This has been a hard post for me to write as I have been an avid supporter of Lezhin for almost a year now, but as more and more of the recent news came to light about the company’s practices and treatment of the artists, there is a part of me that does not want to believe that these allegations against them are true. I even shared their public statement on the matter, but then I went digging myself and this is what I have found out. Before I start however I will need to clear up one thing. This is not the reason why Lezhin Month was cut short. That was due to technical difficulties on my end. Namely my blogging laptop dying. However if I had known at the beginning of last month what I know now, I would have most likely have not done Lezhin Month at all.
October 2017 Lezhin shut down the web novel side of the business in order to focus more on webtoons because that is where the money is for them, however upon making this decision they did not fully inform the authors of webnovels on their service of this upcoming closure.
January 11th 2018 Authors, Artists and Writers protest outside the office building where the company is located over an unfair payment system that has the company pocketing 70% of the earnings for the work the publish, but digging even more into this I found infomation about a petition that was started by a former writer who worked for Lezhin.
From what I could understand of the petition, (I say understand because it was in Korean and the only way I had to translate it was through google translate) writing about their treatment by the company in being poorly paid as well as suspicion of tax inconsistencies for the company especially when it comes to their overseas service sales. This petition ended up with 81,315 people participating in it.
So what does this all exactly mean for us fans in the west? I support Lezhin Comics to support the authors they say they are working with and helping. If they are not supporting their authors then I’m sorry I do not want to support them. From this point on moving forward I have for the time being decided that I will no longer be purchasing coins or supporting there site. I will be joining the Lezhin Comics boycott until further notice. But I want to make one thing very clear with this decision. This is against the company itself not the authors whose work I love very much. All the artists, writers and authors whose work I have enjoyed are the ones who are hurting the most right now and that is why I want to help them get a fairer go in their workplace.