Korean fan community asks Irene to leave Red Velvet due to ‘abuse of power’ incident

Published October 26, 2020, 2:41 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

A Korean fan community of K-pop girl band Red Velvet is asking leader Irene to leave the group for her rude behavior against an editor-stylist, which is being branded as “gapjil,” a Korean term meaning abuse of power.

The statement calling for her withdrawal was posted on a DC Inside gallery for Red Velvet on Oct. 22.

“If Irene does not leave the band, the scandal will haunt Red Velvet and deal a critical blow to the band’s image,” the petition read, according to the Korea Times.

After Irene and SM Entertainment issued apologies, the petition stated that the two acknowledged that “gapjil” happened and criticized the agency for not properly managing its singers. As of writing, the post has 505 likes and 76 dislikes.

Irene became the center of news in South Korea after editor-stylist Kang Kook-hwa made a post on Instagram that she became a victim of the K-pop idol’s rage. She did not name Irene but used the hashtags #psycho and #monster, which are Red Velvet’s song and album titles. She also said she had a recording of the incident as evidence.

In her written apology, Irene, 29, said, “I sincerely apologize for hurting the stylist with my foolish attitude and careless words and actions. I got a lot of help from many people who worked hard to get me to where I am now and I regret and reflect on the fact that I hurt them greatly with my immature behavior,”

Red Velvet’s Irene (Instagram)

“Looking back, I am ashamed for my lacking words and actions, and I again feel the importance of the staff. I will think and act more carefully to prevent this from happening again in the future. I am sincerely sorry to all the fans who support me and to all those who became concerned because of the incident.”

Kang compared Irene to “nut rage” Heather Cho, the Korean Air vice president went berserk on a company-owned plane in 2014 after she was served nuts in original packaging by a flight attendant.

Referring to Irene, Kang said she was “completely stampeded upon and bullied by one person. I thought I had experienced all kinds of people and gave up on such matters having worked 15 years in this field, but I was wrong,” Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

“The 20 minutes in the unfamiliar room was like hell. No hellos exchanged, shouting in my face with [her] phone in hand pointing [her] fingers while I stood and [she] sat in a chair, blurting out the words. Tears flooded out of my eyes after listening to the venomous words spewed out by [her] tongue. I just couldn’t help, it just burst out. Why must I be humiliated? For whom? For what? For money?” she added.

Irene’s controversy resulted in the cancellation of Red Velvet’s online fan meeting that was scheduled on Oct. 24.

“The Red Velvet online fan meeting scheduled on October 24th was cancelled due to artist’s circumstances. We ask for your understanding,” read the notice posted by organizers of the 2020 K-Culture Festival for which Red Velvet are serving as global hallyu ambassadors.

 
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