When you think of K-Pop girl groups, the first name that comes to mind is usually Girls’ Generation. With countless hit songs under their belt, Girls’ Generation may be one of the most successful (if not THE most successful) girl groups in K-Pop history. They have come a long way, however, and have had their fair share of scandals. Let’s take a look at some of the worst Girls’ Generation scandals that the group bounced back from.
1. The “Black Ocean” Scandal
Back in 2008, Girls’ Generation was still a rookie group. They had been invited to perform at the 2008 Dream Concert for the first time. Usually, K-Pop groups have their own colors, and fans will display those colors through clothes and light sticks. For the 10 minutes that Girls’ Generations performed, however, the crowd went pitch black, and silent.
Often called the “Black Ocean,” other fandoms were boycotting Girls’ Generation. Rumor has it that TVXQ and Super Junior fans were unhappy with how close Girls’ Generation members were becoming with their favorite artists, and had organized a boycott for the group.
Through the group’s hard work, they were able to increase the amount of members in their fan club, Sones. Now, concerts are now filled with fans showing support. Using light sticks in the official Girls’ Generation color of pink, the crowd of light sticks is termed the “pink ocean.”
2. 1500 Calories-A-Day Scandal
After the mainstream success of “Gee,” and “Tell Me Your Wish,” many fans started noticing that the members of Girls’ Generation were starting to look more fit and toned. Many rumors of the group’s diet started to circulate, and the one that gained the most traction was the rumor that each member only ate 1500 calories a day.
A “Girls’ Generation Diet Plan” eventually surfaced, with netizens speculating what types of food the girls ate every meal. While some fans praised Girls’ Generation for their will power, other fans deemed the diet plan unhealthy, and even considered this daily intake cruel.
To clarify the spreading rumors, members Yuri and Tiffany appeared on a talk show. Not only were the rumors untrue, but Yuri stated that they probably ate 1500 calories per meal, not per day!
3. Taeyeon’s Kidnapping Attempt
Back in 2011, Girls’ Generation was performing at the Angel Price Music Festival. The group was in the middle of performing their single “Run Devil Run” when an unidentified man ran on stage, grabbed Taeyeon, and attempted to take her. There were no staff members nor security guards present to intervene. Instead, Sunny and the MC of the show, comedian Oh Jung Tae, came to the rescue and prevented the man from kidnapping Taeyeon.
Later, it was discovered that the attempted kidnapper was a college student who had been watching from the crowd. Due to the lack of security, he was able to walk up on stage with no issue. Luckily, due to the quick-thinking of Sunny, a possibly serious situation was de-escalated.
4. Yoona’s Alleged Affair With Psy
In November of 2012, a Chinese tabloid alleged that Girls’ Generation’s Yoona was having a secret affair with Psy. The report indicated that Yoona and Psy met at a party, and the two have been dating despite Psy being married, and being a father.
The two remained silent on the issue due to it being so unbelievable in nature. But when a photo of the two supposedly together leaked, the rumor actually started gaining traction.
Finally, to end the rumors, Yoona spoke up on the matter on an episode of Happy Together. She explained that she was in China filming an episode of Running Man, when she was spotted talked to a cameraman who slightly resembles Psy.
5. Hyoyeon’s Assault Scandal
In April of 2014, it was revealed that Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon was reported to local authorities for assaulting an acquaintance, “B.” Police stated that Hyoyeon and “B” were at a mutual friend’s house when she she jokingly pretended to fall. Acquaintance “B” tried to grab Hyoyeon to prevent her from falling, but Hyoyeon started flailing her arms and accidentally hit “B” in the face. That should have been the end of the situation, but netizens started speculating that Hyoyeon was actually trying to commit suicide because other Girls’ Generation members were bullying her.
To clarify the rumors, acquaintance “B” revealed himself to the public. He was actually Hyoyeon’s boyfriend at the time, businessman Kim Jun Young. He had called the police because he was genuinely concerned that Hyoyeon might hurt herself, not to actually report her for assault. She wasn’t trying to commit suicide, and it was just a simple misunderstanding stemming from an innocent joke.
6. Jessica’s Departure
On September 30, 2014, Jessica left a cryptic message on her Weibo account, claiming that she was being “forced out” of Girls’ Generation. SM Entertainment released their own statement, confirming that Jessica would no longer be promoting with Girls’ Generation, and they would continue as a 8-member group.
Insider information revealed that Jessica was asked to leave because due to the launch of her clothing line, “Blanc & Eclare,” while representatives at SM claimed that Jessica had asked to leave the group. Despite conflicting reports, Girls Generation and Jessica went their separate ways. Girls Generation released various successful albums since, and Jessica has been focusing on her clothing line while promoting as a solo artist.
7. Tiffany’s Rising Sun Controversy
On August 14th, Girls’ Generation‘s Tiffany updated her Instagram and Snapchat accounts with photos from Japan. SM Entertainment artists had just completed a series of concerts in Tokyo, and Tiffany updated her social media with photos from the after-party. The problem was, August 15th is Korean National Liberation Day, the day people in Korea commemorate independence from Japanese Imperialistic rule.
What really infuriated netizens, was the fact that Tiffany had used emoticons with the “Rising Sun” logo. Similar to the Nazi “swastika” in Western countries, the Rising Sung flag is considered offensive in many Asian countries because the symbol was used as the war flag for the Imperial Japanese army.
Realizing her mistake, she quickly deleted her social media posts, and uploaded a series of apology letters. Due to the amount of scrutiny she was receiving, Tiffany left all of her variety show responsibilities, and went on hiatus to reflect on her mistakes.