Once mocked for her debut with IZ*ONE, LE SSERAFIM’s Chaewon is now favored by her company
LE SSERAFIM’s Chaewon is receiving criticisms for her past controversies.
The first girl group of HYBE Labels made their debut on the 2nd of May, and quickly gained public attention. However, they also stumbled into quite a number of controversies, from Kim Garam’s school bullying allegations to Chaewon’s past scandals.
Born in 2000, Chaewon graduated from Hanlim Multi Art School in 2019, and debuted with the project group IZ*ONE a year prior. After IZ*ONE disbanded, she was scouted by HYBE, and is now the leader of LE SSERAFIM. So far, Chaewon is highly praised for her vocal and dancing abilities, and her drastic transformation from cute to girlboss has blown many fans away.
Under HYBE’s management, Chaewon did away with her long flowy hair to opt for a short bob, and according to many people, this style helped her stand out in most stages of LE SSERAFIM.
However, Korean netizens can’t let past issues go. In particular, Chaewon was accused of being involved in the cheating and voting manipulation scandal of “Produce 48”. People believed that since Chaewon got low rankings through the entire show, the idol must have cheated her way into the final debut lineup. However, since the cheating culprits were never actually revealed, there remained mere suspicions, and there was no evidence that Chaewon benefited from the scandal. Nevertheless, the public stayed doubtful, and kept calling Chaewon a cheater, position stealer, and her career a complete scam.
Throughout different rounds of “Produce 48”, Chaewon’s rankings were 21, 21, 30, 28, 15, 15, and 19, respectively. However, in the finale, she suddenly shot up and landed in the Top 10, thus earning the chance to debut with IZ*ONE. As a result, the idol quickly found herself at the ire of the public, who believed that Chaewon was average in almost everything – from visuals to talents, so her jump in ranking might have to do with cheating.
To make matters worse, a year after the debut of IZ*ONE, netizens discovered that Chaewon’s mother was Lee Ran Hee – an extremely powerful theater actress in Korean. With 30 years of experience in the Korean showbiz, Lee Ran Hee has a stable position in the entertainment industry, and pays close attention to her daughter’s career. Therefore, people believed that Chaewon’s mother might have pulled some strings for her daughter to debut.
Adding to all of this, some took things even further by casting suspicions that Chaewon’s position was originally that of her current group member Huh Yunjin. The two female idols battled intensely back in “Produce 48”, so many people find it ironic that they both debuted in LE SSERAFIM. Some are even concerned that Huh Yunjin would be mistreated again.
Chaewon now holds an important position in LE SSERAFIM, and also has for herself a lot of resources. The fact that she left Woolim Entertainment for the much larger HYBE Labels is also an advantage in itself, netizens said. While the idol is still largely criticized, fans have been trying to clear away the aforementioned rumors.
Despite her constant improvements in both appearance and skills, it seems that Kim Chaewon’s past controversies are not dying down anytime soon. Many netizens still view the talented idol as a dirty cheater.