T-ARA's Controversy Becoming a Problem in the Society

Instead of calming down over time, T-ARA's bullying controversy is becoming a bigger issue as each day passes.

On July 30, Kim Kwang Soo of Core Contents Media formally announced the termination of Hwayoung's contract with the agency. Shortly after his announcement, countless disappointed fans in the official T-ARA's fan club resigned from membership. An organization called, "T-ARA We Want the Truth" was created in order to find out the real story behind T-ARA's controversy.

The main source of the controversy was the personal Twitter pages of each member. When Hwayoung injured her leg and couldn't appear at various appearances, the rest of the members all updated their Twitter pages that sounded like verbal attacks. Specifically, all the members of T-ARA except Hwayoung posted, "It's only a matter of will" and Hwayoung posted, "There are some things that cannot be done just by will. When Core Contents Media announced the termination of Hwayoung's contract, fans were outrageous and questioned, "Why does the victim have to be kicked out?"

Among various organizations created after the bullying incident, countless photos and videos were collected to show the actual bullying occurring in front of the cameras. According to a representative from Core Contents Media, "Hwayoung refused to appear on a live broadcast" and explained that the reason behind the termination was not about being bullied. The public is becoming more impatient since the T-ARA members who are directly involved in the incident are not releasing a single comment regarding the bullying rumors.

In the midst of the controversy, the topic of bullying among the members of idol groups arose to the top to be addressed. Previously, Tiffany of Girls' Generation, Sohee of Wonder Girls, and Gyuri of KARA were also involved in bullying rumors, not to mention Nichkhun of 2PM. The bullying rumors regarding the idols mentioned were quickly dismissed after they were explained to be silly rumors.

However, the reality shows that it is almost impossible to find an idol group with members that have no underlying personal issues when cameras are off regardless of how close they appear on TV. It is a given that problems will arise when a group of people spend such a great amount of time together. This kind of problem exists in any group in any type of society. It is especially common among idol groups since their young age and their not-quite-mature personalities. Rumors of bullying can result from many reasons like jealousy and immaturity itself.

T-ARA's controversy is becoming an even bigger issue as it is being explained as a society issue. A bullying incident among an idol group can become a significant influence on adolescents and create a bigger bullying issue in society.

Parents nationwide expressed their concern about the controversy and demanded it to be dealt with seriousness. Parents are claiming that if this controversy ends without any severe consequences to the assailants, children will take on the belief that they will also be able to get away with such inappropriate behavior especially since idol groups have an incredible power to influence the younger generation.

In an online bulletin, people expressed their concern with comments like, "It's scary to think that children may get the wrong idea about the society and law after seeing how celebrity idols live their lives", "The idol stars are the main role models to the younger generation. Any controversy will influence our kids in a negative way" and "Through this controversy involving T-ARA, I hope the seriousness of bullying will be addressed."

This bullying controversy is the biggest crisis T-ARA had to face during the 3 years of their career. After the termination of Hwayoung's contract with Core Contents Media, T-ARA's concerts in Korea have all been postponed. Although their plans to open an arena concert next year in Japan, the controversy caused the fans to turn their backs on T-ARA so their success in Japan is uncertain.

T-ARA's controversy has not yet been completely settled so it is a given fact that the public will express their anger and curiosity at T-ARA and Core Contents Media. Regardless of how Core Contents Media try to cover up the controversy, they will not be able to escape from the harsh criticisms of the public until each member of T-ARA address the questions themselves.  

Kim Kwang Soo
Core Contents Media


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