It's been a really busy month for K-pop scandal wise, so I thought I'd compile some of the bigger ones. I'm sure most of y'all already know what #1 is, but here are four other scandals that have rocked K-entertainment.
5. Drama Says That K-Pop Fans Are Only ATMs.
A k-drama miniseries called Star of the Universe aired recently, which featured a controversial scene in which the celebrity main character’s management criticized him for dating a fan. The dialogue was this:
This caused an uproar after it aired, with Korean netizens divided on the issue. K-pop fans were pissed about the comments, saying that their precious oppars don’t see them as ATMs and truly value them as people. The other camp found the scene truthful and funny, and made fun of k-pop fans who bought gifts for idols. In the end, the former camp won and MBC, the channel that aired the drama, ended up deleting the scene from re-airings of the show. The show also gave rise to both Korean and international netizens referring to fans of any particular idol group as ‘ATMs’.
[4. 1st Gen Idol Gets Married With ATM Money]
4. 1st Gen K-Pop Star Get Married...With Fans’ Money?
Former H.O.T. member Moon Hee Jun just got married to his girlfriend of a year, Crayon Pop’s Soyul. What is normally a sweet occasion has been marred by controversy. In the day prior to his wedding, Moon Hee Jun was asked on JTBC’s ‘Sing For You’ about his wedding spending. He reply was:, "I think, 'Why did I save up so much money? I saved up money for this moment.' I'm preparing for my wedding very happily."
His fans took the statement to mean that all of the concerts that he had been hold up til that point was a ploy to get money for his upcoming wedding, and began to cry that he only viewed them as his personal ‘ATMs’. They also began to bash Soyul and other Crayon Pop members for their behavior at some of his concerts, which included bringing outside food in, and laughing and having a good time.
Moon Hee Jun ended up writing a long ass explanation on his fan cafe:[Damn Bitch Another Cut??]
And the statements saying Moon Hee Jun only thought of fans as ATMs? I never thought like that even for a moment, and I'm so sad. I couldn't say anything because I was scared you would misunderstand, starting from when I announced my marriage, to stories about how [Crayon Pop] watched the concert (even though I said it wasn't true, you don't believe me... but what didn't happen, didn't happen ㅠ) and stories about my mother coming to the radio if I tried to explain, so I couldn't say anything. I kept my words because I was afraid my explanations might hurt a fan somehow.
But if I don't say anything because of these reasons to what's being said now, I don't have the confidence to bear through misconceptions the public would have about me as truth. It's probably because I know how painful, how scary that is, that I'm taking courage to write this. I don't think I could get up again if I fell because of misunderstandings...
Also, there was talk about the birthday party. I'm so thankful that you invited me, congratulated with me, and gave me presents. But right now, I've become someone who was forcing presents out from fans. I was looking forward to it because if I don't have performances, it's the one time that I can meet fans, but I think it's better not to have the birthday party. If someone was bothered, it must be the best not to have it at all. ㅠ
I'm scared now even to have concerts. It's unimaginably paintul to think about now being able to stand on stage as a singer, but I'm not confident that I can take more words that say I'm having the concert to prepare for my wedding. I feel like in the end, I'm not able to do anything as a singer. I'm so frustrated and sad. I know very well that fans are pained and exhausted. But I can't take any more pain, either.
I'm scared if you'll believe me or this will be problematic again, and I'm sad that this is happening between a singer and his fans. But I know there are fans who are congratulating my marriage, and I'm so thankful. But something I do want to say after gathering my courage is that people are saying that the reason they're saying these things is really not because I'm getting married, but if I didn't get married, would these things have been said? I ask that you don't twist the singer Moon Hee Jun's 20 years of putting fans first, always thinking of fans, and being passionate about music.
Still, bashing of both him and Soyul continue to this day, with articles covering his wedding having negative comments posted. It’s sad when people don’t understand capitalism.
[3. Idol Says Fans Breath Stank]
3. Boys24 Member Says His Fans Breathe Stink
A member of Korean boyband Boys24, a group created from leftover trainees from K-pop agencies, was found to have cursed his fans and ridiculed their hygiene. Hwayoung had this to say about his ATMs:
— DC INSIDE 소년24 갤러리 (@boys27_1) February 8, 2017
Obviously, this did not sit well with either fans, the public, or management. Hwayoung was swiftly kicked out of the group. It’s a strange choice to criticize your fans when you worked for years to debut, only to get your shot on a AKB48/Produce 101 knockoff show after no company would debut you. You’d think the sheer desperateness would make you keep your mouth shut.[2. High School Rapper Causes Scandal]
Mnet, a Korean music channel specialized in making ridiculous survival shows (i.e. Produce 101, Sixteen, Show Me the Money, Unpretty Rapstar, etc), is currently airing a show called High schoo
l Rapper which is about high school rappers. One of such rappers, Jang Yongjun, was making a buzz on the internet after his appearance. He got a lot of praise for being a good rapper amongst a sea of mediocre kids, to the point that K-hiphop icon Swings was in the process of signing him to his label. Legit 3 hours later this boy’s life was ruined. Some of Jang’s classmates came out to say that he was an iljin (Korean word for bully). This is par for course for young idol trainees, but things turn a TURN. Some netizens found out that Jang was soliciting prostitutes on Twitter.
1. @qwebnm07 I want to pay for prostitution so for the sake of DM's, can we follow each other?
2. @dhshsis Do it with oppa
3. Nuna is too prettyㅋㅋ @thgml0331
One of Jang’s classmates also posted pictures of him asking for him to come beat up his mother:
Friend: what will you do once you get your transcript?
JYJ: what the f*ck do you want me to do, f*ck I didn't even have my smoke f*ck
Friend: ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ find strength...
JYJ: can you come and hit her?
Friend: what are you saying, you assh*le?
JYJ: our mom; come and hit her
Old classmates said that Jang used to smoke in middle school, and that all of the kids were afraid of him. The controversy was so bad that Jang’s father, a member of the National Assembly (which is essentially Korea’s Congress), had to resign from his job!
This year will mark the fifth anniversary of the destruction of T-ara’s career due to a ‘bullying scandal’. Since the scandal was so long ago most K-pop fans don’t know the full story, which you can check out here.
But basically, imagine while on her way out Camilla from 5th Harmony said that the members of the group bullied her, and all of the gifs showing her isolation were used as proof. Imagine that everyone believed Camilla, and thought that she did nothing wrong to deserve her isolation (despite it being well documented that she’s a racist)? Imagine this affecting 5th Harmony’s career so bad that they were no longer welcomed in the United States, and that the general public hated them to the point of leaving death threats to the girls, while Camilla goes on to have a successful career built on her lies?
That’s basically what happened to T-ara five years ago.
The member in question who left was Ryu Hwayoung, who claimed that she was bullied out of the group. Hwayoung went on to become an actress, starring in the acclaimed kdrama Age of Youth. Outside of some small appearances and supporting roles, Hwayoung didn’t have anything to her name. Except the T-ara scandal. The Korean general public, and most international Kpop fans sided with Hwayoung in the scandal, making her a martyr who suffered at the hands of evil T-ara. So, even five years later Hwayoung milked the scandal in order to garner symphaty and to stay relevant. This plan went awry in 2017. When Hwayoung and her twin sister Ryu Hyoyoung appeared on Taxi, a show where guests discuss stuff while riding in a taxi. Apparently, the Ryu sisters were to appear in order to bury the scandal once and for all, but instead went off script and started to whine about how she was bullied five years ago.
At home, a former manager of T-ara’s watched the program. Fed up of the Ryu sisters years of lies, he leaked text messages between Ryu Hyoyoung (the twin, and then member of 5 Dolls (a reminder so y’all don’t get these heffas confused) and then T-ara member Ahreum. Hyoyoung called Ahreum out for being a snitch, and told her she would beat Ahreum's ass so bad that she couldn’t appear on TV anymore.[Texts Here (No More Cuts!)]
“Hyoyoung: Areum, it’s Hyoyoung.
Areum: Yes hi!
Hyoyoung: Areum, you have to be thankful and thank people when they take care of you. If you don’t want to get hit, then act properly because word spreads around fast. Don’t gossip around and act cheap. I’m really angry right now, so let’s not see each other, okay?
Hyoyoung: If I misunderstood anything, do you want to meet up and talk? Or do you want to apologize now?
Areum: I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I want to meet and talk with you. I’ve never done anything bad enough to hear words like this.
Hyoyoung: Baby, you should just go away.
Hyoyoung: I’m going to beat the dust off you at ‘Music Bank,’ so just wait.
Hyoyoung: I’m going to scratch your face so you can’t go on broadcast.
Hyoyoung: Hehehe, just you wait.
Hyoyoung: I’m not going to be a singer, so just wait. Dogs only learn when they get hit.
Hyoyoung: Stupid bitch, just wait until I catch up with you.
Hyoyoung: Okay, you’re doing a grrrrreat job at snitching.”
The text messages went viral. Later on both Hyoyoung and Ahreum confirmed the texts to be real, with Ahreum saying on instagram that she would “always protect her precious unnies (T-ara).” More of T-ara’s ex staff came out of the woodworks to confirm that it was Hwayoung who was the problem in the group, and that she was lazy, and often got into conflict with the other members when called out about her behavior. For the first time in five years, the narrative shifted and it was the Ryu sisters who held the blame they rightly deserved for the scandal.
Ryu Hwayoung, tired of the abuse she suffered on Instagram (for only a weekend, which mostly consisted of snake emojis, and nothing compared to the death and rape threats T-ara members received for five years, but I’m ranting…) had this to say to all her “haters”:
“(To all the haters) It seems like what you want is some pathetic official statement saying it’s your fault~ or my fault~ but all of this started from us being young and inexperienced in communicating our feelings five years ago. It seems like you haters won’t be satisfied until we grab each other’s hairs out in a mud slinging fight. The ones that need to watch out are yourselves.”
So, in her opinion, it is best to move on from the scandal, which she milked whenever she or T-ara had something to promote? Regardless, it seems T-ara is finally falling back into favor with both K-netizens and international netizens.