On November 23, media outlet Dispatch followed up their bombshell exposé alleging that Lee Seung Gi had never been paid for his music with an article revealing new text messages from Hook Entertainment CEO Kwon Jin Young.
In the article, Dispatch alleges that the reason why Lee Seung Gi had believed his agency’s claims that he wasn’t a profitable singer and that he was a “Minus Singer” was because of the agency CEO’s gaslighting.
Gaslighting is the act of manipulating someone to question their own reality. Gaslighting is very harmful and is often used in abusive relationships, whether it be between lovers or, in Lee Seung Gi’s case, between employee and employer.
You’re a “Minus Singer.”
Lee Seung Gi has made a lot of money through his appearances in K-Dramas, variety shows, and endorsements. His appearance fee is very expensive. According to the Dispatch article, Lee Seung Gi was properly paid for these endeavors.
The article claims that Lee Seung Gi was happy with the amount he was paid, and because of this, he didn’t want to challenge the agency’s assertion that he wasn’t a profitable singer.
Lee Seung Gi’s manager revealed to Dispatch that the agency’s CEO, Kwon Jin Young, would often tell Lee Seung Gi that he was a “Minus Singer.”
The CEO would always say, ‘You’re a minus singer. Your fans never spend money but ask for so much. You made a lot of money through other (acting, variety shows) projects. Just think of your singing career as fan service.’ She brainwashed him. If he had questioned her about the accounting, he would have been scolded. Lee Seung Gi chose not get cursed out rather than get paid.
— Lee Seung Gi’s manager
Lee Seung Gi’s manager empathized with his singer, stating he also would have given up (challenging the accounting).
The manager then revealed text messages shedding further insight into the abuse by CEO Kwon Jin Young. The messages reveal the manipulation, terror, and level of surveillance that the CEO put her employees through.
- Manager: “Seung Gi hyung said he’s having a sandwich and coffee for dinner, so I charged ₩27,000 KRW (about $20.00 USD) on the company card.
- Manager: “I arrived at the office. After cleaning the van, I will leave work.
- CEO: “If it’s after work or dinner, convince him to use his personal card.”
- Manager: “Ok.”
- Manager: “Seung Gi hyung asked me to buy him an energy bar and snacks at SSG, so I charged ₩29,800 KRW (about $22.00 USD) on the company card.”
- CEO: “For personal purchases, convince him to use his personal card.”
- Manager: “Yes, I’m sorry. He said he was going to eat it while filming Little Forest, so I used the company card. For personal items, I will use (our) personal cards.”
- CEO: Ok.
- Manager: “I charged ₩14,500 KRW (about $10.70 USD) on the company card for parking at the reading session. We will go to the location for dinner afterward.”
- CEO: “The parking fee is crazy. Tell him to do it at a place where there is parking.”
- Manager: “Yes, I will do as you ask.”
- Manager: “This is Seung Gi hyung’s schedule. I’m telling you this now because he contacted me last night.11:30 Dentist
13:00 I will drop him off at a golf course in Gyeonggi-do and will immediately return to the office.”
- CEO: “How many times do I have to tell you that the golf course is his personal activity.”
- CEO: “Seung Gi is the way he is because you allow it.”
- CEO: “If you don’t want to tell him ‘No’ and only want to be his dongseng then leave.”
- Manager: “I am sorry. After the last time you told me (about the golf course), I have never driven him to the golf course. Unfortunately, Seung Gi hyung left his car in Namyangju after filming his personal content and went home in a cab, so he asked me this one time. I told him I would return to the office immediately after dropping him off, and I am on my way now.”
- Manager: “I’ve arrived to work. I will take the car to take Seung Gi hyung to get a cut.”
- CEO: “After you are finished with the cut, run an errand for me.”
- Manager: “OK.”
- CEO: “Where is Manager 2(a different manager)?”
- Manager: “Manager 2 went to work out.”
- CEO: “Take yours and Manager 2’s company cards to the Burberry Store. Ask for (Burberry Employee) and pay for my clothes.”
- CEO: “It’s ₩3.00 million KRW (about $2,220 USD) so take both two cards.”
- CEO: “When can you go?”
- Manager: “Ok. I think I will make it around 16:00.”
- CEO: “You can also ask for the store’s manager.”
- CEO: “OK.”
- CEO: “Take care of it quickly.”
Previously, Dispatch released an article alleging that Lee Seung Gi had not been paid throughout his singing career. The allegations follow a raid by Police Agents on the agency. Since the allegations, HOOK Entertainment’s CEO has released a statement. You can read her statement in the link below.