In celebration of Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving, the management ABYSS Company shared what they called their “first family picture” via Instagram. Featuring Sunmi, BamBam, and other beloved K-Pop artists dressed in matching pastel-colored hanbok outfits, the picture gained a tremendous amount of attention.
Unfortunately, about 48 hours into posting, the picture is receiving more backlash than “Likes.” Jo Hyunah, the vocalist of the trio URBAN ZAKAPA, pointed out in a disgruntled comment that her group has been left out of the picture.
Wow, we’re not in this picture. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Couldn’t even tell us about it, huh? LOL.
— Jo Hyunah
When URBAN ZAKAPA fans began questioning where the group members were, especially following Jo Hyunah’s comment, ABYSS Company tried to clear things up via the group’s official Instagram account.
Hello, this is ABYSS Company. We have an announcement about our artists, Kwon Sunil and Park Yongin, in regards to the special Chuseok content. Based on the fact that Jo Hyunah is no longer a part of ABYSS Company following her contract termination, we decided it would be difficult to include URBAN ZAKAPA as a whole group in the picture. Therefore, the content was created excluding Kwon Sunil and Park Yongin. We understand this has caused a great deal of concern for the fans who love and support URBAN ZAKAPA. We sincerely apologize. We also regret that we proceeded with the photo shoot without talking to the URBAN ZAKAPA members about it first. We have reached out to the group and apologized to them, explaining what had happened. Again, we’re sorry for the issue. We assure you that, going forward, we’ll do better.
— ABYSS Company
Citing Jo Hyunah’s contract termination as the reason for excluding URBAN ZAKAPA as a whole from the picture, ABYSS Company apologized for the confusion. Jo Hyunah was not impressed.
Oh… So if you apologize like this, I have to accept the fact and move on? That feels a bit coerced. I feel like I’m being forced to take the apology…
— Jo Hyunah
Echoing Jo Hyunah’s resentment, URBAN ZAKAPA fans are flooding the comments under the “Family” picture and the apologizing statement. Some pointed out that, as one of the original artists to have been with ABYSS Company from its humble beginnings, and as Jo Hyunah introduced artists like Sunmi to the management, URBAN ZAKAPA was hugely disrespected.
- “Wow… The audacity to leave URBAN ZAKAPA out.”
- “Where’s URBAN ZAKAPA?”
- [English Comment]
- “WHERE ARE MY URBAN ZAKAPA BABIES???”
- [Jo Hyunah’s Comment]
- “What about URBAN, though? Did the group leave ABYSS? If so, please announce it.”
- “Where’s ZAKAPA?”
- “But… It ain’t really a family picture without the OGs, no?”
Most are also expressing disappointment at the management for not only excluding the group’s members who remain under contract but also “downplaying” the situation by apologizing via URBAN ZAKAPA’s account and not the official ABYSS account.
- “F*ck up with the management account, and then apologize with the artist account. You’re only apologizing for the sake of it, huh? This is some funny business operation.”
- “Hyunah may have left ABYSS but Sunil and Yongin are still a part of that so-called family. This is so disrespectful. And the apology only came after the fans got upset about it. Had these reactions not come through, I wonder if you would’ve even thought about reaching out to the remaining URBAN ZAKAPA members. This is ridiculous.”
- “When did Hyunah’s contract expire? You didn’t even let us know about that. How were fans supposed to know about it? What kind of an artist management company doesn’t announce changes in their artist lineup?!”
- “You should be posting this to the ABYSS official account.”
- “Stop trying to blame Hyunah and her contract expiration for this. LMAO. Sunil and Yongin are still very much signed to ABYSS. And URBAN ZAKAPA as a group is still an artist under your management. So…??? And can we please get an album before the year’s over? Or a concert. Like, start doing your jobs, please.”
ABYSS Company is yet to respond to the growing backlash.