T-ARA and Their Controversy: One Week Later, Why is it Still an Issue?

A week has passed since T-ARA's controversy first made headlines for the Twitter postings of each member. Regardless of the time that has passed, the public doesn't seem so forgiving of the incident.

Everything has been settled in the superficial level. T-ARA member Hwayoung, the person who was directly affected, had a meeting with Kim Kwang Soo of Core Contents Media and verbally settled their conflict. Today (August 4), Kim Kwang Soo personally wrote a handwritten letter to express his apology to the public. Also, after Kim Kwang Soo met with the organization for the justice of society, they cancelled their rally and delete their bulletin postings regarding the incident.

For the past week, the reason T-ARA shook up the media industry in Korea was because of the rumors bullying within the group. Behind their soft spoken words and their shining beauty, all the members were bullying one member behind closed doors. Everything was "detected" by their fans and people around them. However, the biggest factor in uncovering this issue was the members themselves. As if they actually wanted everybody to know, all the members of T-ARA made similar postings on their personal Twitter pages that seemed to be verbally attacking somebody.

After seeing the postings by the members, the public assumed and spread the rumors of bullying within T-ARA and everything eventually led to the public criticizing all the members except Hwayoung. T-ARA's entertainment agency began to release supporting materials claiming that Hwayoung's behavior was unpredictable as well as unprofessional. Sometime after the rumors of bullying was exposed to the public, Hwayoung met with Representative Kim Kwang Soo of Core Contents Media and apologized to each other for the incident.

So many things occurred in just one single week. False interpretations of back dancers, people practicing for their upcoming debut and even Twitter postings that created a countless number of rumors. Also, Representative Kim Kwang Soo released his comments about the incident every day and heated up the issue even more each time. Every visible aspect seems to have been settled, but from the perspective of the fans and the worrisome public looking for justice, nothing seems to have been solved. It is very ironic how things are taking a turn in events.

The biggest reason the public and T-ARA's fans are discontent about how the issue was solved is because T-ARA's members never revealed the reason behind their Twitter postings and why there are suspicious photos online. Not a single word was released to explain the two mysteries of the T-ARA's controversy. The reason Kim Kwang Soo's public apology has not been accepted nor considered as a genuine apology is because he is only a representative of T-ARA, not the victim or the assailant. The main idea of the supporting photos and videos as well as the personality clash amongst the members of T-ARA is a whole another issue.

Another mystery is what happened during the meetings with Kim Kwang Soo. It seems as though everybody who has been strongly criticizing the entertainment agency as well as the members of T-ARA seems to have backed off. The organization for justice in society cancelled their public rally and even Hwayoung and her sister Hyoyoung began updating Twitter postings with a 180 degree difference in their intentions.

It is very possible that everything Kim Kwang Soo is saying is true and Hwayoung as well as the organization for justice in society may have changed their attitude because of the truth. However, this hypothetical settling of conflicts cannot be taken seriously since the meeting with the organization for justice in society should have been attended by rest of the members of T-ARA since they were the ones directly involved in the conflict.

Regardless of the controversy, it has been announced that all the members will continue on with their busy schedules filming for dramas or making appearances in Japan. One thing that should not be overlooked is the fact that these types of incidents could occur at any time behind closed doors and continue on like nothing is wrong hiding behind Kim Kwang Soo. The public is curious about how the issue of bullying, resulting from jealousy and bickering among young people, will be dealt with since public cases like this will have a significant power of influence especially to a younger generation of viewers.

With everything taken into consideration, it is no wonder why the public is taking such an interest in the public conversation that is scheduled to take place today. Unlike the way Representative Kim Kwang Soo was speaking without addressing the most important questions, this public conversation will consist of detailed explanations of this bullying incident. The specific time and place has not yet been announced.

There is neither a right side nor a wrong side in this situation. The things that are claimed by both sides cannot be treated as truths but as subjective statements. In a conflicting situation like this, there is only one solution; the solution is to have a conversation that addresses every single detail. Will the public conversation today reveal yet another shocking truth or finally put an end to this controversy?

Kim Kwang Soo
Core Contents Media


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