As Seolhyun left the agency, AOA is on the verge of disbanding.
AOA‘s agency, FNC Entertainment, issued a statement on October 20th, saying, “After a long conversation and discussion, we have agreed to conclude our management work with Seolhyun.”
Since Seolhyun was a member who represented AOA, the termination of her exclusive contract is considered an important variable that determines the direction of the entire group.
AOA, who celebrates their 10th anniversary since their debut this year, is virtually in crisis. From the members’ successive departures to member Kwon Mina accusing Shin Jimin of bullying, such incidents have brought cold water to AOA’s popularity.
AOA debuted as a seven-member group. In October 2016, member Yookyung announced her departure from the team, and in June 2017, member Choa left amidst the controversy following her dating rumors. In May 2019, Kwon Mina left the group. In January of last year, Yuna confirmed her departure.
In particular, in 2020, the bullying incident fueled by Kwon Mina targeting Shin Jimin was the beginning of the halt of AOA’s activities. As a result of the scandal, leader Jimin withdrew from the group.
The departure of popular members, such as Choa and Jimin, caused a great blow to the whole group. The discord between the members was exposed, and the back-to-back withdrawals of key members also led to fans leaving the fandom. The absence left by the departing members was clear, which resulted in AOA’s own concept becoming blurred.
In fact, AOA has been on a hiatus since Jimin’s bullying revelation. Seolhyun, Hyejung, and Chanmi showed their focus on their individual activities, such as participating in other albums or focusing on acting, not AOA activities.
If Seolhyun’s departure is confirmed, it is expected to hit AOA’s survival itself. This is because she has been the center of the team since AOA’s debut and has actually been driving the team’s popularity.
Even if Seolhyun maintains her position as an AOA member after leaving her current agency, it is analyzed that it will have a significant impact on her team activities. Seolhyun, who has appeared in several movies and dramas, is widely expected to focus on her acting activities with this exclusive contract.
Therefore, many fans view the departure of Seolhyun, the last pillar of the team, as the end of AOA.
The management company expressed support for Seolhyun while not talking about the future of Seolhyun and AOA. In this position, the agency said, “Since her debut in 2012, Seolhyun has shown a wonderful side in many ways as an artist representing FNC Entertainment.”
The agency added, “I would like to express my gratitude to Seolhyun, who has trusted and been with us for a long time.”