On July 31, it was announced by Core Contents Media (Hereafter, CCM) that T-ara Hwayoung’s contract would be extinguished.
Rumors began to emerge about Hwayoung being bullied. A Netizen claimed that she saw Hwayoung get slapped in the face.
Afterwards, because of the media and Netizen backlash, the CEO Kim Kwang Soo ended up reporting that he met with Hwayoung’s parents. He also reported on the fact that Hwayoung and her sister Hyoyoung met together.
On August 1 Kim Kwang Soo had an interview with Chosun.
Q: Currently there are pictures going up on the Internet showing the T-ara members force-feeding rice cakes to Hwayoung. Such “bullying theory” pictures continue to be released.
A: “Anywhere, human relationships always have conflict. There were bullying rumors about Eunjung, Soyeon, and Boram. However, it wasn’t that extreme. Hwayoung’s problem is just like that. It wasn’t that the T-ara members were all ganging up on her. If she was getting bullied for joining late, doesn’t that mean that Areum should be going through the same ordeal as well? However she isn’t. The reason it seems like the force-feeding of rice cakes looks that way is because of editing.”
Q: Currently, there is criticism about ending Hwayoung’s contract (when she appears to be the victim) without revealing what really happened. Currently word is going around that this was all a cover-up of T-ara’s bullying.
A: “Last week we had a successful Japanese Tokyo concert, it doesn’t make any sense that we would kick out a member because of bullying. Hwayoung’s contract was not extinguished because of bullying. The reason why her contract was extinguished was because through her refusal of appearing on stage, she has broke a promise with the public.”
Q: There is a saying that Hwayoung is nicer and has better manners than other members.
A: “We asked for a police investigation about the person who started the rumor of Hwayoung getting slapped during practice. The person who started the rumor was a child who had nothing to do with T-ara. Currently, unconfirmed rumors are spreading.”
Q: In the press release the other day you used the words, “Jealousy among young friends” and “small conflicts.” What did you mean by those expressions?
A: “In the perspective of the other T-ara members, it wouldn’t have looked good when Hwayoung who came in late, would start trouble. Hwayoung has a tough personality and she is a bit manly. While they lived together, the T-ara members hurt each other. It is also T-ara’s fault for not being able to embrace Hwayong’s personality.”
Q: In the press release there was a line, “The staff members said sullen things about Hwayoung.”
A: “The staff that were working hard were hurt a lot. One person close to Hwayoung even sent a message to a T-ara member and it contained foul language.”
Q: If there was no bullying and Hwayoung’s fault was the reason for her expulsion, why don’t you release all of the reasons?
A: “I am pained that something that started as a joke between the young members grew into selling someone out. If we reveal the facts then things will get worse. T-ara plans on continuing their planned schedules like nothing has happened.”