Following BI drug scandal, petition seeking ban of all YG Entertainment artists’ activities submitted to South Korea’s Blue House
A public petition has also been filed with the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission. The petition is against YGE's interference in the former iKON leader BI's drug case.
After news of iKON leader BI's involvement in a 2006 drug case broke this week, things have not gone very well for the South Korean entertainment agency YG Entertainment (YGE). Since this is not the first scandal the big agency is facing this year, things have unraveled very quickly and they are going downhill for CEO Yang Hyun Suk.
Late June 12, a petitioner asked for all of YGE artistes' activities to be suspended following the many drug scandals the agency has been involved in. This petition was posted on the online Blue House (executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state) Petition Bulletin Board.
According to a report in Soompi, the petitioner wrote, "YG Entertainment celebrities are constantly getting involved in drug and marijuana cases and should stop their activities on all broadcasts. YG Entertainment houses a large number of idol singers, actors, and entertainers. There have been countless drug scandals recently. To say that these are just suspicions, there are too many drug scandals occurring in one agency, which points to a serious problem inside the company." The petitioner also added, "They need to be stopped from their activities on all broadcasting media, and a thorough internal investigation on the agency must be conducted."
A public petition has also been filed with the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission according to local media reports. The petition is against YGE's interference in the former iKON leader BI's drug case. Now identified by the media as former YGE trainee Han So Hee, the individual had bought illegal drugs in 2016 and BI was allegedly a part of this buy.
According to the initial statements made by the arrested individual in 2016, she had named BI in one of her statements, but she later clarified that she hadn't delivered the drugs to BI. So, the case was closed with no further investigation. On June 11, Dispatch broke the story of BI's alleged involvement with screenshots of a conversation between this female buyer and BI on Kakao Talk where he spoke of acquiring Lysergide (street name LSD), a hallucinogen.
At this time, the female buyer's lawyer claimed YGE CEO Yang Hyun Suk influenced her testimony in 2016. According to Allkpop, in an interview with KBS, lawyer Bang Jung Hyun said, "[Producer Yang told the informant], 'It would be really easy for me to make things difficult for you. Even if all our label artists got tested for drugs, the results would be negative. They could periodically get tested for drugs, and if drugs are detected, they could go to Japan and take the drugs out of their system so they won't get detected after that. I don't want my label artists to go to the police station for issues like that. I'll give you enough compensation, and I'll assign you a lawyer too. Go to the police and take back your testimony.'"
The lawyer added, "The informant felt that the lawyer wasn't her lawyer, but a lawyer that was looking out for YG Entertainment and Yang Hyun Suk's point of view. They wrote the testimony on a piece of paper and told her to say it that way. They continued to coach her about it beside her. Before meeting producer Yang, the informant told the truth to the police when she was first caught. Though she accurately told them about smoking marijuana with BI, BI asking her to purchase LSD, the time, date, and place during investigations, the police investigation didn't go forward."
Other than this, Hyun Suk was also named in an ongoing prostitution controversy. He was accused of procuring prostitutes for two Southeast Asian investors in July 2014. Allegedly, there were eight men and 25 women present and according to Allkpop, at least 10 of the women were sex workers. This was reported by MBC, and the CEO denied the allegations and addressed an email to his employees according to a source.
He said he was in no way involved in the prostitution case as was reported and said, "The allegations made on the May 27th broadcast of 'Straight' are absolutely not true. I've never done anything illegal the broadcast station is arguing I did or anything you wouldn't be proud of. I believe the truth will come out soon."
In the meanwhile, YGE informed fans of iKON in Japan the concert that was slated to take place on July 27 will take place as planned, but with six members. The statement according to Allkpop said, "We are truly sorry for disappointing fans with recent issues involving B.I. iKON's Japan tour set to begin on July 27 will go on as planned with six members."