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3.24.2010

korean talent audition is a scam

Want to the be next big Korean pop star? Here's how not to do it. Watch out! Got this message passed along to me about Eden Entertainment, an Atlanta-based entertainment company, which recently held "open auditions" claiming to be on behalf of SM Entertainment, YG Family, and Jungle Entertainment. This, however, was a scam:
On March 13 & 14, 2010, Atlanta-based entertainment company Eden Entertainment held an "open audition" in Duluth, which was revealed by Tiger JK of Drunken Tiger to be a fraud. This "audition," sponsored by Korea Times and MBC of Atlanta, was advertised to be an audition for SM Entertainment, YG Family, and Jungle Entertainment. Normally, major Korean entertainment companies do not hold auditions jointly with other companies, given that the point of holding auditions is not to share but to hoard talent. In addition, major Korean music labels never charge money to those auditioning.

On March 16, Tiger JK of Drunken Tiger, the CEO of Jungle Entertainment, sent out this message on Twitter: "JUNGLE ENT DID NOT SEND PEOPS OUT IN ATL, TO AUDITON NOBODY!!!! "BE AWARE OF THEM FAKE A&R AND TALENT SCOUTERS." Because of this message, which was reposted and spread like fire through the Internet, many in the Atlanta Korean community were made aware that the Eden "audition" was a fraud.

The Eden Entertainment "audition" charged $10 per participant, making possibly thousands of dollars for Eden president Thomas Lee. Neither SM, YG, nor Jungle Entertainment gave Eden permission to hold auditions on their behalf, nor was permission given to Eden to use the corporate logos of SM, YG, and Jungle on Eden's advertisements for the "audition." The record labels only authorized Eden to submit videos of Atlanta talent, which any person (not just Thomas Lee of Eden) has the right to do with any record label anywhere. But Eden's fraudulent use of the company logos created the false impression that the auditions were officially sanctioned by SM, YG, and Jungle, allowing Eden to attract a large number of paying auditioners who thought they were auditioning for a major Korean record label.

The fraud continues in that finalists for the Eden "audition" are now meeting at MBC in Atlanta on a regular basis with Eden representatives, and these auditioners have not yet been informed that the auditions were exposed by Jungle Entertainment as a scam. Furthermore, neither Korea Times nor MBC, who sponsored the "audition," have yet to make a larger announcement to the Atlanta Korean community that Eden should return the $10 audition fee to all auditioners. In this sense, Korea Times and MBC continue to be active participants in the fraud.
If you're in Atlanta, and you went to this shady audition with the hopes of becoming a star, be aware that you've basically been swindled out of ten bucks, and Eden Entertainment probably isn't doing a damn thing for you. Spread the word, and follow your K-pop dreams elsewhere.