"Slave contracts" is a term commonly known to fans of K-pop, under which artists are bound to their agencies for years while committing to a rigid set of rules. Aside from contracts with their agencies, K-pop idols are also bound to contracts with their sponsors; a topic which was recently discussed on Channel A's "Heard it Through the Grapevine"
A reporter narrated a controversy involving TAHITI member Jisoo and her contract with a sponsor. The reporter then went on to explain what a sponsor contract usually contains.
According to allkpop, the reporter revealed that sponsorship and what celebrities get from it is based on the class under which they are categorized. For instance, A class celebrities get higher payout. B class celebrities receive around 15,000,000 won, while C class gets paid around 3,000,000 won. These are the rates idols get for three months-worth of work.
A member of a girl group is put in a certain class based on her popularity and visuals, among many other factors. Actresses, however, are categorized based on the dramas and movies they appear in.
Oftentimes, it is said that the sponsor contract contains a clause about pregnancy and abortion, under which the celebrity is required to undergo an abortion in another country if ever she gets pregnant. The process and the payment for such as also determined in the contract.
The strict rules that are stipulated in sponsor contract almost mirrors the ones set out in an idol's contract with his/her agency. According to Beyond Hallyu, the "slave contracts" stipulate that idols must train for long hours. Because of its intensity, idols are required to be mentally and physically prepared to go through their training period.
"Slave contracts" can also interfere with an idol's personal life. In one interview, RaNia member Joy revealed that she wasn't allowed to talk on the phone or hang out with her friends. She was also prohibited from having romantic relationships, a prohibition common among many labels.