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[FULL STORY] Hwayoung's departure from T-ara: the full recap

Submitted: Aug 04 2012 07:16 AM by Koreaboo

Core Contents Media's (hereby referred to as CCM) CEO announced shocking news through a press release regarding their popular girl group T-ara a few days ago. CEO Kim Kwangsoo shocked many T-ara fans after stating that he had terminated T-ara member Hwayoung's contract in order to keep her protected from her rumored "bullying" situation and her supercilious behavior to their staff.

In this editorial, we will recap the current T-ara controversy from the initial accusations all the way to T-ara's current status and their plans for the future.

Disclaimer: All news in this article was taken directly from Korean news websites. It does not reflect the opinions of Koreaboo, its writers, or its partners. Some information provided below has not been confirmed by CCM. This article is not meant to spread false news, just to provide a recap of the news published by the Korean media. There are no opinions expressed in this article.

Due to the lengthy report, the article has been divided into parts and an index has been provided for easy reading.

TIMELINE:






[2011 REPORTS; LEADER EUNJUNG GETTING BULLIED?]


Bullying within idol groups is not unheard of, and T-ara is only one of the many K-Pop groups who have suffered from bullying accusations. For example, in 2011, popular girl group KARA was on the verge of breaking up after four of its members (sans Park Gyuri) was reported to have issued a termination notice of their exclusive contract with DSP Media.

This resulted in netizens questioning whether Park Gyuri had been bullied by Seungyeon, which brought netizens to then wonder if T-ara's Eunjung had also been bullied in her group. Just a month before this report by the Korean news media, Hwayoung had been added to T-ara and the leadership role was handed over to Boram.

In the report, Eunjung refuted the bullying rumors, saying, "When these member controversies and bullying rumors started spreading around, we all just said 'huh?' and laughed about it." [1]

Eunjung is not the only member in T-ara that was reportedly being "bullied." In the past, reports stating that Soyeon and Boram were bullied also surfaced. [2]



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[REPORTS OF T-ARA BULLYING HWAYOUNG RISE]


On July 23rd at the MBC "Music Core 10th Anniversary Special" episode, Hwayoung suffered an ankle injury. This prevented her from performing the following week at T-ara's sold out Budokan concerts in Japan on July 25th and 26th. It was reported that Hwayoung had injured her ankle, and it was put into a cast. She only appeared on stage for the performance of "Day By Day" during the concert, sitting down in a chair on stage to perform her rap solo. [3]

Following the successful end of the Budokan concert, the members of T-ara (sans Qri and Areum) posted comments on Twitter that later became controversial after which netizens began to voice their suspicions that Hwayoung was being bullied. [4]

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[T-ARA MEMBERS LEAVE CONTROVERSIAL TWEETS, HWAYOUNG AND HYOYOUNG'S TWEETS]


The tweets from Eunjung, Soyeon, Hyomin, Jiyeon and Boram posted following the end of the Budokan concert read:

Soyeon: It is a difference in dedication + manners + selflessness. Let us be strong again today.

Hyomin @b89530: It is a difference between levels of dedication ^^ Let us all be dedicated. Fighting!!!!!!

Eunjung @taraeunjung1212: Just like a position can make a person, dedication can also make a person... sigh...such a pity. You should know to look after the people around you. RT Hyomin: It is a difference between levels of dedication ^^ Let us all be dedicated. Fighting!!!!!!

Jiyeon @pjy1234: Differences between levels of dedication ^^ Having manners ^^ Always staying polite^^ I applaud you, acting genius^^ RT @Hyomin: It is a difference between levels of dedication ^^ Let us all be dedicated. Fighting!!!!!!

Boram @BoRam_0322: Clapping... clapclapclap!! RT @Jiyeon: Difference between levels of dedication ^^ Having manners ^^ Always staying polite^^ I applaud you, acting genius^^

Hwayoung @RHY422 then posted:

Sometimes dedication alone is not enough. At times like these, it might be disappointing, but I still believe that God has a good reason for making this happen... God, you know all~ don’t you? Hoot~

Hyoyoung @RHY93, Hwayoung's twin sister, currently on hiatus due to her groups' (Co-ed/5dolls) inactivity, tweeted:

My other half is going through suffering. It hurts to watch. No matter what anybody else says, Ryu, you can fight through it.

Hwayoung to Hyoyoung: ...there is nobody but you... ah...

Hyoyoung to Hwayoung: What's the use in having a pretty face? You should be pretty inside. Shouldn't a hurt person be treated like a person too? I really want to cry. I'll just train... [61, 62, 63]

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[CCM'S CEO KIM KWANGSOO TO MAKE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON JULY 30TH]


Following the controversial tweets, it was reported by several Korean media outlets a few days later that Core Contents Media's CEO Kim Kwangsoo would be making an official announcement on the 30th of July.

However, the announcement would not be made until 2 days later. At the time, Kim Kwangsoo had been in Japan for business regarding T-ara's concerts. [5]

There was no indication as to what the CEO's official announcement would be, but many of the netizens' speculations was that it would regard the "bullying" rumors.

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[NETIZENS UNCOVER EVIDENCE OF T-ARA BULLYING HWAYOUNG]




The public had two days to wait to find out what CCM's CEO Kim Kwangsoo would be announcing. But those two days proved to be chaotic as netizens continued to uncover evidence that T-ara had been bullying Hwayoung.

One piece of evidence that netizens found was a clip of the group on Japanese show, “Han Love,” on NJK BS11 in June 2012 during their “Lovey Dovey” promotions. The members present included Hwayoung, Hyomin, Qri, Soyeon, Jiyeon and Eunjung, and together, they played various fun games with the host.

Netizens pointed out the part where Eunjung can be seen “force feeding” Hwayoung rice cake in her mouth causing the other members to laugh or chuckle. Judge it yourself and watch the clip here, starting at 8:51. [6,7]

Then, fingers were pointed towards Boram. Netizens posted on an online community board on July 29th a topic titled, "Boram breaks Hwayoung's umbrella,"
catching the attention of others. The video included in the topic was from the recording of the MBC "Idol Star Olympics." Judge the situation yourself and watch the clips here, starting at 1:18 and here at 0:22. [8,9]

In another video of the members in Japan, T-ara is having fun at a bowling alley. In a particular part of the footage, Jiyeon nearly had a strike with one pin left. She turned to the T-ara members sitting behind her and started to give them high-fives from right to left, Hwayoung being the first in line. However, Jiyeon skipped Hwayoung and gave Eunjung a high-five, and continued down the line. [46] Judge the situation yourself and watch the clip here. [47] Unfortunately, we were unable to find a complete clip of the games.

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[NETIZENS DISCOVER EVIDENCE THAT QRI IS STILL FRIENDLY TO HWAYOUNG, ESCAPING BULLYING CONTROVERSY]


Following the Twitter controversy on July 26th, the members of T-ara became engulfed in a "bullying" controversy. Netizens began uncovering "proof" that Hwayoung was bullied. However, the only member that was exempt from the controversy was Qri, in addition to newly added member Areum, and she was able to stay on the good sides of the netizens.

Netizens uncovered a series of photos of Hwayoung and Qri posing cutely. Netizens commented, "Don't blame Qri," "Hwayoung was able to survive in T-ara, thanks to Qri," and "Qri is a good person." [60]

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[NETIZENS DEMAND EUNJUNG BE PULLED FROM DRAMA AND VARIETY SHOWS]


Following the start of the bullying rumors and the upcoming announcement, on July 28th it was reported by Korean news media portals that netizens had flooded the bulletin board of SBS drama "Five Fingers" and MBC variety show "We Got Married," demanding Eunjung be pulled from the shows.

In March of last year, Eunjung began participating in "We Got Married" with actor Lee Jangwoo as her virtual husband. While she initially received a lot of love for her appearance, since the bullying scandal, netizens flooded the variety show's bulletin board demanding for her to be pulled.

The same thing could be seen on the bulletin board for upcoming SBS drama, "Five Fingers," which was set to air after the end of the drama, "A Gentleman's Dignity." Netizens wrote "Get out now," "I'm expecting little from the drama," "I only see Eunjung as fake now," and "How can this be a good drama if the actress is not 'good.'"

Eunjung also ended up receiving the nickname, "Cake Eunjung," for the "incident" with Hwayoung on the Japanese show that aired in June 2012. However, there were still netizens that remained unsure of the bullying rumors, posting things such as "The truth is still unknown, there are more we still haven't seen," "Unless the bullying is found to be true, this is a little much," and "Only the members with no personal activities were not severely harmed." [10]

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Join the discussion

  • WithlovefromX 3 Points

    Thank you for the in depth coverage! It really made this whole ordeal easier to follow! ^^

    04 August 2012 - 11:43 PM

  • starburst 0 Points

    Thanks for compiling all of this together. It makes everything easier to read.

    07 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

  • PinkChocolatee 0 Points

    woww have a whole new look on T-ara

    08 August 2012 - 09:37 AM

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