Did T-ara Really Bully their Younger Members?

T-ara is the girlband under MBK Entertainment who debuted in 2009. They’ve been on top in popularity ever since they debuted, and especially when they released the song Roly Poly. T-ara has a lot of members but their most popular line-up consists of Qri, Soyeon, Jiyeon, Boram, Hyomin, and Eunjung. A while after their debut, 2 new members completed the group. Hwayoung joined T-ara as the 7th member in 2010 and Ahreum as the 8th member in 2012. Just as they were at the top of their career, some issues suddenly came out about their bad behavior toward a member of T-ara, Hwayoung. There are many speculations about the T-ara bullying scandal. A lot of people are still confused about what actually happened behind the scandal. Some people even put the entire blame on T-ara’s Jiyeon and Eunjung. So here, we will reveal the truth about the T-ara bullying scandal and we’ll also give you the detailed chronology.

How Did the T-ara Bullying Scandal Occur?

The bullying scandal first came to the surface and was spotted by netizens when T-ara held their solo concert in Japan. In the concert, Hwayoung only performed one song because she was reported suffering from an injury.

t-ara bullying

After some time passed, T-ara’s Hyomin updated her twitter account and expressed her feelings toward Hwayoung’s incident. “There are differences in levels of determination. Let us have more determination”, she wrote.  T-ara’s Jiyeon also came and commented on Hyomin’s tweet.  “The differences in levels of determination ^^, Always be humble ^^ and sensible ^^ I applaud you, acting genius ^^” she wrote. Starting from a single tweet, the whole story about the T-ara bullying scandal started.

It got even worse after Hyoyoung, who is T-ara Hwayoung’s twin sister posted a tweet saying “Even determination alone is not enough.”. Hyoyoung also added “God, you know everything right?”. After all those incidents, everyone started talking and presuming that Hwayoung was bullied by the other T-ara members.

t-ara bullying

Not long after that, Hyoyoung tweeted a post saying “My other half is going through troubles.”, to which T-ara Hwayoung replied “I only have you.”. All those posts showed how pathetic Hwayoung’s condition was at that time. A lot of T-ara’s fans were disappointed, and they started to hate T-ara members because of the bullying scandal.

t-ara bullying scandal

T-ara Jiyeon Bullying Scandal Toward Hwayoung

t-ara bullying scandal

There is a lot of speculation about the T-ara bullying scandal, and two of T-ara’s members who were suspected as the cruelest among all T-ara members, were Jiyeon and Eunjung. Here is some evidence collected by netizen about Jiyeon’s rude behavior toward Hwayoung.

1. Jiyeon Spotted Ignoring Hwayoung When Doing High-Fives

t-ara bullying scandal

This happened when T-ara came to a Japanese variety show. Jiyeon succeeded in rolling her bowling ball during the game, she then came to T-ara members to give each of them a high-five. But the bad thing is, Jiyeon skipped Hwayoung who sat on the first seat and then she gave high-fives to the rest of the T-ara members.

2. Jiyeon Gave Hwayoung Acorn in a Dog’s Bowl

t-ara bullying scandal

T-ara’s Hwayoung once shared a picture on her Twitter account of a cute gift given by Jiyeon. It was a lego dog that stood in front of acorn bowl. For Korean people, an acorn in a dog’s bowl means something that is related to “outcast”.

3. Jiyeon Made Fun of Hwayoung in SNS

t-ara bullying scandal

Jiyeon is known as T-ara’s most popular member, and she won an online popularity poll among all members. After winning, Jiyeon posted on her SNS account, saying “I won first place in a popularity poll, so I’m sharing this picture~ Oh, and Hwayoung got 0 votes haha. Our poor Hwayoung…keke.”, which brought up another suspicion of her bullying Hwayoung.

4. Jiyeon Embarrassed Hwayoung In Front of Camera

t-ara bullying scandal

T-ara appeared as guests in “Star Life Theater”, and there was a moment when all of the members were heading somewhere in a car. Suddenly, Hwayoung opened up a book to read, which attracted the producer and he said, “Oh, Hwayoung, it looks like you enjoy reading.”. Hwayoung was about to answer, but then Jiyeon suddenly said “It’s because of the camera. Wow, you’re really funny. I’ve never seen Hwayoung read a book while being in the same group.”, which led Hwayoung to embarrassment.

T-ara Eunjung Bullying Scandal Toward Hwayoung

There are not many specific moments captured of Eunjung bullying Hwayoung. But Eunjung was once spotted doing something really bad that might cause a death.

t-ara bullying scandal

T-ara members were invited to a Japanese variety show. During the show, Eunjung picked Hwayoung among all T-ara members to eat a rice cake. But Eunjung wasn’t only feeding Hwayoung.  Instead, she handed over the rice cake, and stuffed the big sized rice cake into Hwayoung’s mouth. Hwayoung’s face looked so disgusted. Rice cake is a food that Korean people like but at the same time are also afraid of because it is hard to chew and eating it in a big size portion might cause a death.

Other T-ara Members Scandal About Alleged Bullying Case

1. Hyomin Poked Hwayoung’s Face with Her Finger

t-ara bullying scandal

This happened when T-ara appeared in an episode of KBS “Star Life Theater”. At that time, all of T-ara members stood close to each other making a line for their greeting. When T-ara members pointed at the camera, T-ara’s Hyomin was spotted striking her finder upwards, which then poked Hwayoung’s face. This then became one of the pieces of evidence for the T-ara bullying scandal.

2. Boram Came and Broke Hwayoung’s Umbrella

t-ara bullying scandal

Not only T-ara’s Hyomin, but Boram was also spotted by netizens doing a bad thing toward Hwayoung. During T-ara’s appearance in “Idol Olympics”, there were photos spreading about how Boram attacked Hwayoung from the back and also broke her umbrella.

3. T-ara Members Left Hwayoung Alone

t-ara bullying scandal

This happened during the T-ara greeting for KBS “Star Life Theater”. As you can see in the picture above, all the members were cracking a joke and were laughing together, while Hwayoung was standing on the left side and staring at the floor. She seemed that the only one who didn’t get the joke.

4. Soyeon and Boram Didn’t Give Hwayoung Any Dumplings

t-ara bullying scandal

Another speculation happened during KBS “Star Life Theater”. There was a moment when Boram and Soyeon was cooking dumplings for all T-ara members. When they were dropping those dumplings, T-ara Boram suddenly said, “The water’s going to spill over if we put in Hwayoung’s dumpling.” And at the end, they didn’t put Hwayoung’s dumpling in.

5. Hwayoung Joined Sistar and Infinite without other T-ara Members

t-ara bullying scandal

When they were guests in “Idol Olympics”, Hwayoung was left out by other T-ara members and was sitting alone. Not long after that, Sistar’s Bora and other Infinite members came to sit with her. They even took a picture together with Hwayoung without other T-ara members.

The Truth Behind T-ara Bullying Speculations

t-ara bullying scandal

Although the rumors have spread and a lot of T-ara fans left, some still believe that they were only rumors. Some fans even found some facts behind the rumor of the T-ara bullying scandal. Here are some of them:

1. Hwayoung’s First Variety Show


When Hwayoung first joined T-ara, she looked awkward and passive in front of cameras. When she first joined variety show with T-ara members (T-ara Hello Baby), she didn’t talk much and was less dominant than the other members, but things got better as time passed.

2. Soyeon and Boram Didn’t Have a Dumpling Incident

It was true that Soyeon and Boram didn’t put Hwayoung’s dumpling inside the pot, but it was really because of the water that was about to spill out. After that, Soyeon and Boram cooked Hwayoung’s dumplings separately, so that she could also eat with them.

3. Hwayoung Joined Sistar and Infinite without other T-ara Members Incident

Not all T-ara members got to attend “Idol Championship”, only Jiyeon, Eunjung, Qri, Boram and Hwayoung (Soyeon and Hyomin didn’t attend). During the time Hwayoung was sitting with Sistar and Infinite, you can’t see Jiyeon and Eunjune because at that time both of them were playing tennis. It was also a free variety show, in which everyone could sit with anyone they liked, and there was also a picture of Hyomin sitting with After School, 2Am, etc without other T-ara members. This proves that it wasn’t because T-ara members disliked Hwayoung.

4. Eunjung Fed Hwayoung with Rice Cake Incident

During the Japanese variety show, T-ara members were divided into two teams, Hwayoung, Hyomin, and Qri as one team and Soyeon, Jiyeon, and Eunjung as the other team. Because Eunjung’s team lost, Eunjung needed to feed a rice cake to the winning team, and the person was chosen out randomly with T-ara members’ names on papers inside the box. The person chosen was Hwayoung. The atmosphere during the variety show was also friendly and they were actually having fun together. Hwayoung was also smiling with the other members.

T-ara Hwayoung and Hyoyoung Talked About Bullying Scandal in “Taxi”

hwayoung hyoyoung

On February 8, 2017, ex-T-ara Hwayoung and her twin Hyoyoung were invited as guests on “Taxi”, a tvN talk show to talk about their sisterly bond, career, etc, but Hwayoung also started opening up about her past scandal with T-ara members.

hwayoung hyoyoung

“It’s a shame. Thinking about it now, it’s something that can definitely happen between girls. Looking back, we were still young and inexperienced. I, also, wasn’t an adult.”, Hwayoung said. Then, Hwayoung was asked whether she cried during those time, to that she replied, “I locked myself in my room and cried a lot. I had lost a lot of weight at the time, and my sister, choking up, told me to stop losing weight.”

Hwayoung said that her twin sister, Hyoyoung, was her biggest supporter as she was judged and bullied by other T-ara members. She started shedding tears as she looked back at her past. Hyoyoung revealed, “My sister was watching a music program, and she spaced out [thinking about something else]. It made me think that I should work harder.” In “Taxi”, Hwayoung also shared her past ambition that she really wanted to become an actress, but the former CEO recommended that she become a rapper by saying that she has a good voice. The bullying scandal has ended years ago, but when Hwayoung brought it up again during her appearance in “Taxi”, more people looked back at that scandal.

Fomer T-ara Staff Revealed The Truth Behind T-ara Bullying Scandal

t-ara bullying scandal

After the “Taxi” with Hwayoung and Hyoyoung as guests aired on Februay 8, 2017, someone, who said that she was a former staff of the T-ara members, spoke up. She revealed the T-ara scandal from her objective point of view. She said, “I saw yesterday’s broadcast of ‘Taxi.’ I saw that Ryu Hwayoung and Ryu Hyoyoung cried, too. [Hwayoung] said ‘It’s something that can definitely happen between girls?’ That they didn’t know better? As if what happened was nothing? What, exactly was it that ‘could have just happened’? The threat that [Hyoyoung] would scratch up someone’s face?” The former staff member looked back at Ryu Hwayoung’s leg injury on 23rd July 2012.

Chronology of T-ara Scandal from Former Staff’s Point of View


The former staff revealed that during MBC “Music Core” special in Ulsan, Hwayoung twisted her ankle. But soon after they returned to Seoul, Hwayoung went to the hospital to get an x-ray and treatment. She went with her manager and the doctor told them that she was just fine. The next day, all of the T-ara members went to Japan for the Budokan concert. When the T-ara manager came to pick up Hwayoung, she unexpectedly came out with a cast on her leg. Her worried manager asked about what happened and Hwayoung said she went to another hospital with her father and the doctor put a cast on her. But oddly, she took the cast off after she entered the car saying that she could still walk. The former staff got this information from the former manager.


Arriving at the airport, Hwayoung asked her manager for a wheelchair since there were many reporters outside. Soon after Hwayoung went down with a wheelchair, the picture spread everywhere and became the most-popular topic on Naver. This was the first time the former member felt that something was odd.

The day after, T-ara’s Hyomin posted her tweet that made everyone wondered if Hwayoung was bullied by other T-ara members. The former member said it was true that they were disappointed and angry at Hwayoung, but the former staff as a third party said that she understood why T-ara members said those things.

When they were in Japan, Hwayoung kept asking for a wheelchair, and the staff brought her to a hospital in Japan to check on her ankle once again, but they said everything was fine and she didn’t need a cast or a wheelchair. “Even so, Hwayoung demanded a wheelchair, saying it was difficult to walk. What happened after is even more ridiculous. To a Japanese staff member that went with her to the hospital, Hwayoung said, ‘I want to get some nail art done. Instead of the concert venue, let’s go to the hotel.’ I recall that the Japanese agency was very angry about this. She knew that the other members were practicing, but she wanted to go to the hotel and get her nails done. How ridiculous is that?”, the former staff said.

Demanding to be absent from performances, when T-ara members were struggling on the choreography and formation, made T-ara members and other teams to do rehearsal for 8 hours.

After everyone returned to Seoul for “Music Bank”, T-ara members admitted that they were wrong and apologized to Hwayoung. “Hyomin tried first to talk to Hwayoung, but Hwayoung said, ‘There’s nothing that I feel bad for, so I have no reason so say sorry,’ which cut off any conversation. And that’s when it happened: the threatening messages from Hyoyoung to Areum.”, the former staff revealed.

Hyoyoung’s Thread to Ahreum

t-ara ahreum

Ahreum was also late in joining T-ara, but she didn’t agree with the way Hwayoung reacted at that time. Ahreum also kept her distance with Hwayoung after that, but knowing this, Hyoyoung started to threaten T-ara’s Ahreum. The former staff said, “Areum showed the texts to the T-ara members, asking them for help, and in the end it was reported to the agency, and that’s when I saw them. This is the story behind the T-ara case that nobody knew.” 

Ahreum’s agency, B.A.M Company declared that the message from Hyoyoung wasn’t manipulated, but they also said that it was a difficult situation for Hyoyoung looking at her twin sister’s situation that led to her threat. “Hyoyoung did not know all the details of what was happening inside T-ara. She only sent the messages as an older sister because she was watching her younger sister suffer so much, and there was no other reason”, Ahreum’s label stated.

hyoyoung treated ahreum
hyoyoung treated ahreum


Hyoyoung: “Areum, it’s Hyoyoung.”

Areum: “Hi (Hyoyoung) unni! ^^”

Hyoyoung: “Areum, when someone takes care of you, you say ‘thank you’ and be grateful. If you don’t want to take a beating, get it together. Rumors in the industry spread fast. And don’t go blabbing. Be classy ^^. I’m really mad right, now, so let’s not run into each other?

“If there’s something that I’ve misunderstood, do you want to meet and talk, or do you want to apologize now?”

Areum: “I’m not sure what you’re talking about exactly, but I’d like to meet and talk. Unni (Hyoyoung), I haven’t done anything so bad as to be hearing this from you.”

Hyoyoung: “Babe, you should just go.

“Let’s give you a beating at ‘Music Bank.’ There will be dust everywhere.

“I’ll scratch up your face so you can’t be on TV.

“Hahaha just wait~ ^^

“I’m not going to be a singer haha so you wait ^^ Dogs need to be hit to come to their senses.

“Stupid bitch. Show up in front of me, we will see what happens.”

“Okay, you’re doing a gre~~~at job tattling.”

Ending her long message, the former staff expressed her frustration toward the T-ara bullying scandal. “What Ryu Hwayoung said in 2012? ‘Only fans will know’? I don’t know if that was a premeditated move, but everyone, including fans, only know bits and pieces. For example, Ryu Hwayoung ran out of a dressing room. But the staff members from back then remember exactly what happened. Ryu Hwayoung’s selfish actions… playing the victim wasn’t enough and now they have to pretend like they’re taking the high road? I was frustrated, and I talked for a long time. Thank you for reading my long message.”