I hold a lot of respect for Fantagio. Not only do they offer suicide prevention and sexual education classes, warn their idols of bad people to stay away from, don’t enforce strict dieting, allow plenty of freedom and are kind to both idols and fans, but they train and raise their idols to be amazing performers. Of course they’re not perfect. They have made mistakes in the past and will continue to do so, but I personally believe they’re a lot fairer than many other companies out there. For a company that solely trained actors, they’re doing exceptionally well with Hello Venus, 5URPRISE, ASTRO, Weki Meki and Ong Seongwu.
WFT is happening with Fantagio? I don't understand... I'm sorry, I'm not the smartest in a pot, could you put it simply?
to put it very simply, a chinese company (jc group) which bought fantagio shares and owns a majority of them (which basically means that they almost singlehandedly own most of the fantagio corporation) have started to operate against fantagio by dismissing the co-ceo and founder na byeongjun from his position, which was reported to have been news to fantagio (basically no one discussed it). now the only ceo is the jc group ceo wei jei. (why is this important? well, it’s claimed that he was fired via a board directors meeting…. well… NA BYEONGJUN IS A PART OF THE BOARD. if this was done just how it was claimed to be done - without no prior consultation with fantagio, it gets highly confusing)
it’s claimed that na byeongjun was fired due to a budget deficit (though the obvious solution from an econ standpoint would have been to release more shares to pool more capital or obligations to fund the deficit instead of… you know… firing the head man…. and that’s why it’s concerning, in my opinion. it’s not a usual decision and if implies that jc group had bigger intentions. this is only my opinion, though.)
along with that, it’s reported that the corporation credit cards were taken away from the staffs, which means that whatever you have seen recently that might have required money, chances are it was funded out of pocket of the staffs and idols (for example, the food that astro gave out to arohas during dogeball COULD HAVE been funded out of their own pockets, considering the current situation)
it’s also reported that they pooled fantagio money to an unrelated hong kong company. which goes against that fantagio budget deficit (their expenses are higher than what they can afford basically) thing because why would you drain money from a corporation that has a budget deficit? or did it cause the deficit? either way, jc group knew what they were doing, since numbers can be foreseen easily. had they held fantagio’s best intentions in mind, they wouldn’t have done that, again, in my opinion.
in response to this, fantagio has had a crisis meeting and have settled with 9 demands for jc group. if the latter doesn’t fulfill the demands, fantagio corporation staff and employees are going on strike, which means that every schedule will be cancelled and fantagio artists’ songs won’t be played on radios. it’s chaos basically.
this is concerning because fantagio is not just fantagio music. it’s a HUGE corporation with a film production, idol/actor training, management training, cafe franchise companies under it’s wing. there are a lot of people working under it which are now in danger because the stability in fantagio corporation is non-existent. idols, actors are somewhat protected by their contracts, we don’t have to worry about ong as long as he’s under ymc contract, too, though, i’m not sure if it’s possible to sell the idols under contact. i believe it is, because of what happened to madtown (they were sold to a fraud company and have been going trough court to have their contract terminated. thankfully, they won, but the thing is is that they had nothing once they were sold). what we do have to worry about is the staffs, countless trainees and everyone operating under fantagio. chances are those caring people that have made fantagio into what it is (basically a company that offers therapy, free-time with family, school for managers, free diets, sexual predator lists) are now in danger. keeping in mind the actions of jc group and the lack of fantagio involvement in the decisions involving fantagio corporation, it’s very likely they won’t accept the 9 demands and the road can lead to more cuts and even the end of the company.
please, don’t ignore this issue. we can not do much, but we do matter, as consumers of what fantagio entertainment puts out. we can help fantagio by trending the #판타지오_대표는_나병준_대표님 hashtag, so jc group can not ignore us.
In December 2016, the Korean branch of Chinese group JC Group (Korean branch called Gold Finance) purchased a large share of Fantagio’s stocks. This put Wei Jie, the CEO of Gold Finance, into the position of co-CEO along with former sole CEO and founder of Fantagio, Na Byungjun.
More recently, JC Group bought more shares of Fantagio, all the way until they owned 50.7% of the company. This gave them more control over the company than anybody else had. Several days ago, JC Group dismissed Na Byungjun as CEO. There are also reports of JC Group taking money out of the company and sending it to an unrelated company in Hong Kong. JC Group also took away the corporate credit cards that their artists and staff use for business purposes, meaning that their artists and staff have been paying for things out of pocket. Additionally, JC Group has also fired some of the Fantagio workers and claim that Fantagio will be under new Chinese management.
Now, Fantagio is in a state of disarray. In an emergency meeting, Fantagio came up with 9 demands they’re going to hold JC Group to, which include fixing all of the above issues and some others. Fantagio staff members have threatened a strike should their demands not be met.
For now, Fantagio’s artists are all largely unaffected. Most idol contracts have precautions that will protect them against situations like this. However, scheduled events may be postponed or cancelled entirely. This may affect the 2018 global fan meets, but as of right now, everything is still set to go and no schedules have been changed.
We will continue to update as the situation progresses. In the meantime, you can tweet #판타지오_대표는_나병준_대표님 (translation: Fantagio’s CEO is Na Byungjun) to show your support for reinstating Na Byungjun as CEO.