22 Jan '11, 2am
Outrage over 'slave contracts' for Korean stars (via ST iPhone App)
Girl group Wonder Girls (above) were found to have gone to the United States on student visas and were not given health insurance when they were working in the US. --PHOTO: KOREA HERALD SEOUL - BEHIND all the glitter and glamour of the Korean Wave, or hallyu, many popular girl and boy groups here are struggling to assert their rights against powerful talent management companies. Many of these celebrities and wannabes are bound by long-term contracts - some lasting over a decade - that also force them to put in long hours on punishing schedules. Some women are said to be forced to offer sex services to sponsors. Several cases of such 'slave contracts' have made headlines, threatening to put a dent in South Korea's reputation as its pop groups and drama shows continue to rack up successes around the world. Read the full story in Saturday's edition of The Straits Times.