Korean fans threaten to boycott K-pop group (G)I-DLE’s Soojin over bullying controversy

Published March 7, 2021, 9:29 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

(G)I-DLE’s Soojin (Twitter)

Korean fans of K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE have threatened to boycott member Soojin if her agency fails to provide proper explanation and resolve the accusations of school violence posted by netizens.

Soojin has been accused of assault, extortion, bullying and stealing that allegedly happened in middle school, which she denied.

“First, I have never assaulted my friend. Second, I have never ridden a motorcycle. Third, I have never sent a group text message to bully someone. Fourth, I did not steal any school uniform or other belongings. Fifth, I never had a conversation with actress Seo Shin-ae in school,” she wrote in a post last Feb. 22.

Soojin said she wore clothes that did not suit her age and smoked a few cigarettes out of curiosity but she has never smoked since then.

The older sister of Soojin’s classmate said the singer called her younger sister and her friend to the bathroom and made them slap each other. She also said she heard Soojin and her younger sister arguing on the phone that led to her and Soojin having an argument too.

On March 4, Cube Entertainment released another statement to announce that “Soojin has stopped all activities, and (G)I-DLE will continue their activities as five members for the time being.”

Cube Entertainment said it checked with Soojin’s school, teachers and a number of alumni and “as a result of what we have confirmed so far, as we previously stated, that the dispute over the phone is true but we have not confirmed the facts about the violence being claimed by other posts’ authors,” it said.

It added, “In order to verify the truth, our company proposed a face-to-face meeting between the parties, not the author of the post and representative. But everyone refused so no meeting between the parties took place.”

However, this statement did not sit well with Korean fans of (G)I-DLE. On March 5, the (G)I-DLE gallery on the community portal DC Inside issued a second statement demanding Cube Entertainment to finally resolve if Soojin committed school violence or not.

The fans said according to the victim’s statement, the victim refused to meet up because the agency wanted the victim to meet with a company representative and not Soojin.

“Despite the fact that Cube Entertainment is responsible for the failure to meet the victim, the explanation that the victim did not meet because they did not want to is not helpful in resolving the case at all,” the statement read.

Regarding Cube’s statement that it checked with Soojin’s school, teachers and alumni, the fans said if the agency is sure that Soojin is innocent, it can clarify various suspicions and say that the issue of school violence is baseless.

They said that the agency’s statement saying, “As a result of what we have confirmed so far, as we previously stated, that the dispute over the phone is true but we have not confirmed the facts about the violence being claimed by other posts’ authors” only raises more suspicion and this shows a dereliction of duty of the agency to protect its artists.

The fans also questioned what Cube meant with its statement that “(G)I-DLE will continue their activities as five members for the time being” since their promotions have already ended.

“This can only be seen as deceiving fans who support (G)I-DLE and mocking the public who are watching the incident,” they stated.

The fans said they cannot accept the agency’s explanation issued on March 4 and they gave Cube until 9 p.m. on March 8 to explain the fact-checking process and to verify the facts substantially.

They said based on the company’s responsibility to protect its artists, Cube should show its commitment in doing its best to resolve the issue including facilitating a dialogue between the parties..

“If there is no additional position by Cube until the date, or if it is deemed insufficient, we have no choice but to boycott the member [Soojin] based on the circumstances of the incident that have been revealed so far,” the fans stated.

 
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