Ryu Hwayoung’s Departure from 8 (now 7) member K-pop group T-ara
1. Hwayoung was not present in the group’s performance at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan on the 25th and 26th of July, due to her leg injury.
2. Tweets made by five other members after the concert, indirectly targeted towards Hwayoung, stated that she a “not determined” and had a “different commitment level” than them, were being questioned by the fans.
3. Hwayoung was also not present in the group’s performance on the 27th and 29th of July during the weekly music shows, forcing the other members to learn her parts and read them live on stage.
4. Netizens suspect the other member of the group, the five people who made the tweets, to be bullying Hwayoung, i.e.. when she was forced to eat rice cakes (which can cause a person to choke) on a variety show, when a member of the group approached her and offered her candy that she dropped on the floor before, and when she was locked out of their locker room (despite being injured) and was found crying on the floor.
Core Contents Media, the company that T-ara is under, announced on the 30th of July that Hwayoung would be leaving the group and the company, not because of the rumors that she was bullied, but because she grew “arrogant” and did not “work hard enough” up to the standards of the CEO wanted.
The netizens can be accused of “poisoning the well” of the members for their suspicious tweets which was not even confirmed to be directed at Hwayoung, leading the rest of the fans to make “hasty generalizations” wherein the said tweets plus the supposed bullying incidents are the reasons why Hwayoung was fired. A “post hoc” can also be found, because we were made to believe that the reason why she was supposedly bullied was because she could not perform during their concert.
I don’t agree with the author’s conclusion, because I think that the CEO forced the other members to look like they were bullying. The CEO, who previously mentioned that he can “fire and hire people as he sees fit”, was blackmailing the others to do what he wants by saying that their jobs were at stake. I believe that Hwayoung was being a rebel, provoking the CEO to prove that he can and will manipulate the people that works for him, by firing her.