STELLAR’s Agency Responds To Gayoung’s Comments On “Miss Back” About Their Concept And Management + Show’s PD Replies
After Gayoung spoke on “Miss Back” about the struggles she experienced while promoting with STELLAR, the head of the group’s agency reacted in an interview. In response, the show’s director has stood behind her comments.
The new show “Miss Back” premiered on October 8, with the program aiming to give a second chance to eight “forgotten” female singers.
The first episode highlighted stories by former idols including Gayoung of STELLAR, who spoke about how their agency imposed an increasingly provocative and revealing concept on the group. Gayoung told a story about a time when the members had been promised that a photo of them in racy outfits would not be released, but the agency released it without their permission. She described the trauma their concept caused her and the impact on her life. In addition, she shared that she had only received about 10 million won (approximately $8,700) from the agency over her seven years of work.
Gayoung debuted with STELLAR under the agency The Entertainment Pascal in 2011. She, along with fellow member Jeonyul, left the group in August 2017 after their contracts ended. In February 2018, the remaining four members of STELLAR announced the group’s disbandment.
Choi Byung Min, the head of The Entertainment Pascal, responded through a phone call with Star News on October 9 to what Gayoung had said in the “Miss Back” premiere . He described her comments as equal to defamation.
On the topic of the payment Gayoung received, he said, “We paid her even though they didn’t break even, and the amount was definitely more than 10 million won.” He continued, “According to their contract, they needed to break even for them to receive a profit. Despite that, we gave them a lot of support, with the idea that it was like an allowance.” He said that they had also provided them with other support such as vehicles and money for meals. Choi Byung Min stated that Gayoung and Jeonyul had debts to the company of over 100 million won ($87,000), but the agency had taken on the debt.
He went on to say, “The sexy concept also was not something that they did from the beginning, and while it might have been more provocative than other groups, it was one of the trends at the time and we didn’t try a 19+ concept from the start.” He claimed, “Since the outfits were a sensitive issue, we asked for consent from the members’ parents.” He said, “Some of the members’ parents also said, ‘Let’s go with a sexier concept.'”
Choi Byung Min said that Gayoung had taken part in a cosmetics advertisement without the agency’s agreement and had promoted it on her social media. He stated that this had led to a lawsuit from another cosmetics company that had almost caused their agency to have to shut down. Star News reports that Choi Byung Min lost 80 million won (approximately $70,000) due to this issue. Choi Byung Min also described Gayoung’s comments as malicious.
In response, “Miss Back” producing director Nam Sung Hyun stated, “We don’t have any particular statement to make. Nothing that Gayoung said in the show was false. She didn’t want to wear revealing clothes but she wore them, she opposed it but they released [the photo] anyway, and she experiences trauma because of that.”
“The agency’s statement is that it was all done for the sake of their success,” he continued. “However, while their perspective on it might be different, there wasn’t a single thing that Gayoung said that was untrue.”
“From Gayoung’s perspective, the comment that she was paid about 10 million won over the seven years is a fact,” he said. “The agency head says that they were actually in debt, but those are two different perspectives.” He clarified that while their points of view are different, what she said is still true.
“Our program is about the cast returning with the ‘song of their life,'” he said. “Depending on the member, there will be a lot of talk about their past and present, and it will also show their future where they receive a new song.”
“Gayoung’s trauma and the reason she only wears long clothing was included in the episode as part of the story of her past,” he said. “There are still a lot of interesting things to come. It will tell the story of the members returning with the ‘song of their life.'”