K-Agencies Reveal How Far They Now Go To Avoid Bullying Scandals

Avoiding representing school bullies is a top priority.

School bullying scandals have sadly become a big part of the K-Entertainment industry in recent years. Though there have always been controversies related to bullying, in the past few years it seems like every other day a new victim comes out with a story confessing they got bullied by a famous idol, actor, or another industry figure.

Of course, the response to any allegations that are proven true is ruthless. Korean and international netizens are unforgiving toward any celebrity that has physically or mentally abused someone in the past. There have been multiple idols that have become examples of this, with many going on hiatuses or even getting removed from their groups.

Actor Kim Ji Soo was accused of school bullying in March 2021. | Prain TPC



Former LE SSERAFIM member Garam was removed from the group on July 20 2022 following a two-month-long hiatus. The former idol was accused of school violence immediately after her reveal as a member of LE SSERAFIM was released.



Likewise, (G)I-DLE‘s former member Soojin was embroiled in school bullying allegations, which caused her to start a temporary hiatus on March 4. Soojin denied the claims made against her and entered a long legal battle with her accuser. She then withdrew from the group on August 14, with the premise that she would remain under CUBE Entertainment, the group’s agency. This changed a few months later when CUBE Entertainment announced that they had officially terminated Soojin’s contract following the police investigation’s conclusion that the accusers were not guilty of spreading false information.

Soojin | CUBE Entertainment

These are only two examples of many similar stories in the K-Pop and K-Drama industries. With these controversies being extremely harmful to the agencies and their artists, it’s easy to understand why K-Agencies are now willing to go to certain lengths to make sure they don’t represent celebrities with a bullying history.

Many agencies now do thorough investigations on a potential idol’s or actor’s school life by checking their school reports and documentation to make sure no hints of school violence appear on them. A K-Pop agency official even said to Hankook Ilbo that now companies even talk to the trainee’s previous teachers to inquire about their history as a student.

In the case of trainees who are in the debut team, we go to the school after receiving permission from their parents. We first meet with their homeroom teachers and ask about their school records and only after verifying there were no issues do we sign a contract.

— K-Pop Agency

Actor Jo Byung Gyu was accused of school violence on February 2021, he denied all allegations. | Handout

Likewise, an entertainment agency that represents actors and actresses shared they do the same thing. But they also added that they made sure to look into the aspirant’s parents as well.

Our team’s purpose is to verify our label’s celebrities’ school records as well as their parents’ debts and overall take care of the things that may hold them back in their career. We also educate the parents of our celebrities and advise them on things that they should be wary of.

— K-Entertainment Agency

“The Glory” director was accused of school violence a few weeks ago, | Netflix

Thankfully, thorough background checks have started to become very common in the K-Entertainment industry. Heart Signal 4‘s production team revealed that the candidates who wanted to be cast members of the show had to show 12 years’ worth of school records, from elementary to high school, otherwise they would not be allowed to join filming.

Source: Hankook Ilbo
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