Wednesday, August 08, 2012

T-ara management grapples with fallout from Hwayoung controversy

SEOUL: The head of Korean girl group T-ara's management agency Core Contents Media (CCM), Kim Kwang Soo, on Tuesday denied rumours that group member Ryu Hwayoung, who has been asked to leave over staff complaints about her, had been slapped by her group mate Jiyeon, reported Korean media.

Kim described the rumours, which had spread like wildfire after a netizen who claimed to be a former backup dancer for the group posted a detailed account of how Ryu was bullied by her group mates, as "lies".

He re-iterated that his decision to give Ryu the boot was based solely on the opinions of the staff working with T-ara, and had "nothing to do" with the rumours about bullying within the group, pointing out that he believed this decision will help her "become a better artiste".

Despite Kim's best efforts to contain the situation, the controversy surrounding Hwayoung's departure – many Korean netizens believe she was actually cut from the group after she was bullied by her group mates - continues to grow.

In light of the recent controversy, CCM announced Tuesday that T-ara's scheduled performance at the Yeosu Expo on Wednesday has been cancelled.

A Korean cosmetics brand also recently said that it will no longer be using T-ara to promote its products, while other advertisers are reportedly considering their options and adopting a wait-and-see approach before committing to any endorsement deal with the girl group.



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