SEOUL • There is a new storm in the K-pop industry, which is already reeling from scandals that started in January.
This time, two members of boy band TRCNG - Wooyeop and Taeseon - are suing TS Entertainment, saying they were physically abused by their agency's staff.
The duo's lawyer has detailed the alleged wrongdoing in a report to the Seoul police, reported the allkpop portal.
Wooyeop and Taeseon said they suffered under the hands of two choreographers who made the group practise from 5pm to 5am, affecting their sleep, and beat them when mistakes were made.
TRCNG members were also told to turn up again at 10am after the overnight training.
Wooyeop said he was once hospitalised because of the ill-treatment, but was told not to talk about it.
Taeseon witnessed his group member being hit by a metal chair.
TRCNG made their debut in 2017 and the duo have told TS Entertainment they want to be released from their contracts with the agency.
Their unhappiness also stems from an alleged lack of support from the agency.
The water and electricity bills of the dormitory they stayed in were not paid on time, leading to their parents having to step in to settle the amounts owed.
Food was not provided.
The news has drawn outrage from netizens, who note that boy band B.A.P, as well as girl groups Secret and Sonamoo, have also had disputes with the agency.
Others said the agency should be shut down as its actions have smeared the K-pop industry, which has made waves overseas with artists such as BTS and Blackpink.
But the darker side of the industry has also been scrutinised.
A recent report in American trade publication Hollywood Reporter noted that K-pop trainees were subjected to "dangerous diets, strict social rules (no dating), gruelling rehearsal schedules and mandated plastic surgery and skin-whitening procedures".
TS Entertainment has released a statement refuting the charges from Wooyeop and Taeseon, noting that the other eight TRCNG members - who are in Japan for work - are disappointed that the rift will affect the reputation of the boy band.