Not Always Glamorous, Bullying Scandals Are the Dark Side of the K-pop Industry
Bullying. Just hearing the word makes you irritated, right? It’s so sad to see someone being bullied, even sadder when something happened and we noticed it late. Although it seems like there’s no relation between bullying and music, that term is close with the K-pop industry. One of the reasons is because K-pop idols are sometimes involved in bullying incidents.
Of course, not every K-pop idol has done that. Some of the K-pop idols bullied their members, or even their schoolmates when they hadn’t debuted yet.
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Now, are you curious about the bullying scandals in K-pop? Let’s check out some of them that we have collected for you!
Bullying in K-pop Groups
If we see on screen, K-pop groups look like a bunch of people that are so close like siblings. They share the same dorms and are sometimes roommates too. They also train together for several amounts at times. Then their relationship must be close. But is it?
Sadly, not all the members of K-pop groups are really close like what we see on screen. Some groups hide the truth by smiling even though they are secretly bullying some members. How do we know that? Some members that have been bullied have confessed it later after they mustered the courage to share it with the world.
Let’s check out some of the stories!
T-Ara’s Bullying Scandals
To say that this is a bullying scandal is really vague. If you have been into K-pop since the 2nd generation of the K-pop era, you must have heard the news that were going around about T-Ara‘s bullying scandal. T-Ara is a girl group under MBK Entertainment that was known for its popular songs such as “Roly Poly” and “Lovey Dovey”.
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In 2012, there was an anonymous confession post on an online community. She claimed that she was a member of a girl group and was bullied by the members. Fans then started to notice this after an incident at a T-Ara concert in Budokan, Japan.
Hwa-young was injured and used a wheelchair, she also didn’t perform on the stage. And, other members of T-Ara posted a tweet on their individual Twitter, as if they were hinting at Hwa-young’s case.
Later on, fans and even other people in Korea focused their attention on this. A lot of evidence of Hwa-young being treated poorly by the members was shown. Until finally, MBK Entertainment terminated the contract with Hwa-young, making people angry at them. T-Ara members were seen as bullies for years, it was hard for them to clear their names. As for Hwa-young, she became an actress and played in some K-dramas.
Back in 2018, after T-Ara members ended their contracts with MBK Entertainment, staff revealed that Hwa-young turned out to be playing the victim all along. There wasn’t any bullying controversy in their group. And Hwa-young along with her twin, Hyo-young were actually threatening T-Ara member Areum.
Hmm, what do you think about this controversy? Which side do you believe?
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April’s Bullying Scandals
This news just spread in 2021 after the popularity of Naeun of April has risen. With the massive bullying news of some K-pop idols and Korean celebrities, April’s Naeun became one of those accused of bullying. Not only Naeun, but also other members of April.
That’s because the brother of April’s former member, Hyunjoo, posted a confession on an online community in February 2021. He said that Hyunjoo has been bullied for the past few years while she was a member of April.
At first, Hyunjoo’s departure from April was thought to be because she wanted to go into acting. However, it was kinda weird how we never saw her as an actress after that. Hyunjoo also went on hiatus for more than half a year before the agency announced her official departure.
In March 2021, DSP Media denied the bullying controversy. They stated that Hyunjoo was trained to be an actress instead of an idol. Due to some circumstances, Hyunjoo was persuaded to join the group as one of the members of April.
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However, they continued, Hyunjoo didn’t fully participate in the group’s activities such as practice, etc. They also said that during the promotion of the “Tinkerbell” song, Hyunjoo herself wanted to be out of the group.
Regarding DSP Media’s statement, Hyunjoo’s brother said that what DSP Media said was not true. At first, Hyunjoo was also trained to be an idol just like other members of April. He also mentioned that Hyunjoo needed to receive medical treatment for her physics such as difficulties of breathing, etc.
After a long time, finally, Hyunjoo opened up in April 2021. She said that she started to get abused in 2014 when she prepared for the debut, until 2016 when she left the group. She also admitted that she was late to respond about this because she was afraid that the situation would get worse. Realizing that the agency only ‘attacks’ her brother who is still young and even her friends too, she decided to open up and protect her loved ones.
Following this scandal, April’s Naeun as the face of the group of April started to lose her popularity. She was removed from commercials and dramas she was going to star in. What do you think about this issue?
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AOA’s Bullying Scandals
AOA is a girl group that debuted under FNC Entertainment in 2012. The group consists of 8 pretty girls. One of them is Kwon Mina. However, in 2019, Mina became one of the members that left the group and the agency as well. At that time, it was said that the reason why Mina left AOA and FNC Entertainment was because of the contract’s expiration. We never know what triggered her not to renew the contract, even after 7 years of being an artist under FNC Entertainment.
Turned out, in July 2020, Mina posted a picture with a black background. She wrote in the caption that she has been bullied for the past years when she was in AOA. The main bully that caused her pain, physically and mentally, was Jimin. She also wrote the tragic story that she had to go through while actively promoting with AOA, including her father who was in the hospital at that time.
Jimin, surprisingly, just posted an Instagram story with a word that means: “Novel/Fiction.” This probably referred to Mina’s long caption that tells her painful story for the past few years that caused her a lot of stress.
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Netizens were worried about Mina’s situation and gave her a lot of support. They also gathered some evidence that proved that Jimin treated Mina awfully even in front of the camera. As a result, Jimin left the agency and AOA. She also claimed that she has apologized to Mina directly, a few days after, in July 2020.
However, in April 2021, Mina continued to worry people by posting a self-harm picture on Instagram. The post has been deleted, but some netizens are mad because it could trigger some people who are sensitive to suicide or self-harming issues.
TRIGGER WARNING: Self-harming photo.
Mina revealed that she posted it to her Instagram account because she wanted Jimin and her friends to see that she is still struggling up until now. She never received a sincere apology from her bullies. Yet she still feels stressed and depressed, cannot live life without feeling pain.
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Hopefully, Mina will recover and can finally live happily. Then again, we never know what she has been through, nor other people that have been bullied too. Even though they are celebrities, doesn’t mean that their lives are always blissful. For the netizens, please mind your language and keep your fingers from typing bad words to others!