K-pop girl group FIFTY FIFTY have recently lost out on numerous opportunities due to their health issues and legal troubles.
“Barbie” music video: The production of FIFTY FIFTY‘s music video for their song “Barbie Dreams,” featured on the soundtrack of the upcoming film “Barbie,” has been canceled. On Tuesday, ATTRAKT, the group’s agency, cited member Aran’s recent illness and subsequent surgery as the reason for the cancellation. Aran’s two-month recovery timetable made it impossible to schedule the filming of the music video.
The “Barbie” movie album and the film itself are slated for release on July 21.
KCON appearance: Additionally, ATTRAKT posted to FIFTY FIFTY’s official fan cafe on July 4 and announced the cancellation of FIFTY FIFTY’s scheduled appearance at KCON LA 2023 due to “internal circumstances.” The group was initially scheduled to perform at the event on Aug. 19.
Aside from “Barbie” and KCON, S. Korean newspaper Ilgan Sports reported that FIFTY FIFTY lost commercial opportunities with Korean sports stars and entertainment programs.
Ongoing legal troubles: FIFTY FIFTY has been swept up in a whirlwind of legal woes since last month.
ATTRAKT filed a lawsuit against content creation company The Givers after accusing them of attempting to poach the group’s members and acquire the copyrights to their song “Cupid.” Warner Music Korea, the group’s global distributor, denies involvement in the alleged poaching attempt, while The Givers asserts having ownership of the song’s copyright even before the FIFTY FIFTY project began.
In response, all four group members filed a lawsuit against ATTRAKT, citing financial transparency issues and disregard for their health conditions, while The Givers plans to countersue for spreading false rumors.
Phone recording and Dispatch report:
On July 3, ATTRACT released an alleged audio recording between CEO Jeon Hong Joon and Yoon, the executive director of Warner Music Korea. In the recording, Yoon tells Jeon he previously discussed a 20 billion won (approximately $15.3 million) buyout with The Givers CEO Ahn Sung Il, which Jeon had no prior knowledge of.
On July 4, South Korean tabloid Dispatch published an exposé revealing new details about the relationship between FIFTY FIFTY, Ahn and ATTRAKT. According to the article, Ahn was found to be the main benefactor behind FIFTY FIFTY’s viral hit song “Cupid,” which was originally produced by Swedish students. Dispatch disclosed that Ahn purchased the copyright claim from the Swedish students for $9,000, thereby gaining ownership of the song’s royalties. The investigation further suggested that Ahn may have used funds provided by ATTRAKT for the transaction.
Dispatch’s report also presented evidence contradicting FIFTY FIFTY’s claims that Jeon had forced the group to perform while injured, with messages revealing the CEO’s concern for the members’ health.
The court case between ATTRAKT and The Givers will begin on Wednesday.