Extra! Korea

May 13, 2010

JYP Entertainment admits that Wonder Girls’ health insurance expired

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 8:05 am

In yesterday’s post, we heard allegations that the Wonder Girls did not have health insurance when they were in the United States, which were met with denial.

JYP Entertainment now admits that the Wonder Girls’ health insurance expired in January.

Frankly, I find the details to be a little difficult to understand but here’s how I understand it. The Girls entered the United States last April under F-1 (student) visas, as they were registered at a language institute. Being on student visas allowed them to apply for health insurance, which they had until January. They “immediately” switched to O-1 (scientist/artist/educator/businessperson/athlete) visas. Despite not being on student visas anymore, they continued to attend the language institute until their hectic schedules of flying in and out of the U.S. forced them to drop out of the institute, at which point, they lost their health insurance.

Jung [Wook, head of JYP Entertainment] said JYPE was under no obligation to provide the members of the group with health insurance because the company ”did not maintain an employer and employee relationship.“

Huh? What? They’re don’t have an “employer and employee relationship”? Then what kind of relationship do they have?

“You do realize over 50 million Americans don’t carry health insurance and most Korean nationals there don’t as well, right?” he asked.

Yeah? And … ? So what? Nice attempt at deflection. Unfortunately (for him), most people don’t have that severe a case of Attention Deficit Disorder.

Regarding the fine that JYP Entertainment paid …

According to the citation administered by the New York City Department of Buildings, it has placed the unresolved case into default status after representatives of JYPE failed to make a court appearance on April 29, 2010.

Why didn’t they show up?

“We didn’t show up to our court hearing because the contractors who had originally commissioned the construction of it had said they would appear on behalf of us after we filed a complaint to them,” Jung explained.

They do agree about one thing –that the tutor, Daniel Gauss, quit and was not fired.

“… He is just a disgruntled ex-employee who quit because he thought we weren’t treating him well.”

I was never fired, I quit because they treated me like garbage,”

Why does he feel that he was treated like “garbage”?

“I was being paid $20 an hour to teach the group.”

By the way, I’ve noticed that it isn’t just the commenters at the Kpop-loving blogs who seem to have their critical thinking skills hampered by hero worship, but the bloggers themselves, too. One suggested that Daniel Gauss was seeking his fifteen minutes of fame. Speaking up on the Girls’ behalf isn’t going to make him famous because the Girls themselves aren’t famous. In yesterday’s article, they admitted that they had to sell their CDs for virtually no profit just to try to crack the Billboard Top 100, and the Jonas Brothers’ fans didn’t seem too impressed with them, either. Since he lives in New York city, he’s far more likely to become famous by stalking Madonna or Lady Gaga. As he put it:

“I cannot profit in any manner by revealing this information,” he wrote. “I believe my motives are genuine. I did not ask for any compensation for any of this information and I do not want any. I saw and heard about some nasty things at JYPE and I think people have a right to know the truth, especially since the girls are under contract for the next three-plus years and might not be able to speak freely about negative aspects of their experience.”

But some people really can’t understand that JYP Entertainment is not a “family”; it’s business, and they will say whatever they have to in order to, to paraphrase the wise saying, separate the fools from their money.

And do they really think that they’ll allow the Girls to say anything bad about their company (even if they don’t have an “employer and employee relationship”)? Remember this video? Look at how Park Jin-young barges in to keep a close eye on the Girls and make sure that the interview goes exactly according to his plans.

It reminds me of this story, which was translated by Korea Beat:

An unnamed member of a pop group was sentenced to attend “john school” to learn about why it’s bad to pay teens to have sex with him, which he apparently did.

Why have none of the K-pop blogs mentioned this? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Such blogs are good for basic information, but absolutely lousy for commentary or insight. Not one is like, for example, Gusts of Popular Feeling.


  1. […] Extra Korea! and the Marmot’s Hole have more on this. Tags: K-pop, Wondergirls SHARETHIS.addEntry({ […]

    Pingback by Are Allegations of Abuse of the Wondergirls In the US Valid? | ROK Drop — May 14, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

  2. Health insurance is not legally required for some companies. The insurance is needed to cover illness not to jeopardize by the spike of medical expense.

    Gauss the English teacher said “I cannot profit in any manner by revealing this information,” he wrote. “I believe my motives are genuine. I did not ask for any compensation for any of this information and I do not want any. I saw and heard about some nasty things at JYPE and I think people have a right to know the truth, especially since the girls are under contract for the next three-plus years and might not be able to speak freely about negative aspects of their experience.” Well I saw many people who does things for emotional release because they are angry. I live in NY and I saw many crazy people. Do you actually meet the guy? Unless u meet the guy and interview, you cannot blatantly give the credibility.

    About NY city building department thing, certainly you do not know the NY city law and I assume you never asked any contractor in NY because your accusation just based on the here-say. This is what usually happen. If NY city bldg dptment got the violation complain(who files complain? Usually they issue the violation and send to the owner whether the contractor is faulty or not it does not matter. The city just issue the violation to the owner. while the name of the contractor is on the bldg permit that he has the obligation to finish the construction according to plan. Well the company might have got the serving and hand it to the contractor and the contractor to the expediter. I can’t assume anything because each violation case is unique. I have water bill mounted up $12,000.- on the 5 year vacant house about an year ago. Because I was busy and asked the expediter to deal with it but he didn’t. That condition lasted about one year and then I decided to do something about it and made complain to the NY city department of Environment. Before I settled with the DEP, it is strictly illegal but first of all DEP shall bill me the water bill which is vacant in 5 years? And you talk about the court? I don’t think it is a even court. City does not go to the court. They just have the administrative hearing.

    I personally do not have insurance but it is still OK. Korea has a national insurance policy. Yes it is wonderful thing but why it is so much matter to u. I do not understand. Are you really think about the girls or your ego? I can go to Hospital which cost me a lot but I think I risk them bcuz I got sick, I probably go to Japan which I have national insurance policy. Not having insurance policy does not mean you cannot go to Hospital but just inconvenience to pay a lot of money.

    I always say to the people who make these allegation for the sake of truth and free speech? What is your motive? To increase your page view or the welfare of the girls or just your gratification of hate toward the company or the individual!!!

    Bob Woodward(Washington Post Reporter who kept writing on the Watergate Incident) said three absolute principle to write about something.
    1. Do you meet the person who make actual allegation and talk in person?
    2. The paper trail(you also have to chase his paystub, Craiglist and his background paper. Not only for JYPE. Who knows Guass might have the history of making allegations. And the Visa allegation was just stupid because the person who raised the question did not do the homework about the E1 visa. That was just annoying and stupid. If the person investigate what it is, then it shouldn’t even be an allegation)
    3.Did you go to the place?( I cannot explain but google Youtube and see his comment about the reason why the reporter should be there.

    Your allegation miss a lot of stuff to be an good journalistic report. IMHO your allegation is like the Tablo of Epic High incident. You make irresponsible allegation and the so-called anonymous public(personally I think who can not show their name and email at least are not qualify to express their allegation. Just coward) amplify. And until totally destroy the individual or company, their ego wouldn’t gratified.

    See what these stupid allegation led

    Mad Cow disease demonstration(what was that after 3 years?)
    Jeabum of 2PM incident(This start with young kid express his emotion then so called Netizen amplified and made Jasal Cafe He couldn’t stand it so left to States. Everybody actually forget about why this happen initially. Stupid so called Netizen.)
    Tablo Epic High(The thing look like jealousy. And the antis are like the I Hate Tablo Cult)

    You have to remember you shouldn’t make allegation unless there are tangible evidences.(your evidence is not tangible but here-say)

    Comment by acha — June 12, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  3. […] a chuckle out of it. You might recall that one of their former tutors in New York came forward with some allegations that might be disconcerting in America, but are par for the course in South Korea, where the music […]

    Pingback by Netizen pranksters are trying to sent Justin Bieber to North Korea « Extra! Korea — July 5, 2010 @ 3:41 am

  4. Hi, I am not sure how to contact you directly. I’m Daniel Gauss and I have more news about JYPE. 😛 I am sending this out to bloggers who took a more
    objective approach to the story the Korea Herald published last year.

    1) I wanted to see whether JYPE was still housing those (poor) girls in illegal rooms so I contacted the New York Fire Department. I received email from the
    FDNY that they re-investigated the building and found that JYPE had done NOTHING to correct the illegal situation.

    JYPE has ANOTHER court date of August 24th, 2011. Hopefully the judge will throw the book at them this time. Hopefully they will SHOW UP this time.

    The matter has also been referred to the NY Department of Buildings. If you want a copy of the FDNY email, I will send it to you. Hopefully the DoB will shut that illegal building down.

    Last year Jung Wook made it seem that JYPE was not responsible for not showing up for court etc. Well, he has done NOTHING to ensure that the building is up to code. Period. That is a fact. They were first investigated in 2009 and nothing, apparently, has changed.

    2) Some website is sponsoring a performance of the Wonder Girls at Citifield – where the (awful) New York Mets play. What’s unusual about this? Well, it seems that JYPE wants to try to receive the support of the Korean American community (if nobody else) and so it is being advertised that the Korean American Association of Greater New York has “organized” this event.

    What they are not mentioning is that Charles Yoon, an attorney for JYPE, sits on the Board of Directors on KAAGNY. So, to me, it’s not so much Korean Americans who want to see JYPE suceed, it’s Chuck Yoon. Why don’t they say, “organized by Chuck Yoon”? That’s how it looks to me. Why do they have to make it seem as if all Korean Americans are just dying to see JYPE become successful in the USA?

    My two cents: if JYPE and the Wonder Girls had a good product, they wouldn’t have to resort to this kind of duplicity. Last year they were selling cds for less than a bottle of cheap soda to break into the Hot 100, now they are being organized by the KAAGNY? Is this ethical behavior for a lawyer? he seems to be part lawyer and part promoter?

    Frankly, this whole organization makes me sick. I’m one of the few Americans who knows about this organization, but I am confident the truth about them will spread.

    Comment by Daniel gauss — July 26, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  5. I just learned that JYPE is denying that the Wonder Girls will be performing at Citi Field on August 26th. Why did a K-pop web site claim that they were sponsoring this event? I have everything cut and pasted and documented. Why did some K-pop site claim the Wonder Girls were going to perform at Citi-field? They claimed they were sponsoring the girls and that the KAAGNY had organized the event. This is really bizarre.

    Comment by Daniel Gauss — August 18, 2011 @ 12:22 am

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