Around Us Entertainment Responds To Allegations That Former BEAST Members Received Special Treatment In University
Around Us Entertainment has issued a detailed statement responding to a recent controversy concerning former BEAST members.
On August 12, SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” reported that Yong Junhyung, Jang Hyunseung, Yoon Doojoon, and Lee Gikwang had all received a full scholarship during their four years at Dongshin University.
They enrolled in the university at the same time, though in different departments (Yong Junhyung and Jang Hyunseung studied practical music, while Yoon Doojoon and Lee Gikwang studied broadcast entertainment). All four of them graduated and went on to graduate school at various universities.
During the show, SBS had obtained and revealed the university’s student registry from 2011 that showed an “X” beside those four members’ names. According to someone who works at Dongshin University, an “X” indicates students who did not attend classes.
As the members at that time were in BEAST, under the agency Cube Entertainment, the agency released a brief statement on the show saying that the managers who had managed the group at the time had left and that they did not know the details of their individual studies.
Later the same day, Around Us Entertainment released a full statement. It read:
“Hello, this is Around Us Entertainment. We would first like to apologize to the fans who must have been taken aback by the controversy around former BEAST members Yoon Doojoon, Yong Junhyung, and Lee Gikwang’s enrollment at Dongshin University.
“As was reported in the news, it is true that these former BEAST and current Highlight members enrolled at Dongshin University together in 2010 and have since graduated. However, there was nothing illegal or dishonest about their enrollment process and it is not true that they did not participate in school life at all.
“Because the members at the time were busy with their performances, album promotions, and concerts, their agency at the time [Cube Entertainment] decided their schedules. They followed the schedule that was given to them. Even during the enrollment process, it was Dongshin University who reached out to them first. All contact with Dongshin University was managed by their agency. Through a special rolling admission process, Yong Junhyung got into the practical music department, while Yoon Doojoon and Lee Gikwang went into their department with the regular admission process. The university had also said at the time that they wanted to give BEAST a special scholarship because having them at their school elevated the school’s status.
“Of course, it is true that the members were not able to attend as many classes compared to full-time students who devote themselves to their studies. However, the members worked as promotional ambassadors for the school, attended classes with other students, took exams, and faithfully participated in other events held by the school. When their schedules absolutely would not allow otherwise, they got permission from the school to write their exams separately. Even so, the members all feel sorry and regretful that they were not able to attend school as faithfully as their peer students.
“Again, we apologize to the fans, students, and everyone who was concerned about the news.”
Cube Entertainment, which still manages Jang Hyunseung, released another statement saying, “We are currently doing all we can to check the truth about the contents of the SBS News report. As all the staff who had been working during the time mentioned had since left the agency, we had told a SBS News representative that it would take time to confirm or deny the report. We are working to reach out to those former staff members to get detailed information on the situation and will release an official statement as soon as we can.”
BEAST made their debut in 2009 and promoted together until 2016, when Jang Hyunseung left the group. The remaining five members eventually left Cube Entertainment and debuted under their own agency, Around Us Entertainment, as Highlight in 2017.