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No Min Woo Sues SM Entertainment Over Alleged Slave Contract

BY Julie Jones | May 11, 2015 10:39 AM EDT


No Min Woo currently stars in the drama "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" but he is also in the middle of a lawsuit. According to the Korean media outlet Naver, the actor and ex-TRAX drummer is suing SM Entertainment for what he alleges is a slave contract.

No Min Woo debuted with the band TRAX in 2004 and left the group in 2006. Since then he appeared in more than a dozen dramas and five films. On May 11 the actor's legal representatives JC Partners said that he filed the legal suit in April 2014. He also reported the agency to Korea's Fair Trade Commission.

"Before No Min Woo debuted, he ended up signing a contract that spanned 17 years, as a result of SM Entertainment's unilateral terms of contract extension," said his legal team. "Contracts extending over seven years are considered unfair, so taking issue in a 17-year contract is a matter of course."

According to the lawyers, the actor was punished when he opposed the contract's terms.

"As soon as No Min Woo showed signs of opposition, SM halted all support activities expected of a management company. He did start activities again on his own, but SM Entertainment blocked his television appearances."

Taking on a powerful entertainment company such as SM is not something that a performer will do lightly., says his legal team.

"It goes to show how wronged No Min Woo must feel, to go to court with a huge management agency like SM over a contract that is already over," said his legal representative. "The development of this case will be something to see."

When news of the lawsuit became public, SM Entertainment responded with plans to counter-sue. They told the Korean media outlet Star Today that they plan to take action against the lawsuit, which they consider groundless and also against the report.

 In the past year EXO-M members Luhan and Kris have filed lawsuits against SM Entertainment, asking to nullify their contracts. Their legal team told the Chinese media outlet Sina that SM took advantage of their prominent position by negotiating an unreasonable and unfair contract with the agency celebrities.

Despite the broadcast ban, No Min Woo has been busy as an actor for the last year. He appeared in the box office hit film "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" and the dramas "God's Gift - 14 Days" and "The Greatest Marriage" before playing the title character in "My Unfortunate Boyfriend."

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