So let me start off by saying I never really like T-ARA.
For many reasons for course. One being that I just wasn't into their music, another that I didn't like all their plastic surgery, and finally they just gave me weird vibes. So I was a person who was most likely to believe anything bad I heard about T-ARA, which isn't fair to them. But hey, we were all different 5 years ago right?
Some new evidence has come to light recently that has changed the famous T-ARA bullying scandal on its head.
So much so, that even the famous K-netizens are apologizing and admiting they were wrong (unheard of).
Here's a run down of what happened from my point of view, from the point of view I think most of us had at the time (as international fans with limited knowledge and connection with the events that unfolded)
- The girls from T-ARA had been bullying Hwayoung for a long time and have always been mean girls.
- Hwayoung got injured and the girls tried to blame her and make her feel guilty for it
- Hwayoung was kicked out of the group (the company might have been pressured by the members of T-ARA)
So with that, you can guess that I really didn't like T-ARA after that, not that I was a big fan anyway.
I was pretty satisfied with the evidence I saw, so I didn't really go in deeper and look at any other facts presented at the time, so I missed the opposing staff accounts and fan accounts. If I did see them, I probably just shrugged them off as liars on the "bullies" side. (pls forgive me this was 5 years ago)
But here's where it gets interesting.
The staff accounts are growing and they're all matching up.
Hwayoung is just really, really good at playing the victim.
If you're really interested, here is a great breakdown of what happened, using as many sources as possible.
Hwayoung hurt her ankle, the doctors said she was fine, they went to Japan and she refused to perform, they changed 22 choreographed dances to fit the fact that they were missing a member (T-ARA and stage crew worked 8 extra hours), Hwayoung goes to a hospital in Japan and they also say there is nothing wrong, she demands a wheelchair, doesn't show up to practice even to just support them, stays in her hotel maybe getting her nails done.
They return to Korea, are set to perform but again Hwayoung refuses to even get on stage to practice, Hyomin talks to her, apparently they begin to reconcile and work together, and moments before taking the stage for the live show Hwayoung's sister sends nasty messages to member Areum which basically ruins any attempt to get T-ARA to ever work as a team again.
Hwayoung's contact is terminated, rumors begin to circulate that Hwayoung was bullied and forced out, Hwayoung doesn't say anything to stop this, remains super vague almost as if she wants us to believe she's bullied, T-ARA's reputation is ruined for almost 3 years, they're just barely coming back now. The netizens were finding any small clip they could find where Hwayoung was "ignored" or bullied. I remember seeing some and thinking how awful T-ARA was... Here's a bit of a breakdown if you're intersted.
^ example, Jiyeon skips high-fiving Hwayoung...
But now, more and more reports of Hwayoung being a horrible person are coming out.
Most recently, at least 3 hair dressers at Jenny, the most popular hair salon for idols, have said that she treats them like dirt, calling them "shampoo" instead of their real names. Hwayoung tried to say that the hair dressers only said that because they're friends with T-ARA member Hyomin, but there are hair dressers that have literally asked to resign instead of having to work with her.
I'm not saying that the girls from T-ARA are saints, but it sure sucks that the netizens took an incident that happened behind closed doors, blew it up in all the wrong ways, and ruined T-ARA's members' careers :/