In a new WayLand YouTube video, second generation idol Crayon Pop‘s Way revealed how popular idols really feel when they’re forced to share their income with the less successful members in their group.

It’s common for the most popular idol in a group to have their own individual activities, such as advertisements or acting jobs. Naturally, these activities also come with an individual income. However, successful idols don’t always get to keep all that money to themselves.

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Former Miss A’s Suzy | LOTTE

While some agencies—such as SM Entertainment and Pledis Entertainment—let their idols keep all their own individual earnings, Way explained that traditionally idols have had to split all money equally with their groupmates. JYP Entertainment and Cube Entertainment were known to follow this rule, though their income model have changed in recent years.

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AOA’s Seolhyun | LOTTE

In Way’s case, her company (Chrome Entertainment) initially split individual profits between all members, but later allowed idols to keep their personal earnings for themselves. Interestingly, this also extended to expenses. Way explained that if a certain member bleaches their hair often or has frequent plastic surgery, the expenses are taken from their own income rather than the shared group income.

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| WayLand/YouTube

If you divide equally, then the member who doesn’t do much [cosmetic treatment] may feel like it’s unfair.

— Way

Way says it’s normal for companies to change their income splitting method. They tend to start off sharing income between all members, but when one member’s profit grows larger, they typically negotiate a contract adjustment that allows them to keep their money.

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ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo | TikTok Korea

But in companies where idols do have to share their earnings with their members, how do they feel. Unsurprisingly, Way admitted there are popular idols who feel resentment over “feeding the rest of the group“.

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GOT7’s Jackson | Pepsi China

The Crayon Pop star shared that she once knew a member who was distinctly successful from the rest of her members, and that success gap drove a wedge between the group. According to Way, they wouldn’t talk to each other, share a car, or use the same staff. In fact, the successful member and less successful members “didn’t even look at each other” or touch each other during choreographies.

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Of course, Way explained that the reaction all depends on the members’ personalities. Some stars feel a sense of pride at helping the rest of the group instead of resentment. One successful idol Way knew once had her KakaoTalk profile status set to an insightful saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together“.

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That was the time when [the idol] was having so much success, and a lot of people were saying, “that member is saving other members in the group”. Seeing their profile message, I thought, “Wow, they’re amazing”.

— Way