Webtoon artists protest unfair work conditions: Popular platform Lezhin Comics is at heart of controversyhttps://t.co/7qLwNyR6fl
— Korea JoongAng Daily (@JoongAngDaily) January 25, 2018
I decided to compose this blog post because I’m not seeing enough buzz about this, and also make a directory where people can read more and understand fully what’s going on. I hope this not only helps the artists but also Lezhin to change its rules and ways of doing business, because if not they don’t deserve to be supported. The best thing to do really is to bypass distributors and give money directly to artists. A tumblr user has put in a summary what has happened and the issues, so I’m linking them and I hope people read it because it’s extremely important. I know it’s long but bear with it.
This post is worth a read about why the coin system is deceptive to authors, Lezhin is in fact taking at least 70% of the income of each spent coin since they are only paying 0.50$ and they’ve increased the coin price. Give it a good read.
Some quick, resumed highlights:
Grey, a top-selling artist, had a tumour in their thyroid and wasn’t allowed to have rest nor be able to check it out so it evolved into cancer.
Artists forced to pay late fees from 3% to 20%, Grey inclusive paid over 10k$ in late fees over being sick and not able to work.
Lezhin did not pay artists the sales from the Chinese version of their webcomics. Eun Song and Michii got blacklisted, and are being sued.
my name is EunSong. I’m the author of web comic series called “Reversi” from Lezhin Comics.Since the May 2017, my work has been excluded from the company’s entire promotions after I was listed on Lezhin Comics’ “blacklist”. pic.twitter.com/XmUMiG9l8c
— 블랙리스트작가 은송 (@TkfEjr) January 30, 2018
Read that thread please.
PSA: Lezhin sucks and is paying artists 30% while keeping 70% to themselves, and if artists miss deadlines even due to medical conditions up to 9% of their pay is cut. Conditions currently are very bad. Please spread awareness.https://t.co/Jx4slGgYlihttps://t.co/HcSWkXRbn7 pic.twitter.com/dNxLWxG49m
— MOB (@mobukido) January 30, 2018
Artists did not know they could be paid and were not being paid for buffer episodes, they had to ask directly to Lezhin or they wouldn’t receive it.
Lezhin has done a lot of excuses and gaslighting and blaming artists to try to escape the blame and being responsible. Including spreading rumors to try to kill the artists that spoke up about being mistreated.
Japanese sales were also not being paid out properly and the versions were not being updated, and the artists were not informed.
Artists are protesting and inclusive going on hiatus in solidarity. Sadistic Beauty, Royal Servant, Warehouse, are some of the works on hiatus.
Lezhin bought off reporters to make sure they did not write articles about the problems going on with them and the artists.
The majority of the artists that were mistreated were female, inclusive never got bought meals and drinks while male authors got them.
Korean Webtoon/Manwha Association is involved and is working to protect the authors, and also protecting them if they get sued.
The Association for Game Developers is also siding with the artists, as is the SF Novelist Association.
Another protest is gonna happen on 6 of February, and there’s an hashtag called #suemeToo showing support for the artists.
Here’s the unofficial translation of the Korea Webtoonist Association’s response to the Lezhin discontinuing Michi and Eunsong’s artworks and filing lawsuit against them.(cont.) https://t.co/soVHVP31ed
— \🐩/ (@urrrrrrrrr1004) January 30, 2018
Translators have also taken the mantle and are translating author and Association statements for everyone to know exactly what’s happening. Please read that thread.
As that translator said, the only thing we can international readers can do is spread this information, not support Lezhin by not buying coins and instead give that money directly to artists.
I hope this helps informing people that weren’t aware of what’s happening, and helps it spread so people can support these artists.