On Friday, June 14, YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun-Suk announced that he will no longer be working for the company. YG Entertainment is one of the “Big Three” entertainment companies in K-pop, having launched the careers of groups like BLACKPINK, BIGBANG, and 2NE1.
The Burning Sun Scandal
YG has been in the midst of various scandals over the past few months concerning the company itself and its artists. The scandals began shortly after the new year when the “Burning Sun” investigations began. The investigation is focused on corruption and criminal behavior in Seoul’s nightclub scene. At the center of the scandal is BIGBANG member Seungri, who allegedly facilitated prostitution and drug deals for potential business partners.
Last month, the probe extended to Yang himself, after reports emerged implicating him in soliciting prostitution for business partners. YG has since denied these claims.
Just this week, iKON member B.I. announced his sudden departure from the group. Reports have been released revealing that the K-pop star attempted to purchased LSD back in 2016. In an Instagram post, the rapper denied taking drugs, but did admit to having an interest in taking them in the past. In that same post, he announced his departure from iKON.
Following B.I.’s departure, allegations arose that Yang had worked to keep the case from being investigated by police. YG has also denied these claims. This was not the only case of drug abuse to rock YG. Throughout the years, the company has been plagued by allegations of their artists using drugs and engaging in other illegal activity.
As a result of these scandals, YG Entertainment’s stock has been incredibly unstable. Their stocks have dropped significantly every time a new scandal emerges.
According to reports, hours after Yang’s departure, his younger brother Yang Min-Suk also stepped down from his role as CEO of YG. According to Billboard, Yang Hyun-Suk is the largest shareholder of the company with a 16.12 percent stake, while his younger brother holds 3.31 percent.
Yang made a statement on YG’s website regarding the allegations. The statement was as follows: “I’ve dedicated the past 23 years of my life to YG Entertainment. It brought me great happiness to support the best music and the best artists…I thought of it as the only thing I could offer fans and society. … However, from today I will step away from all of my roles and work at YG. I sincerely hope that there will not be any further damage to my beloved celebrities under YG, and to the loving fans, because of me.”
There has been no further news on any legal actions that could be taken against Yang and the company.
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