A shocking number of K-Pop companies are notoriously known to mistreat their artists, as many artists have filed lawsuits against their respective companies. In fact, some companies have abused their artists, taking “mistreatment” to a new level. Here are a few Korean artists who have spoken about getting abused by their companies.
1. Wooyeop & Taeseon (TRCNG)
In 2019, Wooyeob and Taeseon filed a lawsuit against TS Entertainment for things like child abuse, assault, and exertion. The members even showed evidence of the staff members of TS Entertainment physically assaulting them.
2. The East Light
The East Light’s leader, Lee Seokcheol, revealed in 2018 that the members were victims of assault and abuse by their company.
He revealed that the members would constantly get beaten by different objects every day, such as baseball bats, mic stands, and iron bar mops. Lee Seokcheol also revealed that the members would get assaulted for various reasons, such as making mistakes during practice. He even provided photos of some of the damages done to them.
3. Yoo So Young (Former member of After School)
Yoo So Young revealed in the past that she has been the victim of sexual abuse a couple of times. One time, Yoo So Young signed a contract with a company, and the CEO decided to throw a party to celebrate. However, the CEO did some shocking actions to her throughout the night.
He told me, ‘I see you as a woman. I like you. I’m not going to let you go home until you say OK.’ It was an absolute nightmare to me.
— Yoo So Young
The next day, the CEO claimed he didn’t remember anything and decided to terminate her contract.
He said, ‘I have no intention of signing you with this agency. Let’s pretend the contract never happened’ and he asked me if anything else had happened after that. He said he was so drunk he couldn’t remember anything.
— Yoo So Young
4. Lee Jihye (Former member of S#arp)
S#arp was a K-Pop group created by member Seo Jiyoung‘s family, as they were one of the wealthiest families in South Korea at the time.
It was later revealed that Seo Jiyoung had constantly bullied Lee Jihye until S#arp’s disbandment in 2002. Seo Jiyoung would constantly physically assault Lee Jihye, and would even invite some of her family members to join. When the group eventually disbanded, Seo Jiyoung tried to pay off the group manager to lie about the bullying, but the manager refused. The manager ended up revealing all the abuse Lee Jihye went through, which led to Seo Jiyoung getting criticized by the general public.
5. Kim Jong Kook
While Kim Jong Kook has never spoken about this, there is a rumor that Kim Jong Kook was physically and mentally abused by his company CEO during his early days as a member of Turbo.
Fans believe that the reason Kim Jong Kook started exercising and building muscle was so that he could defend himself against the company CEO.