Former GWSN Miya described Kpop using the words “prison” and “abuse”? A misunderstood interview
Miya, a former member of girl group GWSN, clarified media reports regarding her statements about Kpop in an interview.
Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun’s interview with Miya, former member of girl group GWSN, has been distorted in translation. In particular, the fully original text is paid, but only fragmentary content is translated into Korean with provocative titles such as “prison” and “abuse”, causing misunderstanding.
The interview, which was published online on the 21st, has caused misunderstandings in the Korean media due. However, Miya clarified that the interview was not meant to criticize anyone.
Miya started her trainee life in Korea in April 2018, and debuted as a member of GWSN in September of the same year, only to face various hardships. In particular, she and GWSN had to transfer to another agency, and due to challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the girl group faced difficulties in her activities.
In particular, after an album release in May 2021, the support from GWSN’s agency became scarce, leading to Miya and the members filming a lawsuit in January of 2023. The girl group eventually emerged victorious in this suit to confirm the termination of their exclusive contract, and since then, Miya has returned to Japan and has been exploring new activities.
According to Miya, the interview with Asahi Shimbun was not an exposé meant to blame anyone, but rather focused on expressing her desire to continue dreaming of Kpop activities and embark on her new beginnings. She stated that the expression “prison” was a self-deprecating joke that came up while reminiscing with the members during a phone call. She did not use the term “abuse” at all. Although she mentioned the difficulty of weight management through dietary restrictions, it was within the context of self-management nuances that idols naturally have to undertake.
Contrary to the misunderstandings created, Miya expressed gratitude for the management provided by her Korean agency throughout the interview with Asahi Shimbun. The interview was conducted in a friendly atmosphere, according to Miya’s representative.
Miya, taken aback by the unexpected situation, cautiously stated that she still dreams about promoting in Korea, adding that she doesn’t want to create any more misunderstandings.
Overall, while it is true that the Kpop system had authoritarian aspects in the past, it has gradually evolved and gained global attention. It is no longer a world where a few authorities can dominate, breaking away from the imperial producer system.
Below is a Q&A session conducted with Miya regarding the misunderstanding:
Q: After the mistranslation of the interview, there have been many misunderstandings in Korea. What is the most misunderstood point?
A: First of all, I had no intention of making revelations in the interview. Some Korean media articles used the term “abuse” in their headlines, but I have never experienced abuse or anything similar. So, I was bewildered when those headlines appeared.
Q: The use of the term “prison” caused a lot of misunderstanding.
A: That was a joke we made among the members. It was a self-deprecating comment. Honestly, there were certainly difficult times, but I have never felt that this life was like being in a prison.
Q: When were the most challenging moments for you?
A: The most frustrating part was that I wasn’t good at speaking Korean as a foreigner. (Regarding weight management), it was something we agreed upon and it was a given. It was challenging to control our diet, but the company didn’t force it upon us. We did it because it was necessary.
Q: How do you view the Kpop system?
A: I really respect it. (Kpop is) getting attention all over the world. Above all, it is amazing that there is a system that actively supports trainees to grow into artists. They actively take care of their body and appearance as well as dance and singing lessons and make them the best on stage.
Q: Which part of you grew the most while working as a Kpop idol?
A: I was a person who liked the boy group VIXX and did cover dances of VIXX on the street. But one day, I thought that I wanted to become a person who expresses myself on stage, and I became a Kpop idol. Standing on the actual stage, I have a strong sense of responsibility. I became a professional person.
Q: You had the opportunity to meet some members of VIXX. How did it feel as a fan?”
A: They were really cool, but I was so nervous that I could barely manage to greet them. My admiration was even greater.
Q: GWSN was a unique team with a clear world view. Contrary to the wishes of the members who wanted it to continue, your activities were stopped due to our company circumstances, and it was very regrettable.
A: Indeed, we had a distinct concept, and each of the seven members had different characters. We had our own unique color. As we continued our activities, our skills improved, and I was looking forward to future activities. Moreover, we had various concepts, so there was excitement in being able to showcase them one by one. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t show more of those different concepts.
Q: Miya, you gained popularity with a “girl crush” image, was it originally your own personality?
A: The company didn’t try to create a new image for me but helped me better express my own personality.
Q: It was mentioned that a mistake in visa-related processing by the Korean agency led to Mia and other foreign members briefly becoming illegal residents.
A: That was a business-related issue. It may seem negative, but at that time, there was no other option, so I understand.
Q: What if you had the opportunity to be a Kpop idol again?”
A: Of course, I would do it again. Our team activities had to end unavoidably. It’s not right to speak negatively about my life in Korea, as I still have the desire to continue being a Kpop idol. If I have the chance to resume GWSN activities, I would definitely want to be a part of it. I hope any misunderstandings can be cleared up.
Q: What did your experience in Korea leave you with?
A: When I used to view Kpop from the outside, it always seemed beautiful. However, when I actually entered this world, I realized how much effort is required to maintain that beautiful and cool image. That realization made me work even harder. Kpop and Korea have taught me valuable lessons.
Q: You recently signed with a Japanese agency in April and embarked on a new beginning
A: I want to explore whether I can continue my activities in Korea while pursuing activities in Japan.
Q: Lastly, do you have any message for your concerned Korean fans?
A: I hope they continue to believe in me and support me. I will definitely repay their support.