This past May 26, After School participated in the recording for MBC’s “Idol Futsal World Cup.” The fans, who were contacted the previous day by Pledis about the event, made banners right away and came out to root for the girl group. However, After School left the site without greeting the fans who had stood by for a long time, which led to an uproar and subsequent temporary shutdowns of the group’s fansites.
Following the incident, Raina took to Twitter and posted a long apology, expressing her thanks to the fans and taking fault for what happened. Shortly afterwards, Pledis Entertainment also came out with an apology, taking full responsibility for the incident and promising to properly make amends for better communication.
The next day, some After School fan sites came together and made ‘AfterSchoolfan.com,’ where they explained their reasoning for their boycott, and their position regarding the situation.
They said, “Due to lack of proper communication between the fan manager and company employees, the fans weren’t told anything, and had to stand by in an area where After School wasn’t even located.”
The message also included claims regarding the After School manager, accusing him of verbal and physical abuse of fans, as well as talking about both the fans and After School behind their backs.
Eventually, agency CEO Jung Hae Chang released an official statement. He said, “Regarding these issues presented by the fans, we will do a thorough internal investigation and take proper action against those responsible.”
Following this, as well as probable communication between the agency and the fan sites, on May 29, the fan clubs that had come together posted an official apology: “We sincerely apologize to any After School members who were affected due to our misunderstanding.”
“What started the boycott was the ‘Idol Futsal World Cup,” which happened recently, and it was before fans knew about what happened before and after the recording. Because we were just relying on what the agency had said, we became angry at the After School members. We have now found out that the After School members did try to meet us, but because of miscommunication through Pledis, it didn’t happen.”
“We initially expressed our position unilaterally, and realize there must have been a misunderstanding in our explanation of events. Because of this, the incident blew out of proportion, and we apologize for not catching this earlier and diffusing the situation before it got out of hand.”
The claims initially made by the fans regarding the alleged abusive actions of the After School manager, however, were not mentioned or explained with the apology.