HYBE’s new girl group LE SSERAFIM had the most controversial debut.
One of the hottest K-pop 4th gen rookie girl groups at the moment, LE SSERAFIM, made headlines even before they were officially launched not only for the members’ visuals and talents, but also because of all the controversies the group is embroiled in.
A visual and talented lineup with members who are already famous pre-debut
One of the outstanding things about LE SSERAFIM that attract fans are visuals. All the members look beautiful and charming in their own way, making LE SSERAFIM join the list of 4th gen girl groups with no “visual hole”.
Unlike most other rookie groups, LE SSERAFIM does not consist of brand new faces. Two former IZ*ONE members, Chaewon and Sakura, already have a large fan base from their previous debut. Sakura was the runner-up of “Produce 48” and her popularity during the show and IZ*ONE promotions was on par with IVE’s Jang Wonyoung. Yunjin also competed on “Produce 48” and gained much popularity after the program ended.
Having experienced and well-trained members like Sakura, Chaewon, Yunjin, and Kazuha, a former professional ballerina in the lineup, in terms of talent, LE SSERAFIM impresses fans and netizens with all skills, from singing, dancing, to performance.
Controversy over suspected vote manipulation of Kim Chaewon’s debut in IZ*ONE
It came as a huge surprise for many people when ex-IZ*ONE’s Chaewon was announced to be scouted by HYBE Labels and debut in LE SSERAFIM, because before IZ*ONE disbanded, Chaewon was expected to either join Rocket Punch or have a solo debut under Woollim Entertainment.
Although Chaewon is a well-rounded idol who is loved by many, her biggest controversy is the suspicion over whether or not her debut in IZ*ONE was rigged in the vote manipulation scandal of the Produce series. Among IZ*ONE members, Chaewon is suspected by many netizens to have taken the debut position that should have rightfully belonged to Lee Gaeun or Han Chowon.
Although nothing is confirmed because the identity of the rigged members were not published, looking at Chaewon’s ranks throughout the voting rounds of “Produce 48”, netizens cannot help but suspect her final ranking.
Both HYBE and the LE SSERAFIM members were criticized for Kim Garam’s scandal.
Although it has been less than a month since the debut, LE SSERAFIM has encountered many difficulties when constantly entangled in controversies. The biggest scandal that seriously affected the group is definitely that member Kim Garam was accused of being a school bully.
As the second member of LE SSERAFIM to be introduced, Kim Garam was quickly noticed for her outstanding appearance. However, a series of accusations and evidence showing that Kim Garam used to be a bully has severely affected the image of herself and the group.
The public is becoming increasingly critical of HYBE’s female rookie when the company ignored Garam’s bullying history and even threatened to sue the victim. While the victim’s side has released a large amount of credible evidence supporting the story’s veracity, HYBE and Source Music have only issued statements denying the allegations without providing evidence.
The issue became more serious after a victim asked HYBE through a lawyer to tell the truth and threatened to publicize the text messages sent from Kim Garam if the company did not do so. Soon after, LE SSERAFIM had to cancel all schedules on May 20 and Kim Garam was later announced to be temporarily suspending activities with the group to “recover her mental health”. Kim Garam appears to be causing an unfavorable public’s view on LE SSERAFIM, and the group is suffering greatly as a result of this scandal.
Controversy over unreasonable win on Music Bank against trot singer Lim Young Woong
Another wave of chaos came to HYBE’s rookie girl group when LE SSERAFIM was involved in Music Bank’s controversy of inexplicit scoring towards Lim Young Woong.
Specifically, on May 13, LE SSERAFIM won Music Bank’s weekly trophy against the male singer Lim Young Woong. However, the victory of the rookie girl group was unconvincing to the majority of the audience because at that time, Lim Young Woong and his new song If We Ever Meet Again was a hot topic on many Korean forums and reached the #1 place on many digital music charts.
Dispatch quickly stepped in and raised questions about that week’s scoring score of Music Bank. Specifically, they discovered that KBS gave Lim Young Woong a zero on his broadcasting score, which is the main reason causing Lim Young Woong to lose at the hands of rookie LE SSERAFIM despite the huge effect that If We Ever Meet Again created.
Although the fault is not entirely LE SSERAFIM’s, the rookie girl group received many sarcastic comments from the audience due to their unconvincing victory.