(+) denotes a case that was previously posted
(N) denotes a case that hasn’t been previously discussed
TW: Descriptions of bullying/violence
Part 1 with the rundown of initial accusations can be found here.
(G) I-DLE’s Soojin (+)
Soojin’s case continues to be further complicated by compounded accusations and conflicting corroboration.
On February 23rd, members of the (G) I-DLE gallery on DC Inside, a major Korean netizen community, posted a collective statement withdrawing their support of Soojin pending further information or action from Cube Entertainment.
On the 24th, yet another accusation surfaced claiming Soojin and her friends had indeed specifically targeted child actress Seo Shinae, including slipping packs of cigarettes into her desk and pretending to find them to get her in trouble and spreading rumors about her. However, another netizen claiming to be a classmate stated that Soojin herself was the target of ‘subtle bullying’ such as spreading rumors and social exclusion when she grew distant from her previous circle of friends, who were the ones bullying Seo. Yet the post only rebutted Soojin’s alleged bullying of Seo Shinae and did not mention the other accusations.
Meanwhile, the original accuser tweeted on the 25th that unless Cube and Soojin officially admitted and apologized for the bullying and their response to the accusations, the victim would take her story to the producers of PD Note, a popular investigative TV show that had recently put out an open call for testimonies of school violence committed by public figures. Later on the 25th, the original accuser stated that they had been contacted by Cube and indicated they were going to meet with Cube representation to discuss the accusations with them and Soojin.
Stray Kids’ Hyunjin (+)
Following the initial accusations and statements, numerous posts and comments were made from purported witnesses and classmates both corroborating and denying Hyunjin’s alleged bullying.
However, on February 26th, JYPE released a second statement wherein they stated that they had contacted many of Hyunjin’s acquaintances, teachers and classmates to investigate the accusations and while there were certain aspects that they determined were verifiably false, they ultimately admitted to Hyunjin’s verbal bullying towards other students. They also stated that Hyunjin had met with some of his accusers in person to apologize. Hyunjin posted a handwritten apology letter to the Stray Kids Instagram account, apologizing to both his accusers and his fans for his actions.
On February 27th, JYPE announced that Hyunjin has been pulled from all public appearances and will be suspended from Stray Kids promotions until further notice.
The Boyz Sunwoo (N)
On February 22nd, a netizen claiming to be a middle school classmate of Sunwoo’s accused him of bullying and date violence. The accuser claimed that Sunwoo’s girlfriend at the time would come to school with bruises and that Sunwoo would harass female students with sexually explicit and threatening comments.
However netizens soon discovered this post was a slightly edited rehash of a previous post from 2018 that had been supposedly been established as false and deleted shortly after posting.
On the 23rd, a netizen verifying themself as a middle school classmate of Sunwoo posted to an internet community claiming that Sunwoo had been a popular social butterfly who mostly ran with a slightly delinquent crowd but he was not violent or aggressive towards others and no rumors had ever spread in their small school about any girlfriend of his being bruised.
The Boyz’s agency Cre.Ker Entertainment released an official statement denying all accusations and threatening legal action against the spread of unsubstantiated rumors. The accusations have since been deleted. The Boyz are expected to participate in all planned promotions, including Mnet’s upcoming Kingdom, without disruption.
Monsta X’s Kihyun (+)
Following the accusations against Kihyun and Starship Entertainment’s initial statement on February 22nd, Starship made another statement on the 25th wherein they posted extensive excerpts from Kihyun’s student records procured from his middle and high schools, which gave no indication of concerns regarding bullying, antisocial behavior or school violence.
Kihyun himself made a personal statement in the group’s fancafe admitting to and apologizing for not being an upstanding person when he was a student and doing things he shouldn’t have done as a minor (ie drinking and smoking). He refrained from admitting to bullying but concluded by apologizing for any harm he might have immaturely or unwittingly caused to anyone in his past.
Shortly afterwards, another netizen posted to an internet community verifying themself as a former middle and high school classmate of Kihyun’s. This purported classmate characterized Kihyun as part of a clique of slackers and partiers and borderline delinquents but not someone who was known as a bully or violent towards others and claimed that he'd witnessed violence against the accuser being done by other students. The netizen further stated that he and other classmates believed that Kihyun was possibly being used as a scapegoat for everything the accuser had suffered at the hands of others due to the public furor of the moment and because he was an easy target as a celebrity.
On the 26th, Starship posted an additional statement announcing that Kihyun and the accuser had met in person and had a long conversation during which they cleared up some misunderstandings between them and the accuser acknowledged that he had been mistaken. The statement further indicated that the two had parted on decent terms. The accusations have been deleted.
ITZY's Lia (N)
On February 24th, a netizen claiming to be a classmate posted to an online community accusing ITZY’s Lia of school violence and bullying in 1st through 3rd grades of elementary school through behavior such as spreading rumors and being rude and hostile to the accuser. Another post was made on the 25th accusing Lia of bullying and socially isolating behaviors such as not returning borrowed items, deliberately embarrassing the accuser and generally having a bad attitude towards her.
Netizens criticized the unclear, rambling and circuitous tone of the posts as well as the lack of sufficiently relevant and specific examples of the alleged bullying. Commenters and even media reports generally regarded the accusations as mischaracterized disagreements between young children that did not rise to the level of school violence and many netizens criticized the accusations as self-serving attempts to capitalize on the wave of public opinion.
On the 26th, numerous comments from other purported classmates emerged claiming that Lia had been popular and friendly in grade school and beyond and whatever conflicts she had with other kids, she was not a bully.
The accusations were soon deleted. Nonetheless, JYPE made a statement on the 25th denying Lia was ever involved in school violence, clarifying that the accuser was already engaged in legal proceedings for previously spreading unfounded rumors about Lia, and stating their intent to pursue additional legal action for the potential damage done to Lia’s public image.
Seventeen's Mingyu (+)
Following the initial accusations and statements regarding Mingyu, additional accusations were posted to online communities, detailing more harassment, bullying and abusive behavior allegedly committed by Mingyu and his circle of friends in middle school.
In response to the additional accusations, Seventeen’s online fansign scheduled for the 27th and 28th was postponed indefinitely. Furthermore, a petition requesting Mingyu's removal from Seventeen was posted to a Seventeen fan community, claiming to be written by a coalition of fans but the exact source of the petition remains unclear.
On February 28th, Pledis released an official statement regarding some of the accusations that Mingyu had harassed a disabled classmate. The statement categorically denied these particular accusations and stated Pledis had confirmed with both the classmate in question and the classmate’s mother that Mingyu was not one of the bullies who had targeted them as a student and the two had in fact been friendly. Pledis further confirmed they were continuing to investigate and verify the other accusations leveled against Mingyu and would release more information forthcoming. They also announced Mingyu would be suspended from all Seventeen promotions until further notice.
Sources (summaries and translations my own unless linked):
Soojin: Kookmin Ilbo via Naver, MoneyToday via Naver, SBS Enter News, Hyunjin: Soompi 1, 2, Sunwoo: Pann, 10Asia, Soompi, Kihyun: Soompi 1, 2, HeraldPOP via Naver, Lia: Soompi, FMKorea, Sports Donga, Mingyu: Newsen, Sports Donga, Sports Kyunghyang
Some resolutions, some more confusion
Sorry to end the weekend on a touch of darkness
Take care and have a good week, omona