SEOUL, South Korea (CelebrityAccess) — Bang Yong-guk, one of the members of South Korea’s most popular boy band B.A.P. is not renewing his deal with the band, or with TS Entertainment, the entertainment company behind the group.
In a statement released on Thursday, TS Entertainment said: “B.A.P’s Bang Yong-guk, who has been with TS Entertainment since August 12, 2011, recently saw his exclusive contract with us come to an end on August 19, 2018.
“We have spoken extensively with both Bang Yong Guk and the other members of B.A.P, and we will be respecting his decision to not renew his contract with us. We want to express our gratitude to Bang Yong Guk for being with us till now, and we wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors.”
TS Entertainment was quick to note that the group would be continuing as a quintet without Bang Yong Guk, with the remaining members Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo continuing their scheduled activities.
According to South Korean entertainment blog Soompi, the group had been addressing the fact that their contracts with TS Entertainment were coming up for renewal, and that each member’s contract ended on a different date.
In July, Soompi reported that Bang Yong-guk’s contract was the first to expire and that he was in negotiations over his future at the agency.
The group’s relationship with TS Entertainment has been contentious. In 2014, the members of the group sued TS Entertainment in a bid to nullify their contracts, alleging unfair working conditions and unfair profit distribution. In the suit, the group alleged that of the $9 million USD the group had earned over the course of three years, each member had been paid a total of just $18,000 USD, according to South Korean entertainment service NewSen.
TS Entertainment denied the group’s allegations and the lawsuit was settled in 2015.
Founded in 2008 by Kim Tae-Song, TS Entertainment is a talent agency and record label. The company focuses on managing boy bands and idol groups, including Secret, Soonamoo, and TRCNG.