Despite enforcing strict guidelines for artists, YG Entertainment’s top groups like as BIGBANG, 2NE1, iKON, and others are still embroiled in issues that threaten their public image.
Managing many popular and “profitable” idol groups such as Sechskies, BIGBANG, 2NE1, AKMU, WINNER, iKON, BLACKPINK, TREASURE,…, YG is known for setting extremely strict rules for their artists. The purpose of this is so that idols can focus on their careers and stay away from scandals that can affect their images. However, despite being very strict with their idols, many YG artists are still involved in unfortunate scandals. Some even got into trouble right at the peak of their careers, causing fans to feel regretful.
YG and their strict rules
Since their trainee days, YG is determined to separate male and female trainees. BLACKPINK’s Jisoo once revealed that both male and female trainees have different meal times to avoid contact. Even if the male trainees have not finished their meal, the manager will… cover them up so that the female trainees cannot see them.
On the show Radio Star, iKON’s Bobby shared that although they practiced and debuted during the same time, iKON and BLACKPINK don’t seem to be close. They can’t even talk or see each other. The only chance that both groups can interact is in commercials or working on songs together.
In 2017, BLACKPINK appeared on JYP’s Party People program. The girls had the chance to open up about 7 rules in the contract that they signed with YG. Accordingly, YG requires 4 “golden” girls not to drink alcohol, not to smoke, not to drive, not to go to clubs, not to have tattoos, not to have plastic surgery and especially not to date. BLACKPINK members don’t have the chance to meet other YG groups and if they do, they are not allowed to greet them.
The climax of YG’s strict management is that BLACKPINK seems to spend all of their time at the company and every time they appear outside, they must be accompanied by a manager.
Despite these strict rules, many YG idols are still involved in scandals which have affected not only their own images but also the group’s and the company’s.
Well-known dating controversies
YG is extremely strict when it comes to idols dating. However, the most famous members in YG groups are often the ones caught in dating scandals. In BIGBANG, the leader G-Dragon’s relationships with different female celebrities were exposed several times. In 2014, Dispatch released a bunch of intimate dating photos between G-Dragon and Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara. In May 2016, the dating news of G-Dragon and actress Nana Komatsu spread on social media. In 2018, G-Dragon continued to have his dating photos with former After School member Lee Joo Yeon exposed to the public. However, he stayed silent in response to these rumors.
At the beginning of 2021, G-Dragon caused a stir online when Dispatch published the dating photos of him and BLACKPINK’s Jennie. This news surprised many people because BLACKPINK once shared that they had to follow many strict rules set by YG, including dating within the company.
What made many people “disappointed” was that Jennie dating EXO‘s main dancer – Kai was exposed earlier. At the time the news was made public, Jennie had just debuted for just over 2 years. A dating news at a relatively early stage of her career caused Jennie to face a lot of criticism. Netizens also think that she was the “trendsetter” to break the rules that YG demanded BLACKPINK to live by.
Scandals over illegal drug use
In 2014, at the peak of their career, 2NE1 shocked fans when member Park Bom was caught in a scandal of transporting and using amphetamine (a banned substance in Korea used to replace meth). Despite having explained that she used this substance only for the purpose of treating her illness, netizens still did not hesitate to criticize Park Bom and destroy 2NE1’s career. After the scandal, 2NE1 was barely active and caused huge regret for fans when they officially disbanded in 2016.
Not only Park Bom, another famous star, BIGBANG’s T.O.P is also included in the long list of YG idols who are involved in breaking scandals. According to a report published by the Seoul police, the YG rapper used marijuana three times between October 9 and October 12, 2016 with ex-girlfriend Han Seo Hee at their house in Yongsan. In response, T.O.P repeatedly expressed his desperation, especially in February 2020, when the male idol suddenly revealed that he did not want to make a comeback in Korea anymore on a live broadcast.
iKON’s most popular member, B.I, also sadly left the group right after iKON got back on track and was getting more popular thanks to many hits like Love Scenario, Killing Me,… BI was unexpectedly accused by TOP’s ex-girlfriend Han So Hee of using LSD in the past and had a history of purchasing illegal drugs with Han So Hee since 2016.
The shocking prostitution scandal of former member Seungri (BIGBANG)
The shocking prostitution scandal of former member Seungri (BIGBANG) began at the end of 2018 with reports of sexual harassment, rape and drug-using at the Burning Sun club where Seungri worked as the executive director. Many hidden cameras were installed, recording videos of celebrities having sex or deals with prostitute girls were all published.
Before this shocking scandal, Seungri accepted the investigation and announced his departure from BIGBANG, withdrawing from Korean showbiz. It can be said that this scandal of the former BIGBANG member is the biggest scandal of YG’s idols, involving many people and showing the world the dark side of many Kpop idols.
Shocking news of iKON member suddenly “getting married”
On August 20, Kpop fans were extremely surprised by the news that Bobby (iKON) will have a wedding with his lover. Even more shocking, it was the news that Bobby’s girlfriend was 8 months pregnant. Bobby himself wrote a letter admitting and expressing himself that he wanted to apologize if he had hurt anyone. The incident surprised netizens quite a bit because Bobby has himself shown proofs about the strictness of YG in their idols’ love life.
This information makes some people feel sorry for iKON because it has just regained some of its glory after participating in Kingdom. It is extremely difficult for the members to regain some fame after the show when before that, the group suffered heavy losses because leader B.I was involved in a scandal of drug use and decided to leave the group. However, Bobby’s publicity of his marriage information greatly influenced a part of fans, because he himself is a rare “fan-attracter” member of iKON.
In short, to be able to stand firmly in the Kbiz world, it is required that idols always maintain their beautiful image in front of the public. It is understandable that YG and other entertainment companies set strict regulations to manage their idols. Therefore, hopefully in the future, not only YG idols but other Kpop idols also need to pay attention to keep their own image clean. Because after all, idols are people of the public, more or less also have an impact on the thoughts and lifestyles of their fans.