LE SSERAFIM’s Kim Ga-ram recently announced her suspension of activities due to the school bullying controversy.
It seems like HYBE already decided to go all out in the battle over Kim Ga-ram’s school bullying scandal. HYBE, which used to be consistent with its “no response” strategy, has begun to actively respond to the case.
Right before her debut with LE SSERAFIM, Kim Ga-ram’s school bullying scandal broke out. However, HYBE’s Source Music pushed ahead with the group’s debut and stayed silent on the issue. Chairman Bang Si-hyuk even participated in producing music for LE SSERAFIM. Since this is also considered a powerful group in HYBE, further silence will only lead to great damage to the group’s image.
HYBE revealed their position on May 20th, saying “As distorted allegations claiming Kim Ga-ram as a school bullying perpetrator continued, we want to correct the related suspicions that have been raised as only one side of the situation has been reported through media.” In addition, they insisted that Yoo Eun-seo (a pseudonym), who raised the controversy, is rather the perpetrator and was transferred after a minor fight with Kim Ga-ram. Lastly, they announced the temporary suspension of Kim Ga-ram’s activities.
With Kim Ga-ram’s sudden activity suspension announcement, Bang Si-hyuk’s “no response” principle was broken. Critics pointed out that HYBE’s long-term silence has worsened the situation.
HYBE stayed quiet about previous controversies of their artists. Take the most recent controversy over the new album “Proof” of global boy group BTS as an example. After it was revealed that a composer who participated in producing a song to be released in BTS’s new album is being suspected of committing sex crimes, ARMYs (BTS’s fandom” began to boycott the album.
The attitude of Big Hit Music regarding this case was somewhat ironic. In a telephone interview with TenAsia, Big Hit Music said, “We have no official position regarding the controversial composer”.
In fact, the way HYBE and its labels reacted to controversies is consistent with Chairman Bang Si-hyuk’s method. Bang Si-hyuk has also refrained from responding to criticism since he was still working as a music producer.
BTS was embroiled in a controversy over their songs being written by a Japanese right-wing lyricist in 2018. At that time, several media reported, “Bang Si-hyuk has continued sharing conversations about music with the right-wing lyricist.” However, Bang Si-hyuk remained silent about the controversy.
Chairman Bang produced “Same Old Love Song” for the group Homme in 2011. When the song became controversial, Big Hit Entertainment said, “As a result of our internal monitoring, there is no problem at all. It’s just a similarity in the melody line.” Bang Si-hyuk made no further comment on the plagiarism suspicion. This is the incident that revealed Bang Si-hyuk’s philosophy and way of thinking.
On the other hand, he began to went all out to win the war over Kim Ga-ram’s scandal, starting with the announcement of her activity suspension. He might have judged that further silence would only stain the reputation of not only LE SSERAFIM but also the whole global entertainment group HYBE.
Positions of the two sides surrounding Kim Ga-ram’s issue are still continuing. It is still unknown which person is the perpetrator and which one is the victim. Public attention is being paid to how HYBE will protect their artist and prove their claims.