Will IZ*ONE's Chaewon and Sakura join HYBE's new girl group? Fans fear it will end like GFriend

Fans ask for confirmation from Woollim Entertainment after there are reports saying that IZ*ONE's Chaewon has already signed on with HYBE

                            Will IZ*ONE's Chaewon and Sakura join HYBE's new girl group? Fans fear it will end like GFriend
Chaewon and Sakura might be joining HYBE's new girl group (@official_izone/Instagram)

Looks like HYBE is trying to acquire new girl groups. After the news that their label Pledis Entertainment had taken on fromis_9, there is news of a new girl group. For a couple of weeks, there were statements circulating that HYBE is in the process of launching a new girl group. A spokesperson in the industry also compared it to the likes of the leading third-gen girl group Blackpink. And now it seems that the group will recruit former IZ*ONE members.

IZ*ONE was one of the biggest project groups to come out of a survival show and they accumulated a huge fanbase. They were commercially successful worldwide and when they disbanded their fans went through great lengths to help them reunite. They launched a crowdfunding project that collected more than $2.6M. The fanbase’s loyalty and purchasing power have had other companies vying to get their hands on IZ*ONE.

Eunbi becomes first IZ*ONE member to go solo, fans hope for mini-reunion with Minju and Yujin

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Chaewon and Sakura in talks with HYBE (@official_izone/Twitter)

HYBE’s attempt at recruiting Chaewon and Sakura

And it looks like HYBE has made their move. The second label of theirs, Source Music will be responsible for the much-talked-about new girl group. There are reports that they will be adding two or three members from IZ*ONE and some from the survival show that created IZ*ONE, ‘Produce 48’. Two IZ*ONE members that the label is trying to recruit is Kim Chaewon and Miyawaki Sakura. The reports say that Chaewon’s agency, Woollim Entertainment has signed an exclusive contract with HYBE while discussions are going on with Sakura’s Japanese label Vernalossom.

While Pledis may be known to house the iconic boy group Seventeen, they do not have a good history with girl groups. There has been a lot of mismanagement regarding their former groups like Hello Venus and Pristin. In fact, After School was one of the popular girl groups of second-gen that faded under Pledis. This is why fans were irked with their acquisition of fromis_9. And now there are similar reactions to Source Music. Like IZ*ONE, GFriend was a popular girl group that helped built Source Music’s reputation. And like the former, the latter group too was disbanded without any legitimate reason according to fans.

And now GFriends’ fans do not appreciate Source Music using the group’s revenue to manage the new HYBE girl group. A Buddy (GFriend fan) wondered if the new girl group will have an uncertain future like GFriend after a while, “Really makes you think if they were willing to abandon gfriend, the group who singlehandedly built them up does it also mean once they have plans to debut another gg they're just gonna do the same to them as they did gfriend??”

Another said, “No but source music spending gfriend’s money throughout 2017-2019, making us suffer with tons of merchandises, jewel cases - to support their trainees only to debut girls who never trained under them dofjjsks thats so funny to me.” One Buddy was more blunt, “A reminder that without gfriend, source music is nothing. its gfriend who build up the company's name.”





We also have WIZ*ONEs who are asking for confirmation about Chaewon from her original agency, Woollim Entertainment. And instead of responding to the HYBE news, they’re focusing on IZ*ONE leader Kwon Eunbi’s solo debut news which WIZ*ONEs find hilarious. Both HYBE and Woollim stated that they "cannot confirm the contents of the artists’ contract." Fans went on to post memes like, “Woollim acting like they didnt see the news article as always,” and “SO WHAT CAN U SAY ABT THE RUMOR RUMOR RUMOR GOSSIP GOSSIP GOSSIP.” They also posted jokes like, “Woollim: where did kim chaewon go?”, “woollim waking up to this whole mess,” and “Woollim rn: What news? Here’s more articles for Eunbi solo. Enjoy.”







According to fans, all three labels involved -- Woollim, Pledis and Source Music do not have a good history of managing their girl groups which is why there are mixed reactions. It should also be noted that both fromis_9 and IZ*ONE were previously managed by Off The Record that didn't do much in terms of promoting the groups. So, fans of fromis_9 and IZ*ONE do not want the labelmates to again be mistreated. But some WIZ*ONEs thought that the IZ*ONE girls would be better off in the new girl group than Woollim, “Okay but im not mad at this… feel like hybe wpuld treat them better than woollim and i just want chaewon and sakura to be happy.” Pledis is also reportedly preparing a September 1 comeback for fromis_9.

Meanwhile, another hoped that Chaewon’s news wasn’t confirmed, “Chaewon listen to me. listen to me this isnt you. chaewon look at me. guys give her space... guys back up... chaewon look at me i know you this isn’t you chaewon GUYS CAN YOU JUST BACK UP AND GIVE HER SOME SPACE.” One said, "Nah.. i would rather see chaewon go solo than transfering to that hybe with woollim's decision!! cause fck! she can be the next iu but woollim is throwing that oppurtunity away?????"