Netizens say the company is only “adding fuel to the fire.”
After Kim Garam was introduced as the second member of LE SSERAFIM, the upcoming first girl group launched through the collaboration of HYBE and Source Music, she has been embroiled in school bullying accusations. Former classmates of Kim Garam have constantly exposed her inappropriate behaviors in the past with photo evidence that is hard to deny.
Amid fierce public criticism, HYBE and Source Music even worsened the situation by releasing a statement to defend Kim Garam, saying, “The recent rumors were maliciously edited in an attempt to defame Kim Garam over the events that took place at the early stages of her middle school days, when she was only getting to know her friends.“
“We believe these allegations have malicious intent to harm our artist that is preparing to debut. Source Music will take legal action to deal with unilateral and fabricated accusations as well as misinformation related to this matter.”
Contrary to the claims of the alleged victims, a third party has confirmed that in middle school, Kim Garam was actually a victim of violence, including false rumors and cyberbullying. Moreover, rumors of Kim Garam being a trainee of another agency in the past or leaking internal documents are all untrue.
Korean netizens have also suspected that the few posts defending Kim Garam from her ex-classmates with her yearbook photos as proof on online communities were actually written by HYBE and Source Music staff in disguise.
Netizens have noticed the remarkable detail that the two yearbook photos were taken on the same table. The wood grain in the two pictures is clearly the same. In addition, the staff was accused of copying how teenagers talk to fake these posts.
Some netizens’ comments showing their dissatisfaction with the company’s poor handling:
- Seems like a staff impersonating a classmate to protect her? When writing by hand, who has the time to add zeros to the date? Only write 2022.4.5. We only wrote 2022.04.05 when we wrote the report!
- Even the handwriting of the number 4 is the same!
- SoMu staff must be working hard for this girl!
- The pictures all have black spots in the same place!
- The same table.
- SoMu please kick that girl out of the group.