In recent news, a chorus of bullying accusations against Korean celebrities has piped up over the last few weeks. Though K-Pop has commanded a loyal following in the entertainment and music sector, the industry isn’t privy only to the good. Controversy after controversy, a spate of bullying scandals have surfaced against South Korean stars.
Some of the few stars include The Uncanny Counter’s actor, Jo Byung-gyu, and (G)I_DLE’s Soojin. Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the K-celebs that have been put under the spotlight for similar bullying accusations.
Recently Crash Landing on You‘s Kim Jung-hyun was put under the spotlight after rumours started spreading about his previous relationship with It’s Okay To Not Be Okay‘s actress, Seo Ye-ji. During the course of their relationship, it was reported she had ordered that he have no physical contact with his female co-star, singer-actress Seohyun. According to an analysis by Dispatch, which compared the script to the actual episodes, numerous scenes in which Kim and Seohyun would have touched were changed.
One anonymous source said: “He constantly requested to adjust the script on set. If his requests weren’t met, he then ran out and dry heaved.”
Eventually, Kim used an eating disorder as a reason for the script changes and eventually left the drama before he made his comeback on the Crash Landing On You series.
After news broke about the rumours, Seo Ye-ji deleted all the contents of her Instagram account. She was also absent on April 13 from a press conference for her upcoming movie, Recalled, which opens on April 21.
South Korean actress and singer, Park Hye-su rose to fame when she starred in a role for Hello, My Twenties!. But last month, in February, the star was accused of being a school bully in the past according to two of her former classmates. However, the star responded and claimed to be the victim of the bullying allegations instead.
In her recent posts on Instagram, Park Hye-su shared more about why she moved back to South Korea from the United States, and starting in a new school in 2008.
Some of the few incidents that occurred while she was schooling included her tray being flipped on her, being pushed around the hallways and being threatened by her schoolmates with violence.
After bullying allegations against Park Hye-su went public, the upcoming K-drama Dear.M, in which Park Hye-su starred in, was postponed indefinitely.
The Six-member K-pop girl group, April, was recently under fire when news broke about its members bullying Hyunjoo before she left the group in 2016. Over the last week, a fellow netizen, who claims to be the younger brother of Hyunjoo, took his stand online where he shared about the bullying Hyunjoo was facing when she was a part of the group, from 2015 to 2016.
In his post, he mentioned, “She was ostracised and bullied in the group, and she ended up getting anxiety and had breathing issues because she suffered so much. She even tried to commit suicide.”
After leaving the group, it’s been said that Hyunjoo left to pursue her acting career – in which her ‘brother’ responded,”My sister left the group and her label sent her a letter that claimed she was leaving to pursue acting and told her to write it the same way exactly. So my sister did that. But after my sister wrote that, she got so many hate comments saying she betrayed the group for her own benefit.”
After the post went up, a friend of Hyunjoo also took her stance and showed support for her friend, claiming that all the members except for the two new ones, had picked on Hyunjoo while she was still part of the group. Some of the few things that the members had done to Hyunjoo included hiding her belongings, talking behind her back and tripping her.
In response, the agency, DSP Media, shared more about the difficulties that Hyunjoo had faced in April. “After she debuted, because of her physical and mental state, she had difficulties participating in April’s activities. Because of this, there was a lot of conflict and the other members also experienced damage.” All of which did not address any specific details of the bullying incidents.
Ever since the bullying allegations went viral, Hyunjoo has still remained silent on the matter.
Boy band Stray Kids’ member Hyunjin is also facing similar multiple school bullying charges. This comes after an anonymous netizen had accused Hyunjin verbally abusing and being violent towards him in school.
After which, JYP Entertainment, the label representing the group, investigated the matter. They met with the accuser and interviewed his former teachers and students from his school.
After investigations, Hyunjin has since apologised for his actions and even posted an apology on Instagram. He shared: “First of all, I sincerely apologise to those who were hurt by my improper actions during my school years. Looking back on times when I was more lacking, I am embarrassed and have no excuse,”. He also added, “Whether it was intended or not, I don’t think I can be forgiven at all for giving unforgettable pain to someone.”
Soojin is one of the other K-pop stars who’s been recently beleaguered by bullying accusations. The idol, who is part of the K-pop girl group (G)I_DLE, was embroiled in school bullying accusations and was claimed to be a bully while she was in middle school. The singer was accused by her former classmate and sister of being a bully. Some of these claims mentioned that she slapped her former classmate, forming a group chat to outcast her classmate, as well as stealing her classmates’ money and belongings.
However, Soojin responded by denying the allegations against her and shared on her platform on U Cube:”When I was a student, I always stood out and it’s true that bad rumours always followed me around.”
Another South Korean celebrity who got the short end of the stick since bullying allegations were spread online recently, is none other than The Uncanny Encounter’s actor, Jo Byung-gyu. In an online post by an anonymous netizen that was posted in February, the person claimed to have been bullied while schooling in New Zealand with the star. Afterwards, two more people came forward, accusing the actor of physical abuse.
In response, Jo Byung-gyu addressed the matter in an Instagram post that detailed his defence in the accusations that were being made against him. His management agency, HB Entertainment, also started legal proceedings to clear his name.
However, it was later revealed that one of the accusers was demanded a large amount in damages, with the agency requesting him to remove the post and upload an apology online. He also alleged that someone who was connected to the agency, had been harassing him online, and had cost him to lose his job from the stress that he was being put under from the case.
The actor has also claimed that the case has affected his career as he shared in an Instagram post recently, that mentioned, “My 10-year career has already collapsed and all of the projects I was scheduled to participate in have been put on hold. The damage amounts to a number I can’t quantify.”