Confused as to what led up to these turn of events? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Hwayoung injured her ankle, causing her not to be able to perform with the rest of T-ara during their Japanese Budokan concert.
- A string of tweets from Hyomin, Eunjung, Jiyeon, Soyeon, and Boram about determination, dedication, and taking care about the people around seemed to be indirectly pointed at Hwayoung.
- Hwayoung also tweeted, “Sometimes, even determination alone is not enough. At times like these, I feel upset but I trust that it’s a blessing in disguise from the heavens. God, you know everything right?”
- The tweets were deleted, but they were screencapped by netizens, and speculation arose on whether the members were bullying Hwayoung or not. There were those that said that Hwayoung was being bullied, but others said that the girls were simply stating that they needed to be determined to become even better. (More on this latter part.)
- To make matters even worse, CCM announced that the girls’ Twitters had been hacked and that there would be a major announcement on the 30th.
This major announcement left fans worried: was it going to be a break-up of the group? Would new members be added? Would a member or two be kicked out? Or was all this worrying for naught, that this was just all a big publicity stunt for their upcoming release? Unfortunately for fans, it was heartbreaking to discover that Hwayoung’s contract became nullified with no strings attached - she became a free agent/artist. At the voting of 19 managers, staff members, and make-up artists. (In deference to the complaints by T-ara’s staff of 19 people (5 stylists, 7 hair & makeup, 5 on-site managers, 2 team mangers), Hwayoung’s contract as an artist will be voided effective immediately with no conditions.)
To make matters even worse, the press release stated that Hwayoung was not bullied and that the T-ara members didn’t want her to be ‘kicked out’, that they wanted to protect Hwayoung from injuring herself even more, even though Hwayoung herself wanted to appear on stage. After the press release was made, Kim Kwang Soo was interviewed about this all and he mentioned two key things that should very well be a shot to the foot: “I can’t reveal everything. It’s the least amount of courtesy for the departing member. Please think carefully about who will be hurt if the truth is revealed.” and “I hope this issue is not inflated any further, (Hwayoung) I hope you stay quiet.”
Wait, what did I just read?
Oh, let’s not forget to add that after this interview, reports came pouring in about how Hwayoung’s ‘dark side’, so to speak, was emerging. Things like how Hwayoung acted like a ‘top star’ and not like a maknae; how she refused to go up on stage for Music Bank even though she rehearsed sitting in a chair and made Hyomin and Eunjung have to memorize her rap in a short time, resulting in a mistake; how Hwayoung acted like a diva and threw her crutches down after leaving Music Bank, in plain view of fans and the press and sat down. And after just revealing a little bit of her ‘unruly behavior’, Kim Kwang Soo commented, “We will not be revealing any more of Hwayoung’s similar behaviors outside of the ‘Music Bank’ incident because we do want to protect her. I am also sorrowed by the words left on Hwayoung’s Twitter.”
How is that protecting her? She’s just been kicked out of the group, her contract nullified, her sister still in CCM, and it hasn’t even been a full day and already, the company is painting her in a bad light while trying to portray the rest of T-ara as victims of Hwayoung’s ‘unruly behavior’. I’m sorry, but this isn’t really making any sense.
First off, if the rest of the members weren’t bullying Hwayoung through Twitter and were really just talking about being determined in getting better, they wouldn’t have deleted their tweets. Because they deleted their tweets, something fishy was definitely going on. Second of all, we don’t know both sides of the stories, only what CCM and Kim Kwang Soo have announced. But even so, the story has been changing so much it’s hard to believe what is fact and what is fiction.
And what’s even more interesting is what happened at Music Bank. With two groups left to go before T-ara’s performance, Hwayoung supposedly chose to sit out of the performance, leaving Hyomin and Eunjung in a very undesirable position of learning the rap. Learning the rap in such a situation is not the most ideal and in such a pressure-filled situation, it can definitely lead to bad results. At the same time, having practiced the song many times and rehearsed it many times, one should be able to know the lyrics almost by heart. I’ve seen it when groups perform - one member will be singing his/her solo lines and when the camera pans to other members, you’ll see those members mouthing the words. So, okay, fine, maybe Hwayoung was in the wrong for that or maybe CCM just fabricated a story to make Hwayoung look bad when the agency could have forced Hwayoung to sit out and put Hyomin and Eunjung in those positions. We don’t know.
But the part where Hwayoung threw down her crutches in front of fans and the press members after Music Bank? Where were the articles for that? Did it really happen? And if so, were those fans and press members told/paid off to not write anything about that? Just how much of that is truth and how much of that is lies? Ok, actually, how much of this can fans really believe? And from the looks of it, fans are calling this all a load of crap and nonsense (to put it lightly).
I personally don’t think much of this adds up. It just doesn’t really make sense and with the story changing with every report, it’s hard to believe anything at this stage. And considering that Hwayoung is no longer with the company, she has every right to talk about her side of the story, despite that veiled threat from the CEO. That is totally wrong, trying to shut her up by revealing these ’stories’. And of course, the T-ara members won’t say a thing (or not much) because the company has probably forced them not to say anything, meaning we won’t get much of both sides of a story, because, really, you can’t have a story without hearing from the two sides where it matters most.
Hwayoung may not be the best rapper, but from what I saw, she was the strongest rapper in T-ara and she has potential for much growth. So yes, her departure from T-ara is for the better, if she was indeed being bullied and this voided contract with no strings attached is the easiest to find a better company without the messes of a lawsuit. Of course, the situation would change if indeed Hwayoung was the troublemaker, but considering the fact that she tweeted “facts without truth” after the announcement, it’s probably safe to say that she has been wronged in this ’scandal’.
And, here’s a gem of news: T-ara will still go ahead with their comeback with Sexy Love as scheduled. Oh, it couldn’t get much better than this at all.
What are your thoughts to this all? Hwayoung’s departure, for better or for worse? Voice your opinions below!
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