Taiwan-based VTuber agency AkioAIR is under fire following the exit of one of its talents Athena Nightingale, after the latter had announced that she will continue as an indie talent.
In a public statement by the talent, who now goes by the name of Athy, she notes that her exit from the agency was due to being "fed up with legal threats and emotional abuse" she and other talents in the agency have received from the company itself.
- Athy also adds that the agency doesn't pay her on time and that the agency has failed to support her projects several times. She also noted that when she tries to bring it up to the higher-ups, she would be responded by "it's not a good time".
- The final straw for her exit was when the agency was in hot water recently for hiring a minor for the talent behind one of their 2nd generation talents. Athy was then threatened by the agency for "gross negligence" and "defamation."
- She also alleges that the agency told her to "keep quiet" and that if she keeps silent, meaning not streaming or posting for two months, she will be given a new list of demands for her to comply with. Athy also added that there was no guarantee that the threat to her being sued was already dropped of the conversation.
I will not give up hope on this community. You are the reason why I continue to do what I love. I hope to have everyone's continued support in this matter. I apologize for making everyone worry, and I will keep everyone updated on future proceedings.
Following her statement, NewsDrop reached out earlier to AkioAIR for comment via email regarding the matter, hours before the agency released their public statement.
After Athy posted her update, the agency has also responded to said allegations, with a large chunk of the statement denying the allegations the talent said in her statement.
- The agency said that they have previously agreed to a "peaceful termination" or an "early graduation" before her contract expires next year. However, the agency listed various 'breaches' the talent has committed.
- The breaches included the talent allegedly being involved in activities that may damage the company's reputation and stability, announcing her disassociation with agency, and her "defamatory" and "slanderous" allegations against the company.
- AkioAIR also added that the payments were not made in time but rather "as-requested-by-talent" in order to save off from multiple transaction fees and difficulty in transferring payment internationally. However, the agency admits that there were many hiccups initially on the payment process, mainly because Taiwan has imposed new tax regulations towards earnings made by influencers, which include virtual donations.
- They concluded their statement by saying that they are willing to forgive Athy if she publicly apologizes and retracts her public statements. However, if this moves forward, AkioAIR says that "they will be forced to clear [their] names in the courtroom."
Athy is a wonderful talent, and we hate to see her go. Every time she has breached the contract, we always offer a peaceful option. Hopefully, this time, we can finally reach an amicable solution where we don’t have to fend for ourselves in a legal battle.
Update [October 2, 9AM (GMT+8) ]: Two former VTuber talents also speak up on workspace allegations against the company, which included harassment from the company's higher-ups. More on it in our latest update here.
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