OMEGA X, you will see the consequences when you get back.”
Similar abuse of power by the CEO reportedly happened many times before as well. Once, the CEO had also forced the members to stop performing in the middle of their concert to video call her because she was furious they did not call her earlier even though her father passed away right before the concert started.
Another time, the CEO also urged one of the members, Jaehan, and his manager to get off a plane right away through text messages, cursing and threatening to sue if they didn’t. Furthermore, the CEO and Chairman Hwang have also allegedly forced the members to perform on stage while hiding the fact that four members had high fevers and tested positive for COVID-19 through self-testing kits. When the members expressed feeling terrible for lying, CEO Kang shouted, “No! That’s just because you all have no will to perform.” The text messages revealed during the incident further exposed that Chairman Hwang had also repeatedly told the members, “Pull yourself together,” and, “Arm yourself with mental spirit.”
Currently, it is reported that four members of OMEGA X are receiving treatment for panic disorder, anxiety, and insomnia. SPIRE Entertainment has also allegedly asked the 11 members on November 10 to pay 300 to 400 million won (approximately $230,000 to $300,000) per person as settlement fees.
When SBS News contacted SPIRE Entertainment for a statement regarding the newly released footage, the company briefly responded with, “The company has officially apologized, and the CEO in question has voluntarily resigned to take responsibility,” implying that they have solved all the issues. When the reporter called CEO Kang to ask if it is true she has indeed resigned, she indirectly avoided answering, “I am very sick right now, so I’ve checked in at a hospital. Can you call me later?”
The company has not given any response regarding the allegations that they had tried to cover up the members’ COVID-19 diagnoses to conduct overseas tour performances.
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