Accusations of bullying within a top Korean girl group T-ara shakes the industry and the nation

What You May Know T-ara From


main rapper, was added to the group last


remaining members

July 25: South Korea teenagers bullied to death source
  • Bullying in South Korean schools continues as students commit suicide over bullying at school
  • Bullying in South Korea is deemed cause of recent rise in suicides in the nation source
  • News of the incident makes it to Japan, in the midst of Hallyu wave (by which Korean culture is spread through different nations like Japan) and obviously puts a dent on the South Korean image source

July 27: T-ara members’ tweets following Budokan concert receive some criticism source
  • Hwayoung suffers from a leg injury, which makes her unable to participate in one of T-ara's concerts in Japan
  • After the concert, the other T-ara members Tweet about the performance saying things like "The differences in levels of determination^^ Let us all have more determination." and "A position can make or break a person, but determination can make a person too. Sigh, it’s unfortunate. You have to know to take care of the people around you."
  • Meanwhile, Hwayoung tweets “Sometimes, even determination alone is not enough. At times like these, I feel upset but I trust that it’s a blessing in disguise from the heavens. God, you know everything right?”
  • Hwayoung's twin sister also Tweets “My better half is suffering. My heart hurts. No matter what anyone else says, (Hwayoung), you can get through this”

July 29: Fans begin to find cases in which Hwayoung was bullied source
  • Fans find video clips of various members of T-ara hitting Hwayoung
  • Fans find video of member Eunjung shoving a huge rice cake into Hwayoung's mouth causing her to choke
  • Member Boram is seen purposely destroying Hwayoung's umbrella while a member of another group comes to help Hwayoung source

July 30: T-ara's recording company CCM announces Hwayoung will be kicked out of T-ara source
  • The record label claims staff complained about Hwayoung's poor attitude
  • They claimed there was no bullying involved, and that the situation has been exaggerated

July 30: Hwayoung strikes back on Twitter source
  • Hwayoung tweets "...facts without any truth" in response to her being kicked out and the label's claims

July 30: CCM begins to bad mouth Hwayoung after her Tweets source
  • Label says there was no bullying, again
  • Label claims Hwayoung had a bad attitude and refused to perform WHEN HER LEG WAS BROKEN
  • Begins to blame all other controversies surrounding T-ara on Hwayoung's bad attitude

July 30: Backlash against T-ara begins as rumors of bullying continue to spread
  • Producer at one of Korea's largest broadcasting stations claims that he will never hire T-ara again source
  • T-ara's official fan club changes its name to "T-Jinyo", bans all the original T-ara fans, and turns into a website in support of Hwayoung and anti-bullying source
  • Former fans and other Koreans demand members be pulled from shows source
  • Online petition begins pushing for T-ara to disband and gains over 100,000 signatures in a matter of days source
  • T-ara announces they will be temporarily halting scheduled comebacks and performances source
  • Companies begin to cancel contracts with T-ara and begin to pull them out from endorsement deals and avertisements source

July 30: Former back-up dancers confesses that T-ara member Jiyeon once slapped Hwayoung over small dance mistake source
  • When Hwayoung messed up a bit of the choreography, Jiyeon slapped her
  • Soyeon was sarcastic and scolded Hwayoung that she should've tried harder since she was new in the group
  • Record label claimed that these were false, and that they have already filed a police report.
  • The police respond that no such report was filed

July 30: Two more idol groups suspected of bullying? source
  • More rumors of other Korean groups bullying each other begin to arise
  • Record labels begin to ban their artists from using social networking (such as Twitter) and begin to hold face-to-face meetings to tackle the problem of bullying source

July 30: More mudslinging occurs source
  • Record label CCM claims that Hwayoung was very rude, and decided she did not want to perform several minutes before the group was supposed to go live
  • They also claimed that Hwayoung threw down her crutches and threatened to make a scene
  • Witnesses refuted these claims and said they were simply not true and that in fact, Hwayoung was seen locked out of T-ara's waiting room crying

July 31: Hwayoung apologizes on Twitter after being seen outside of CCM's offices source
  • Hwayoung tweets “To my fans, you’ve loved me until now, and I’m sorry that I’ve only given you disappointment. Please stop now, and look forward to our more mature and improved selves in the future. I apologize for making you worry during this time. I also want to apologize to my Core Contents Media family. I’ll greet you all with a better image next time.”
  • Fans are speculating she was made to post this since her twin sister Hyoyoung is also within CCM and there are rumors that CCM is holding Hyoyoung as sort of a hostage to keep Hwayoung quiet

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