Even after Jimin decided to leave AOA and the industry, controversy is not dialing down. The four-member AOA canceled its appearance at the “Wonder Woman Festival,” and AOA’s Seolhyun and Kim Shin Young, famous for being Jimin’s best friends, are heavily criticized for sitting by and watching the situation.
Above all, how FNC Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as FNC) tried to handle the controversy as “artist’s problematic character” has only angered the public. This is not the first time when FNC was embroiled in a controversy. Furthermore, it is the matter of the entertainment industry that has fallen into the performance-based system.
A Feud with the Indie Band
In June 2010, CNBLUE played Crying Nut’s “Deathblow Offside” at Mnet’s M Countdown and got embroiled in a controversy for playing the original song. Although FNC got approval from the Korea Music Copyright Association to “cover” the song, but at the actual broadcast, CNBLUE actually lip-synced the original song, without playing a single note. In protest, Crying Nut filed a lawsuit against FNC for copyright infringement and won some of the cases in 2016.
Before Crying Nut, band Ynot claimed that CNBLUE’s debut song “I`m a loner” plagiarized their song “Bluebird,” and sued FNC. Although the court ruled in favor of CNBLUE, what Han Sung Ho said about the band in the process became a problem.
Controversy over the Discrimination Against Some Artists
Former CEO Han Sung Ho appeared on MBC’s Radio Star in 2015 and praised CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa while he made undermining remarks against FT Island’s Lee Hong Gi, coming under heavy fire. That same year, Choa, a former member of AOA, appeared on JTBC’s In Bed with the Boss, and said, “If we (artists) don’t perform well, he doesn’t speak to us. He memorized our names after ‘Miniskirt’ became a hit.” Also, Mina, another former member of AOA, appeared on a radio in the past and said, “I used to work as a fit model at an online shopping mall, so he (Han Sung Ho) used to call me ‘shopping mall.’”
Sloppy Methods of Dealing with Crisis
Last year, when suspicions arose that Choi Jong Hoon, a former FT Island member, participated in “Seungri’s group chat room,” FNC drew the line saying it’s “absolutely groundless.” However, police investigation revealed Choi Jong Hoon’s crime, and he eventually left the entertainment industry. Lee Jong Hyun, a former member of CNBLUE, was also pointed out as a member of the group chat room where illegal filmings were exchanged, but he was only investigated as a witness. However, it was later revealed that Lee Jonghyun was also involved in the group chat, shocking the public.
Now, it’s AOA’s Jimin. On July 3, Mina confessed that she was bullied by Jimin during her entire AOA days. Later the next day, FNC issued an official statement to announce Jimin’s withdrawal from the team and leave from the industry.