T-ara bullying case reveals K-pop's sinister side
(THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The on-going controversy over bullying rumours involving girl group T-ara is the result of excessive competition among members and their agency's failure in management, industry critics said.
Young singers from idol groups are under huge pressure to steal attention from other members in order to survive in the entertainment industry, they added.
"They know their groups will be disbanded in a few years and they have to compete with other members in the group to get the public's attention before the groups break up. They are, in fact, in a survival game to move up to the next level such as pursuing an acting career or becoming a solo artist," said Mr Lee Dong-yun, professor at Korea National University of Arts.
T-ara's fans have been expressing frustration after controversial tweets by five members of the group allegedly directed at one member, Hwa-young, raised rumours that she has been bullied by the members. On Monday, T-ara's agency Core Content Media terminated its contract with Hwa-young, calling her "troublesome" but ironically denied the bullying rumors.