Riot Music has announced that the contract between the agency and the talent behind Saki Ashizawa is dissolved, thus Saki is terminated from the group.
In a full statement released by Riot Music's operating company SuperYellow Inc. on Twitter November 17th at 2pm Japan time, the termination is due to her "engagement in VTuber activities under another name without the agency's express permission."
- SuperYellow conducted an investigation which led to the knowledge of Saki doing VTuber activities under a different name "starting at the latest in August 2022."
- Outside her role at Riot Music, the agency reported that the talent behind Saki streamed games and posted images in the same likeness as Saki.
- The agency added that karaoke audio produced by SuperYellow solely for Saki's use had been used by the same talent but not in her role as Saki Ashizawa.
- The violation breaches the non-confidentiality and non-competing conditions in her contract with SuperYellow/Riot Music.
How It Started
SuperYellow describes Saki Ashizawa's termination in detail:
- The talent behind Saki has expressed in September 2022 that she no longer wants to continue her contract, and asks SuperYellow to rescind her non-competing clause following her termination. She notes that the clause is "illegal" as it remains in effect even after she exits Riot Music.
- With the help of lawyers, the agency explained that this is not illegal, providing legal documentation. It also explained to her why the contract cannot be terminated immediately.
- SuperYellow still wanted to take her wish and offered an alternative to ease the non-competing clause. The talent's reply, with the help of her lawyer, is that the clause is illegal and asks to cancel the entire agreement.
- The agency asks to consult with the talent's lawyer and asks for the lawyer's cooperation, but her lawyer gave no reply. The discussion "stagnated" for a long time that it affected preparations for her supposed birthday live concert.
Why Saki's Birthday Concert Did Not Happen?
Saki Ashizawa's agency even shared details extending to her planned birthday concert, which did not happen despite the agency's efforts.
- The talent behind Saki on October 23 wishes her birthday live concert be held at a particular time. In that period of time, the discussion regarding the dissolution of her contract has still not reached a conclusion.
- When the agency told Saki that they cannot commit to her wish of the specified date for the concert, she proposed not holding it at all.
- Saki said in public that it's Riot Music/SuperYellow Inc.'s fault that the birthday live was not held. The agency confirmed as well that she made remarks against the agency and "unnecessarily critiqued the other members of Riot Music."
The agency chose to be quiet regarding these matters in order to protect Saki and by extension the talent behind her. Now that the contract between the agency and the talent is terminated, the agency openly denies these claims.
- The agency received a letter the following day (October 24) that Saki will only talk to the management through her lawyer. From that point, the agency is communication to Saki through their respective lawyers.
- SuperYellow remains in its stand that the non-competing clause is legal, though its real concern is that the assets and information Saki obtained from SuperYellow will be shared with others, especially if she decided to join another organization. This is why the agency presented alternatives for easing the non-competitive clause.
- The agency told Saki's lawyer that they would be open to holding the birthday live if they agree on a set date for the termination of her contract.
Unfortunately, the agency found out Saki Ashizawa's repeated violations in the contract, leading to the immediate termination of her contract with Riot Music.
SuperYellow apologizes to Saki's supporters for the said decision, and commits to ensure that incidents like these will not happen again through compliance training.
What Happens Next?
Following the termination of the contract, SuperYellow has requested the talent behind Saki to delete her accounts through their lawyer. The agency seeks to pursue legal action as necessary after consulting with its lawyer.
In addition, the purchase of LINE Stickers and merchandise sales will also be closed on the same date.
Saki Ashizawa's last live broadcasts on both her YouTube channels was held yesterday. At the time this story is published, she has an estimated total of 294,000 YouTube subscribers, around 30,000 Twitter followers and 6,244 Tiktok followers.Source: Riot Music on Twitter