[TW/CW: Mentions of bullying and rape]
Following the allegations that APRIL bullied Hyunjoo out of the group and Lee Naeun's alleged pre-debut rape joke, the idol's Instagram followers continue to show a steady decrease. Keep on reading to learn more.
APRIL's Naeun Loses Over 200,000 Instagram Followers
As of 3 PM on Monday, Mar. 8, Naeun's personal Instagram account has 2.39 million followers. While still a big amount, it is a drastic decrease from what she once had. Back on Feb. 28, Naeun had 2.58 million followers. In three days, she lost over 100,000 followers, dropping her follower count to 2.49 million followers.
In just a week, the idol-actress has nearly lost 200,000 followers on her account. The last post she shared to her account are photos from her W Magazine photoshoot and was shared with her followers back on Feb. 26. The majority of the comments under the post, as of press time, are negative. Numerous netizens are commenting on Naeun's immediate withdrawal and retirement from the industry, while others ask for a statement concerning the matter and wonder why she is silent.
Why Did APRIL Naeun's Follower Count Drop So Much? Recalling the Bullying Controversy
A user who claimed to be former APRIL member Hyunjoo's younger brother made a post to an online community forum, claiming that Hyunjoo did not leave the group to pursue an acting career, which is what DSP Media claimed. Instead, she left the group due to the constant bullying and harassment she experienced from her members. He alleges that the bullying got so bad, Hyunjoo attempted to take her own life.
DSP Media denied these claims. Hyunjoo's younger brother released a follow-up statement, saying that despite DSP Media's claims that Hyunjoo wanted to be an actress since she started as an acting trainee, Hyunjoo was always signed as an idol trainee. He also claims that Hyunjoo was persuaded to join the group despite the bullying.
They also claim that Hyunjoo suffered from constant fainting spells and breathing difficulties due to the bullying, but no one from the label nor APRIL offered to bring her to the hospital. She was also prohibited from taking her medications since it got in the way of APRIL's rehearsals and activities since it made Hyunjoo drowsy.
DSP Media has since announced that they will be taking legal action against Hyunjoo, her family, and her alleged friends who made posts concerning the situation. They claim that they wanted to resolve the situation quietly but cannot do so with "one-sided facts" being spread.
APRIL Naeun's Alleged Pre-Debut Go Young Wook Rape Joke
A screenshot showing a conversation between Naeun and a male classmate from 2013 made its rounds following the APRIL bullying controversy. In the screenshot, Naeun is seen sending a message that reads, "Do you want to be r*ped by Go Young Woo too?!?!?"
Go Young Wook is a former member of Roo'Ra. He was found guilty of two counts of rape, one of them being statutory rape due to his inappropriate relationships with a minor.
DSP Media has stated that the screenshot is fabricated. It was originally released a few years ago and is seeing a resurgence following the APRIL bullying scandal. DSP Media asks the public to stop spreading the screenshot.
APRIL Naeun Dropped From "Taxi Driver" + CFs and Variety Shows
It was previously announced that Dongsuh Food Corporation had dropped Naeun as their model for the Corn Flight Bar. Other brands that have dropped Naeun as their models include Good Day soju, Youth Soju, J.ESTINA, JnnyKim, Samjin Pharmacy, and Muzak.
Naeun was also slated to appear on "Delicious Rendezvous" on Mar. 4. Following the controversy surrounding Naeun, however, SBS announced that they would edit her out from the episode.
On Mar. 8, it was announced that Naeun would be dropped from the SBS drama "Taxi Driver." She was originally slated to play Go Eun, the main character. The drama is 60% done with filming. However, all the scenes that include Naeun will need to be re-shot.
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Written by Alexa Lewis