Stray Kids' Hyunjin accused of bullying as South Korea's Naver flooded by allegations against K-pop idols
Kim So Hye, a former member of IOI, and LOONA's Chuu have also been accused of bullying
Hyunjin, a member of the South Korean boy band Stray Kids, formed by JYP Entertainment, has been accused of partaking in school bullying and violence. The accusation came on Naver, a South Korean online platform. Back in 2018, Hyunjin was accused of school bullying, but there was no follow-up from the accuser. This time, an anonymous accusation was made against him online. JYP Entertainment is currently investigating the allegations.
Earlier, Kim So Hye, a former member of IOI was accused of bullying. Like Hyunjin, Kim had also been accused of bullying back in 2017, where she allegedly dragged a fellow student by their hair and had gotten fined by the school's anti-bullying committee after investigations. At the same time, On February 22, a post on Nate Pann, a popular online community forum, claimed that they too have been bullied by LOONA's Chuu.
Why are victims coming out now?
A Reddit user explained that Naver announced that the platform will get rid of the “most searched” tab by February 25. They said that “people panicked because after they get rid of the most searched rankings, it’ll be so much easier for problematic idols to sweep things under the rug. So obviously, people decided that they needed to expose these idols before Naver makes the change.”
The Reddit user further explained how one should not underestimate what bullying means in Korea, saying that “bullying in korean schools isnt just calling someone names, or taking their lunch money or whatever”. They said that the bullying was rooted in “wanting to prove superiority through the complete degradation of someone elses dignity. You are literally treated like trash, and the worst part is that theres no one there to help you.”
“School bullying just keeps getting worse, and as a society we are aware of this issue but we dont know how to solve it. However, the fact that all Koreans have been in school makes them especially sensitive to bullying issues because they know how bad it can get,” they said.
Was Stray Kids' Hyunjin a bully in school?
Hyunjin’s accuser said, “I didn’t expect Hwang Hyunjin to debut as an idol and be loved and supported by many people. It might have been a joke when they were younger, but I am a person that suffered from school violence at the hands of Hyunjin, and as I said before, I didn’t think that he would ever be an idol, so I didn’t collect any evidence, just a certification of the school we went to together, my memories, and friends’ testimonies.”
“The hell that I went through would have been buried if he wasn’t a celebrity, but when Hyunjin debuted as an idol, the memories came back to haunt me every time I saw him on TV,” the allegation added. “There were two reasons why Hyunjin tried to bully me in the class group chat at the time. One is that he didn’t like the fact that I asked him to close the back door to the classroom when he always sat in the back. Second, my friend who had to do lunch duty to get lunch, since he wasn’t on the school meal plan. Hyunjin didn’t like that, and criticized my friend, saying ‘I don’t like that you get a lot for lunch. You’re the reason why other students can’t eat lunch’.”
“He would say, 'You look like that because you have no mother,’ and would say abusive things, make sexual harassing insults, and diss others’ families,” the accuser further said. “His unprovoked mockery and insensitivity, and quarrels where he wanted to hit people were shocking.”
But there’s a different side of the story. A netizen who claims he graduated from Seongnae Middle School in 2016, refuted accusations made against Hyunjin. They wrote that Hyunjin “was always bright and had a harmonious relationship with his friends, and he was trusted by his classmates to the extent that he was appointed the class president in 8th grade, when the accuser posted that they were bullied,” and that, “He made school life for his friends so nice, that there are many friends of his who still think of him in this sense, even six years later.”