Because they are more ‘favored’ by the company than usual, these idols have repeatedly made fans of other members feel extremely uncomfortable.
In Kpop groups, there will normally be a few factors that stand out from the rest of the members. However, whether this ‘stand out’ is offensive or not depends a lot on how the company pushes them. There are several groups like Twice, Red Velvet, EXO, Seventeen, etc … that have outstanding members but do not often get involved in the controversy about ‘discrimination’
However, there are also groups where one member of the group is so favored that they overwhelm the appearance of the other members. The reason may be because they have outstanding visuals, outstanding talent, or simply a face that is loved by the public or by brands. Although knowing that the company just wants to take advantage of this popularity to attract more fans, it seems that this is also the way to have the concept of fan only and akgae and thereby creating unnecessary scandals. Quora forum users have recently listed 10 Kpop idols who often involve in controversy about ‘discrimination’ among group members, although most of them do not intentionally do so.
SUZY (MISS A)
Suzy is probably the most typical case when it comes to the controversy about discrimination in Kpop groups. The female idol possesses such a beautiful appearance that it is considered the ‘national first love’ of Korea, and JYP began to focus on promoting her promotions. Suzy was able to make a solo debut, participate in combination songs, act in movies, act as ambassadors for brands, … Many non-fans did not even know she was a member of Miss A.
Suzy pushes too hard is also said to be the reason for the disbandment of a talented group like Miss A in 2017. Although no one admitted it, netizens can see that Fei, Min, and Jia are not happy when their group was seen as ‘Suzy and the friends’. JYP later learned from experience and did not push too much any members of Twice and ITZY.
Similar to the case of Suzy and Miss A, when it comes to 4minute, the public only remembers HyunA. From the beginning, HyunA has always been strongly pushed by Cube because she possesses visual, talent and natural charm to be able to conquer fans. Although the female idol helped 4minute become more popular, in fact, the other members are also very talented. and they themselves also contribute to the hit songs of the group.
Cube’s bias towards HyunA caused a lot of discomfort for other members and finally, this group disbanded. Not only that, but they also showed their dislike of HyunA. The most typical example is the rest of the girls immediately ‘unfollow’ HyunA’s Instagram. Moreover, despite being an important member, HyunA has never appeared in group meetings since 4minute disbanded.
Seolhyun is the most popular member of AOA for her beautiful looks and charming body proportions. Thanks to these two factors, the female idol receives the most individual promotions in the group. At some point, the other members’ fans felt unfairly many times because their idols were also beautiful, talented, and talented, but not given the chance to shine. The saddest story is probably with member Chanmi. For the past 8 years, she has been traveling freely by bus and subway just because … no one recognized the female idol as a member of AOA.
YOOJUNG AND DOYEON (WEKI MEKI)
The two female idols with both talent and beauty have become famous since the successes of ‘Produce 101′ and I.O.I. Then, when they debuted with Weki Meki, they were also the members that the company pushed the most to attract public attention. Weki Meki’s fans initially thought that this was normal because Yoojung and Doyeon could indeed attract more fans to the group. However, after many comebacks, the fact that both female idols continued to occupy all the other members’ spotlights, caused a lot of discomforts.
Previously, even though she debuted with DIA as ‘T-ara’s junior’, Chaeyeon’s career still did not stand out. Everything only started to change when she joined ‘Produce 101’, she quickly became famous for her beautiful beauty and then debuted with I.O.I. After finishing working with the project group, MBK focused on pushing Chaeyeon with a series of movie and advertising projects. She is also the center of every comeback of DIA.
Many fans were angry when DIA members confided in the show ‘The Unit’: “Everyone only knows our group as’ Chaeyeon and the friends’. Even in the articles, they just said ‘Chaeyeon is this, Chaeyeon is that’.” Member Yebin honestly shared: “To be honest, I am also very sad. I’m the one who always sings the last part of the song but the broadcast cameras only focus on recording Chaeyeon for the ending.”
Ever since the NCT project was introduced, fans noticed how SM always pushed Taeyong. The reason is that the male idol is considered to be extremely perfect with his excellent visual, rap, choreography,…. That’s why he has the most singing part, even English lyrics, although Taeyong’s foreign language ability is not really good. The male idol is also regularly in the center position in every photo.
Moreover, the company also focuses on promoting Taeyong with the press media even when Knet is often annoyed by the male idol’s past scandals (though all have been clarified now). Netizens believe that the reason that NCT is now famous is that SM stopped favoring Taeyong and gave the spotlight to the remaining members who are also extremely talented in the group.
CHA EUN WOO (ASTRO)
Similar to some of the other cases on the list, Cha Eunwoo is also famous for his top handsome appearance in the new generation of Kpop. Although he is an idol, most of the public remember him as an actor. Only after filming, the title ‘comic beauty’ of Cha Eunwoo became famous and helped ASTRO become more popular.
This also explains why Fantagio had to focus on pushing Cha Eunwoo more than other members. In fact, the members of ASTRO have outstanding visuals and talents, but not everyone knows this. The fact that Cha Eunwoo was so popular and pushed more strongly than the other 5 members made their fans feel annoyed. Currently, ASTRO has been recognized more after the recent successful comebacks, but it may take a while for them to break the ‘name-tag’ ‘Cha Eunwoo and the friends’.
Jennie (BLACKPINK) is probably the typical case of 3rd generation Kpop. Because the company favors her too much, it leads to internal fandom conflicts. Since BLACKPINK’s debut until now, YG has pushed her so hard that the fans of the other members feel extremely dissatisfied. This is also the reason why BLACKPINK has been labeled ‘Jennie and friends’ for a long time. Not only that, the status of akgae (fan only but opposed to other members) is also increasing in their fandom.
Currently, although other members are also starting to promote more individual activities, the coverage of Jennie from solo singing, fashion, and advertising projects is still too great. This is of course not Jennie’s fault when brands love her. However, fans of the other 3 members still hope that YG can treat them a little more fairly so that the discrimination controversy will not happen again.
SOYEON (G) I-DLE
Recently, Soyeon is frequently involved in discrimination controversy in (G) I-DLE. This story started from the fact that other members’ fans felt that Soyeon always had the most singing part, from 30 seconds to even nearly 1 minute on average. Meanwhile, Shuhua and Miyeon can only sing for a few seconds, and even in b-side songs like ‘Maybe’, Shuhua doesn’t even sing a second.
In fact, the leader of (G) I-DLE is so talented that she can compose and produce over 90% of the group’s music products. That’s why Soyeon’s singing line and screen time are always overwhelming. She is also the most popular member. Understandably, Soyeon is also in charge of bringing (G) I-DLE to the present success, but netizens still think that the other members still need their chance to shine.
It was also because Soyeon was so outstanding that Shuhua and Miyeon were criticized for being incompetent. Neither girl is given the chance to prove their talent. This made Soyeon unintentionally criticized for being selfish, just thinking for herself and not share the spotlight with other members.