OMEGA X fans (FOR X) urge Spire Entertainment Chairman Hwang Seong Woo, husband of abusive CEO Kang Seong Hee, to resign after she allegedly stepped down from her position.
Throughout the past few months, FOR X (OMEGA X’s fandom) have become increasingly concerned for the members. In August, OMEGA X were seemingly banned from using their social media. After that, the group carried out their tour of North America, 2022 OMEGA X WORLD TOUR [CONNECT: Don’t give up], which was also fraught with issues.
After the tour wrapped with OMEGA X’s final show in Los Angeles, FOR X reported witnessing the members being verbally and physically abused by Spire Entertainment‘s CEO, Kang Seong Hee.
Guys, I was waiting outside for the Uber Eats that I ordered and I saw the company CEO hitting the members. I really didn’t know what to do since my hands were shaking so much. They were being hit right in front of me but I couldn’t do anything.
얘들아 우리 밖에서 음식 시킨 거 우버 기다리고 있는데
애들 회사 대표님이 애들 때리는 거 봤어
진짜로 손이 너무 떨려서 어떻게 해야 될지 모르겠어 애들이 눈앞에서 맞고 있는데 아무것도 못해 pic.twitter.com/vJEqNPzx5n
— 유채ஐ (@hwi_418) October 23, 2022
CEO Kang Seong Hee: What have you guys done for me? Did you take care of me when I was having a hard time?
CEO Kang Seong Hee: Stop?
Member: [inaudible]… it was right…
CEO Kang Seong Hee: Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are?
Member: [A member] is going to faint.
CEO Kang Seong Hee: I’ve already fainted before!
*sound of someone falling down*
CEO Kang Seong Hee: Get up! Now!
Member: What are you doing?!
*sound of a thud*
*sound of someone crying*
Spire Entertainment addressed the issue in a statement, claiming that “voices were raised” during a tour discussion between the management and the members.
Following the month-long tour, which began in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 16 and ended in LA, USA, on October 22, we had a celebratory team-wide dinner. The conversation, which has circulated online via social media, was recorded at that dinner.
At the time, having completed all legs of the tour, the OMEGA X members and Spire Entertainment team were discussing the hard work that went into the concerts, as well as the future that is to come. During this discussion, we also talked about certain moments that caused disappointments in one another. And in doing so, the conversation got heated, and voices were raised.
— Spire Entertainment
Additionally, SBS News reported an exclusive statement from CEO Kang Seong Hee herself in which she addressed the abuse but defended her actions.
It’s a one-sided allegation started by an anti-fan who is hostile toward the management.
I was exhausted because I’ve been up for several nights in a row. I even had a bloody nose because I was so tired. But the members didn’t think to make me feel better. They didn’t care about me. So I felt upset and acted out of disappointment.
Usually, I’m extremely polite toward the members. I even use honorifics when I talk to them.
— Spire Entertainment CEO Kang Seong Hee
Since then, Spire Entertainment warranted more backlash after a video was released by SBS that showed Kang Seong Hee verbally abusing and then physically assaulting leader Jaehan, who appeared to be having a panic attack. The attacks toward the members continued even at their hotel, and additional witnesses reported more instances of mistreatment.
SBS News shared a clip of OMEGA X's Jaehan who was seen having a panic attack and the CEO yelled at him: “Stand up. Stop being a K-pop idol if you're always sick like this.”
DANG! These boys deserve better protection from this kind of CEO!pic.twitter.com/qkrYpzp6z0
— BL Update (@BLUPDATE2022) October 24, 2022
According to an official from the entertainment industry, the OMEGA X members have been receiving treatment for psychological shock from the abuse they have suffered since their return to Korea from L.A. They have returned to receive both rest and treatment at their own homes rather than Spire Entertainment’s dorms after they paid their own way. Following the publicized abuse, Kang canceled all of the members’ flight tickets to Korea.
All their activities have been canceled for the time being, too, but recently, OMEGA X created a new Instagram account while on yet another social media ban to communicate about the current situation with FOR X (OMEGA X’s fandom). It appears that members have made the account regardless of the memorandum they signed that stated they would have to take “civil and criminal responsibility if uploading to social media without the agency’s consent.” They even used fan-created hashtags intended to help spread awareness of the abuse that OMEGA X has faced at the hands of the company. Previously, Spire Entertainment created a new Instagram account too.
Hello. We created this small communication space to convey the current situation regarding the issues that have happened to us and to thank the fans who love and support us. According to Spire Entertainment, we have all signed a memorandum stating that we will take civil and criminal responsibility if uploading to SNS without consulting the company. We ask for your understanding that although we wanted to communicate with the fans as soon as possible, we had to be very cautious.
We have had happy times since our group activities but also had to endure some painful times. When our situation became known to the public, we were worried that what we had achieved so far would be in vain. But now we have put our fears behind us and decided to be brave.
The eleven members have decided to get back up and not give up on our dreams and take this as our second opportunity. The driving force that allowed us to challenge ourselves and stick to our plans was the fans who waited, believed, and supported us. It was because of our fans that we were able to survive two years.
Although there were days when we wanted to cry because the agency was mistreating us, remembering our fans’ shouts and reading your messages before going to sleep was the only strength that kept us going.
From now on, we will continue moving forward toward our dreams as we always have. We will stand in front of our fans again with good music and performances. The eleven members have the same goal, and the fans have the same dreams as us, and it is something that is the most precious to us that we don’t want to lose again.
We apologize for the delay, and we know that many people have been worrying and waiting for us. Thank you for reading the truth that we took the courage to post. Thank you. From OX. #오메가엑스 #OMEGAX #PROTECTOMEGAX
— OMEGA X
After weeks of FOR X urging Spire Entertainment to do something, address the issues, and let CEO Kang go, Spire Entertainment finally issued an apology, and Kang resigned from her position as CEO of the agency.
Hello. This is Spire Entertainment. More than anything, we bow our heads in apology to the fans who have treasured the OMEGA X members, as well as the members themselves and their parents, who were hurt by this matter.
We also sincerely apologize for disappointing everyone by letting the unfortunate matter happen, as well as for the inadequate way that the company has been dealing with it up to now.
Spire Entertainment will bear the responsibility for everything regarding this matter. In addition, the CEO that caused the unfortunate incidents on tour has resigned from the company voluntarily.
In the future, the company will not shy away from but take into account all the criticism and advice we have received during this time and do our best to solve matters, making sure such things do not happen again.
In addition, we will do all that is in our power to prevent the members of OMEGA X from experiencing such unfortunate matters again and to create a better environment for them to focus on their activities as an artist as we continue to converse with the members.
— Spire Entertainment
Still, there are doubts about whether or not Kang truly has left Spire Entertainment. An entertainment official noted, “Since the agency is a family company run jointly by Kang and her partner, there is no choice but to doubt the sincerity of Kang’s voluntary resignation. Also, I know that the members have complained to the agency several times about Kang’s actions before, but they were never fixed.”
— Sophie~ #PROTECTOMEGAX (@hoeeshook) November 9, 2022
Netizens also previously exposed both her and Chairman Hwang’s social media activity, which is how many discovered they were more than colleagues. So, knowing their close connection, it’s hard to believe that she is still not also connected to the company. FOR X are pointing out the concerns that OMEGA X had also reportedly spoken with the agency about Kang’s abusive actions before, and it was never addressed until it was exposed to the media by netizens.
— 에린 ♡ 휘찬 (@hwicetag) November 9, 2022
Considering Kwang and Kang’s relationship, FOR X believe that OMEGA X will never truly be safe or prosper until both are removed from Spire Entertainment for good. So, they are urging the resignation of Chairman Hwang as well.
we aren’t stopping until we can ensure that everybody who was involved is GONE. we have absolutely no trust in the company with the chairman being there. #ForXDemandMore#ChairmanHwangRESIGN #황의장_사퇴해#PROTECTOMEGAX
— eli (@oxshyuk) November 9, 2022
We want the president of Spire to resign as well. It's not just the resignation of those who hurt the boys, we want the resignation of those who allowed this to happen within the company. +#ForXDemandMore #ChairmanHwangRESIGN #황의장_사퇴해@SPIRE_ENT
— sara do ΩX (@LeeGyeom_) November 9, 2022
— Uvita24 (@Morondanga24) November 9, 2022
— jhae (@imjhae) November 9, 2022
In addition to #PROTECTOMEGAX, hashtags #ForXDemandMore, #ChairmanHwangRESIGN, and #황의장_사퇴해 are trending on Twitter as FOR X continue to protest for OMEGA X and raise awareness on the serious issue.
This situation still won't get any better until we have her husband resignation as Spire's chairman @swhwang21
— Sofia ♡ 겸훈 (@BAILA_CON_OX) November 9, 2022
Daily mention @SPIRE_ENT because our remaining demands still unsettled yet from the beginning!
Don't waste the members' time anymore just to wait for you to take PROPER ACTION!#ForXDemandMore #ChairmanHwangRESIGN #황의장_사퇴해 pic.twitter.com/ZB7pe5gNZG
— Sofia ♡ 겸훈 (@BAILA_CON_OX) November 9, 2022
FOR X is trending the hashtags from November 9, 10 PM KST to November 10, 10 PM KST.