K-pop idols who got involved in power trip and bullying controversy: 3 continue their activities, one had to withdraw 

These idols were all under fire for personality controversy, but what happened to their careers afterwards is not the same. 

In addition to talent and visuals, K-pop idols are expected to have good manners as well. If they are embroiled in any scandal related to their personalities, they will immediately get in trouble with the public. Park Jin Young, founder of JYP Entertainment, one of the largest and most powerful entertainment companies in Korea, once said that “personality” is one of the essential factors for him to select an idol.

However, in recent years, the K-pop industry has seen various idols coming under fierce controversies that destroy their good images. The following idols all got in hot water for similar scandals, namely power abuse or school violence, but what happened to their careers afterwards is different. While one had to leave the group and basically retire, others are still protected by their companies and only went on a hiatus before resuming normal activities. 

The one who had to step away from the glory of the idol world forever 

Soojin ((G)-IDLE)

The Korean public takes school bullying accusations seriously. So it is very difficult for them to accept an idol who once committed school violence being a role model for fans, especially young ones. 

One of the most attention-grabbing school bullying cases among idols in the last 2 years centers on former (G)-IDLE member Soojin. She was accused of bullying her classmates, taking money from friends, hanging out with older kids where minors were not supposed to be at, smoking, drinking, driving a motorbike,…

Initially, Soojin’s agency Cube Entertainment denied these allegations, but Soojin still had to temporarily suspend her activities. Soojin only admitted that she was surrounded by bad rumors when she was young, saying she dressed inappropriately and tried out cigarettes but did not bully anyone.  

Soojin admitted to smoking and drinking but denied bullying accusations 

However, due to more evidence being released by the victims, including the fact that actress Seo Shin Ae also implicitly accused Soojin of bullying her when she was in middle school, the controversy got more serious. Many netizens turned their backs on Soojin and asked Cube to kick her out of (G)I-DLE, otherwise the whole group would be affected. 

Eventually, Cube officially announced Soojin’s departure from (G)-IDLE to protect the group’s future. During the past year, Soojin’s fans still hoped that Cube would keep her in the company and let her return as a soloist in the future. But on March 5 of this year, CUBE released a statement saying their contract with Soojin has been terminated. Soojin is no longer an artist under Cube

This announcement made most netizens believe that the bullying accusations against Soojin are indeed true. Looking back, fans can’t help but find Soojin’s talent, beauty, and potential regrettable because from now on, it will be extremely hard for her to have a chance to enjoy the glory of being an idol again. 

(G)-IDLE continues to be active with 5 members after Soojin’s departure 

Those who are protected by the company and able to make a comeback 

After Soojin announced to leave (G)-IDLE, netizens continued to mention other names who got involved in similar scandals, saying that idols with problematic personalities must be removed from the industry.

Hyunjin (Stray Kids)

Hyunjin is the most popular member and “stan attractor” of Stray Kids thanks to charismatic visuals and eye-catching dancing skills. Perhaps, he would receive even more love and support from the public if he was not the next idol to be accused of school violence.

Specifically, on February 22, 2021, Hyunjin was accused of mocking his middle school classmate when he learned that this friend was under a small management company as an actor.  Not only that, the male idol also insulted his friend in the chat group, causing this person a lot of mental damage.

Unlike Soojin and Cube, JYP Entertainment officially admitted the male idol’s wrongdoings only 4 days after the scandal broke out.  After that, the Stray Kids member directly met the victim and personally posted a letter of apology on social networks.

Hyunjin wrote a letter apologizing for his wrongdoings

Although he admitted his mistake and expressed remorse, he still received many criticisms from the public.  Many fans also asked Hyunjin to leave the group so as not to affect the remaining members.  However, the male idol only took a break for a while and then returned to work with Stray Kids in July 2021 to release new music products.

Hyunjin is still a member of Stray Kids after his scandal

Lia (ITZY)

Under JYP Entertainment, ITZY is also one of the potential girl groups in the Kpop market.  With their talents, visuals, dancing skills, and “cool” performance, the 5 girls quickly won the hearts of fans. They have high expectations from the public, but when they haven’t achieved the same success as Twice, ITZY has been criticized by the public after member Lia of the group was involved in a school bullying scandal.

Lia (ITZY) is the next idol to be accused of being a school bully.

The incident stemmed from an anonymous post on social media accusing the female idol born of being a school bully. The management company at that time stood up for Jia, denied the rumors and confirmed that they would take legal action. It seemed that this was really a fabricated rumor until the police denied the lawsuit filed by JYP Entertainment.

This incident has raised the suspicion that the female idol is really a school bully. The incident caused Lia to receive many criticisms, even affecting the group as the comeback song “Loco” failed on the charts. The fact that Lia continued to work with ITZY made the public turn their back on both Lia and ITZY

Lia continues to accompany ITZY after the scandal

Irene (Red Velvet)

Unlike Soojin, Hyunjin or Lia, Irene was not accused of school violence, but instead was accused of having a bad attitude towards a veteran fashion editor.

Irene Red Velvet
Outstanding visual helped Irene quickly become famous

Irene‘s scandal started when a famous fashion editor named Kang Kook Hwa had a post to expose the bad personality of the leader of Red Velvet. According to the post, the SM female idol severely scolded the editor, who is 10 years older than her, for 20 minutes. This editor even had a recording as evidence, increasing the authenticity of the accusation.

After that, more and more editors, stylists, and former SM staffs clicked like and implicitly supported Editor Kang, this is also a confirmation of Irene’s not-so-good personality.  The idol, born in 1991, later had to personally apologize, but the public was still angry with her somewhat bad character when treating people around.

The reason why public opinion is harsh with Irene’s scandal is because since their debut, Red Velvet members have always been well-known for their positive image and good personalities. However, Irene, as the leader of the group, destroyed the image that Red Velvet had built for so long, affecting other members. 

Red Velvet Irene-staff
Irene is said to always treat staff with a bad attitude

The wave of boycott as well as asking Irene to leave Red Velvet was supported by a large number of netizens. However, after a long hiatus, Irene continues to stay in Red Velvet. The group returned with Queendom and then achieved great success with Feel My Rhythm.

Red Velvet
Red Velvet still maintains a 5-member lineup after Irene’s power trip scandal
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