Members Of T-ara Respond To Allegations They Bullied Former Bandmate Hwayoung Into Leaving The Group [PHOTOS]
tara, tara eunjong, T-ARA
Members Of T-ara Respond To Allegations They Bullied Former Bandmate Hwayoung Into Leaving The Group [PHOTOS]Last July, when T-ara's Hwayoung was reportedly forced out of the group, many K-pop fans accused her former bandmates of bullying, posting video clips and photos of the alleged incidents online.
In one such incident Jiyeon of T-ara mocked Hwayoung online after she won an online popularity poll.
"I won first place in a popularity poll, so I'm sharing this picture," Jiyeon wrote. "Oh, and Hwayoung got zero votes. Haha. Our poor Hwayoung."
Other incidents involved the whole group snubbing her onstage and Jiyeon mocking Hwayoung on the reality show "Star Life Theater" for pretending to read a book.
"It's because of the camera [your're reading a book]," Jiyeon said according to website Soompi. "Wow, you're really funny. I've never seen Hwayoung read a book while being in the same group."
T-ara bandmembers Jiyeon, Eunjung, Hyomin, and Ahreum of the subunit T-ara N4, who made their debut on South Korean television on Sunday, responded to the allegations that they bullied Hwayoung while she was in the group.
"People might think [we bullied Hwayoung] if you just read everything that's online," T-ara's N4 Eunjung told the host of MNET's "Beatles Code 2" on Monday.
"But even I was rumored to being bullied. To be honest, we had an argument with Hwayoung for about two days during the incident. But it was wrong of us to publicly make statements through Twitter. It was wrong to write about the topic, period."
Eunjung said the online speculation of K-pop fans and various media outlets only made matters worse, particularly when the band didn't respond to the rumors directly.
"The more we stayed silent, the rumors and misunderstandings kept growing," she said. "It was so bad that even we were getting confused. I thought I'd lived without any regrets, but I was pained because I felt I'd become a bad person."
Jiyeon feels Hwayoung shares some of the blame for the bullying incidents.
"We had been together for over three years, so Hwayoung might have had difficulties being with us," Jiyeon said. "She probably had a hard time adjusting. If we truly hated her, we wouldn't have even argued. But we disappointed her and made her feel lonely. No matter the reason, we're sorry and also apologize to have created a disturbance as public figures."
Back in July when T-ara's record label Core Contents Media (CCM) announced that Hwayoung was leaving the group, a spokesman denied it was in any way tied to her being bullied.
"We wish to impress upon the fact that this has nothing to do with the 'bullying' reports surrounding T-ara," a CCM spokesman told allkpop. "Althoughthe staff of Core Contents Media stayed up into early morningdiscussing with the T-ara members who all wanted to stay with Hwayoung,we apologize in saying that we could not forsake the arguments of thestaff members."
All four members ofT-ara N4 agreed that the media reports and fan comments have been unpleasant for them to bear.
"Whenever articles about us come out, we get a ton of hate comments," Eunjung said. "At first, I just read it out of curiosity... but I can't read it anymore because the more I read, the more energy I lose."
"The worst one was when Soyeon got into a car accident, and someone wrote, 'she should have just died,'" Hyomin added. "There were others who said the entire accident was made up. It was such a bad accident, that she got tossed out of the car."
CLICK HERE for a roundup of alleged bullying incidents regarding Hwayoung and her T-ara bandmates