Here are some worst Kpop mistreatment cases in history. Check out if there is your favorite group
In KPOP history, there has never been so terrible a mistreatment being exposed as that of TRCNG. This is a South ḳöŕệän boy group formed by TS Entertainment and consists of eight members. They debuted with the EP New Generation on October 10, 2017 with the song Spectrum.
In 2019, after the two former members Wooyeop and Taeson departed from TRCNG, the whole mistreating scandal was exposed. This is probably the worst mistreatment ever happened in KPOP history because the company not only materially abused members but also hurt their physical and mental health.
Specifically, TRCNG was given the worst living condition ever. In fact, it’s so terrible that people would never believe this is where a Kpop idol group actually lives, if not for this scandal being exposed. TSE didn’t provide them with proper dorms, pay bills, and even stole money from the idols.
According to the two former members, 10 members lived in an incredibly cramped space. Whereas 8 members share the 1st floor of a duplex apartment, the other two lived in a place that looks nothing more than a storage room on the 2nd floor, the ceiling was so low that no one could stand up all the way.
They had to live in clutter around their belongings, clothes, and equipment. The rooms weren’t well maintained because as you can see, the floor was damaged by frequent water leaks.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the company didn’t even pay the utility bills on time. One time when their boiler was shut off, 4 to 5 members caught severe flu, so they had to sleep and shower at the sauna. That was when TRCNG was having a second promotion, RISING. When the members went to the hospital, they even had to pay for it themselves.
Despite the ill health condition, TSE still forced them to perform. Though Taeseon had reminded the agency multiple times to pay the bills, only when the electricity company sent the final notice that the staff agreed to conduct payment.
Besides, TRCNG also lacked basic necessities like a properly functioning toilet. When the toilet broke down, though the members asked TS Entertainment to call the plumber, the label allegedly didn’t respond.
Eventually, Wooyeop’s mother had to call and pay for the plumbing services herself. Not to mention, the toilet looks extremely degraded.
The company also didn’t provide them with food. They had to buy it themselves, and only when they practiced late at night did the agency send them some fried rice. They even had to buy coffee for the staff members with their own money
And here comes the most terrible thing of it all: Many chat logs revealed staff members were getting drunk and ċüŕṩïńġ at the members. One staff was asking an underage TRCNG member to appear at an illegal entertainment bar, where ρяσѕтιтυтισи is common.
Wooyeop and Taeseon even revealed photos of the members being a̾s̾saulted by the staff. The images show a staff ḧïẗting one member’s neck with a toothbrush. However, this man insisted it was just a punishment while they were playing a game.
Wooyeop further said he himself was ḧïẗ with a metal chair and received severe bruises. He revealed he has medical documents and members as witnesses.
Not stopping there, TSE executives even used the members as laborers when they were still trainees. He often made them organize, package, post, and sell his shoes online.
TSE also abused them financially through profit sharing. According to the nine-year contract, the profits from their music releases are reportedly divided 9:1 TS Entertainment to TRCNG, 8:2 from their third full-length album onwards, and advertisement deals and events are divided 7:3.
As there are 10 members in the group, the label takes 90% of the profits, while each member only receives 1%.
GOT7 is a boy group formed by JYP in 2014. Though JYP did give a lot of investment in GOT7 in their first two years, the company gradually ignored them to the point that Ahgase became extremely frustrated.
In their newest comeback alone, Breath of LOVE: Last Piece, the company has made fans triggered AGAIN for their careless promotion.
Though this is nothing new, the whole situation has been pushed to another level when GOT7 didn’t even have a proper MV teaser. Whereas their self-composed album has up to 2 title tracks, Breath and Last Piece, there were no proper and separate video and photo teasers for that.
The fact that TWICE, Stray Kids, and ITZY all have periodic and well-managed teasers for their comebacks, and then there’s GOT7 having a ridiculous teaser is unacceptable. JYP only released a meaningless photo teaser a few hours before the official MV aired.
By that, it means there is literally no connection between the teaser and the MV. Moreover, all its portraits are typography of the title and no pictures of the members.
Before this comeback, fans were already super upset because all the members have no mutual activities over the past 7 months. There were just no variety shows, no commercials contracts, no nothing for GOT7 as a group.
In the past, a similar thing had already happened in the promotion of ECLIPSE. Normally before every comeback, the agency will release the poster and MV teaser with the full information of the date and time to release the MV.
By that, fans can increase MV views for their idols in the first 24 hours. But in the teaser of the ECLIPSE MV, there is no information about what time the MV would be released. Not knowing the specific release time, all the preparations and efforts to increase views for the MV of Ahgase were ruined.
Not only slow in announcing the date and time of GOT7’s MV release, but the company also announced the comeback and world tour simultaneously, leaving fans with no time to prepare the money to support their idols.
Not many fans are financially able to buy both the album and concert tickets, so they’ll have to choose between them. This has caused GOT7’s album sales to decline compared to previous comebacks.
While the fans are trying hard to buy albums to increase sales for GOT7, one of ̾k̾o̾r̾e̾a’s reputable album buying sites, Synnara, apologized for not having enough albums to sell. In the first week, most of the album sales come from the pre-order amount.
JYP should have a full preparation of the number of albums released, but they didn’t have enough albums to sell on the 2nd day. It’s quite apparent to see how the company didn’t even care about stocking enough albums to increase the reputation of GOT7.
For their last comeback, “Dye,” they promoted only for a week while other groups usually promoted for 2 weeks or more. Since the members’ schedules were obviously not packed, there was no proper reason for the company to set up such a short promotion time like that.
Besides the mismanagement, JYP also restricted GOT7’s creative freedom. Unlike Stray Kids, who could just produce what they want, JB is a sкιℓℓed producer but always has his songs rejected.
Jackson Wang, Bambam and Jinyoung are sкιℓℓed songwriters and composers. Still, if you check out the tracklist for their songs, they only contributed to very few pieces throughout GOT7’s career.
As if the mistreatment in their work wasn’t enough, JYP also gave no greater consideration to GOT7’s safety. A lot of the members have reported sasaeng fans lurking around their houses for months on and on.
Some members have talked about getting many calls from crazy fans. Ahgase then even tried to get JYP to take some action, but their response was rather late.
B.A.P is a boy group founded by TS Entertainment, the same agency that managed TRCNG. B.A.P saw an amazing run during their promotional peak. They had back-to-back chart-topping нιтs, numerous world tours, and even held the reins in popularising K-pop in the West.
However, owing to unresolved conflicts, unexplained hiatuses and lawsuits, B.A.P could not sustain the environment for growth.
The situation was so desperate that B.A.P’s leader had to repeatedly remind his fans not to buy their albums or their merch, in order to cut the support for the company.
He mentions this almost everywhere, on his IG live, Twitters, fan meeting, fan sign, and concert. He even dissed his company on live shows. He did it whenever possible, directly, so it won’t get edited out.
Towards the end of 2014, reports started coming up that all B.A.P members had filed a lawsuit against their label TS Entertainment for violating the Fair Trade Commission’s policy on slave contracts.
From unfair working conditions to shady profit distribution, B.A.P was battling all sorts of corporate evils in their creative journey. The company had reportedly profited nearly $10 million since the boys’ debut.
Still, the members only received $17,000 each within the three-year interval. Divided over 40 months, this sum translated into roughly just $500 a month.
While their company blatantly denied the accusations, B.A.P took to filing another lawsuit for defamation of character. To pay the lawsuit process, Yongguk sold his sneakers collection and secretly did a part-time job as a newspaper boy.
Finally, the two parties agreed, but the group took a hiatus until their next comeback almost a year later.
After the hiatus, things get more challenging as they need to build up their name again. Though fans even boycott their concert to let them rest a bit, B.A.P members were tortured by the company through the packed schedules: up to 7 comebacks a year, world tour once a year, and nonstop promotion concerts. They were forced to perform even when being sick. This is such an endless nightmare.
CLC is a girl group debuting under Cube Entertainment in 2015. Over 5 years, many fans think that this group was seriously mistreated considering multiple aspects. First is their primary concept. They debuted with the cute concept, whereas all the members were initially supposed to follow the girl-crush theme.
However, Cube Entertainment suddenly changed their mind, leaving the girls no other way than doing things they didn’t prepare and wasn’t their cup of tea.
It was said that Cube forced CLC to follow the cute concept in order to not overshadow their most precious girl group at the time – 4Minutes.
Then, when Cube disbanded 4Minutes and only kept Hyuna, who also left eventually, the company changed the image of CLC into the descendants of 4Minutes. This move of Cube triggered lots of 4Minutes’ fans because they believed that 4Minutes had no respect from their juniors.
It’s easy to see how Cube just cared about profit and gave no attention to how CLC would be impacted.
Then, the company forced CLC to follow the cute concept again. It’s reported that not until Sorn gave Cube a full-on PowerPoint presentation about the advantages of the girl-crush concept did the company let them come back with a title track, Black Dress.
Around this time, they started to regain their fans from the Hobgoblin era. Yet, instead of quickly giving them a second promotion, Cube introduced G-IDLE and literally ignored CLC.
Not just that, CLC’s MVs were always filmed in a box, which fans often sarcastically referred to as “stuck in the basement.” Most of the scenes they filmed were in a room, and there has never been anything more than that.
Compared to G-IDLE, whose MVs are often full of open-space settings, CLC’s fans are super frustrated because of such discrimination in the budget.
Moreover, the fact that Cube never gave them an official lightstick really drove fans crazy.
It’s even reported that CLC had to pay for the flight tickets themselves whenever performing offshore.
Though it’s not clear whether Cube applies this rule to every group in their company, it is obviously unacceptable compared to other famous groups.
Pristin is a girl group introduced by Pledis Entertainment in 2016. However, just after around 2 years of promotion, the girls disbanded and left fans in shock.
Though they were first predicted to be the rookie of the year, things went downhill so fast that no one could imagine. For the reason of their disbandment, it’s mostly because of how Pledis mistreated the girls.
The first thing was about Kyla’s image. Though many people initially thought that her curvy body was due to her own diet, they later discovered that the story was much more complex with Pledis’ involvement.
Some believed that similar to the way Pledis forced UEE to eat a lot to attract public attention, they were doing the same with Pristin’s Kyla. As a result, she was fat-shamed by many many anti-fans.
Kyla was so depressed that she went on a temporary hiatus amid the promotion with Pristin. Yet, it extended to forever, and she eventually returned to the States to rest and recover.
It’s evident that for the sake of increasing sales, Pledis Entertainment did everything, even at the expense of Kyla’s mental condition. Look at how the poor girl was completely ignored during a fanmeet:
When it was Kyla’s turn on stage, all of the interpreters immediately turned their cameras away from her and only focused on other members at the corners. Imagine how hurt it must be for a teenage girl.
After the recovering time, though Kyla and her family did consider her coming back to Korea to continue the music career with Pristin, Pledis blatantly announced that she was no longer a group member. Despite the explanation from Kyla’s sister, things didn’t change at all.
Not only ruining Kyla’s career, Pledis actually ignored the whole group when not letting them come back for nearly 2 years. Even when fans demanded an answer, they still pretended as if there was nothing wrong going on. They also continuously deleted fancafe posts asking for Pristin’s comebacks.
Seemingly, all the things this company did were to just sweep everything about the girls under the rug.
Because KPOP groups often have an active life of 7 years, and Pristin has already dumped 2 years into the trash bin, as a result, Pledis decided to disband them.
Stellar debuted in 2011 with a 4-girl lineup, including Gayoung, Jeonyul, Leeseul and JoA. They were initially introduced as a group produced by Eric
After 2 unsuccessful first songs Rocket Girl and UFO, Stellar had to change members and the final lineup included GaYoung, Jeonyul, MinHee and HyoEun.
When Stellar first debuted, the group pursued a lovely concept combined with a girl crush style. In 2013, the group released the single Study and this was their first song to reach the top 100, bringing Stellar closer to the public.
A year later, Stellar released their first album titled Marionette, and it all started here.
The management company wanted them to get rid of their cute, mischievous image and become more sexy and seductive. During the promotion of “Marionette”, fans were even encouraged to press “like” the group’s photos on Facebook to see the members’ body parts gradually being revealed.
Not to mention, the original MV of the song Marionette is also labeled 19+ because there are too many erotic scenes in it. Despite a lot of controversies, this became Stellar’s most famous song. The highest ranking of Marionette on Gaon is at No.35, the song also ranked 34th on the Billboard Kpop Hot 100 chart.
But everything has a price. It was later revealed by Gayoung that the company tricked the group into recording erotic scenes. The staff never fully conveyed their intentions to the members during filming.
Gayoung said, “There was a scene where a member had to drink milk. The script was ‘Missing ex, rolling on bed, waking up and drinking milk’. At that time, we thought they simply wanted her to drink milk to portray a morning moment. They even told her to spit the milk while drinking to portray an exhausting image. But this scene can make you imagine even more. No one knew that was the purpose of the scene”
The member that Gayoung mentioned was only 20 years old at the time. She was so shocked that she still can’t drink milk until now.
However, every time the girls try to protect themselves, they are threatened with penalty fees. Since the girls were too young at that time and afraid of being fined, they chose to be silent.
Moreover, there were times the whole group was only given one meal and they had to divide it equally among 4 people.
Gayoung also recalled: “With the song “Vibrato”, they told us to dance in super revealing outfits. When we said no, they said, ‘Just give it a try before you say no’. Eventually, we reluctantly took about 5 photos wearing those outfits but it was too much. They seemed to agree with us, but then those pictures were released. Right after seeing those pictures, we called them and argued, but they just put the matter aside and said, ‘So sorry, we won’t do that again’”.
After the concert Interstellar: Time Travel Through 6 Years ended, Gayoung and Jeonyul did not renew their contract with The Entertainment Pascal company and decided to leave the group.
In early 2018, Minhee and Hyoeun also left the group, Stellar officially disbanded. Gayoung revealed that not only the members but their families are also hurt by the concept that the group was forced to pursue.
She said: “Our parents are also very sad. They often hear people ask, ‘Why your children are doing this?’”.
Although the members are now happy with their own path, it is undeniable that the former management company took advantage of them. In a conversation on Minhee’s YouTube channel,
Gayoung revealed that during 7 years of working under Stellar, each member was only paid 9,000 USD despite having many popular songs and bringing the company a substantial profit.
So, are there other mistreated groups that we forgot to mention? Feel free to comment down below.
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