Entertainment
Chuu breaks silence after removal from Loona, denies any 'shameful acts'
Agency denies reports of other bandmates requesting to suspend exclusive contracts
Published : Nov 29, 2022 - 16:51
Updated : Nov 29, 2022 - 16:51
Chuu poses during Loona's press conference for its special album "Flip That," in Seoul on June 20. (BlockBerry Creative)

Three days after she was ousted from Loona, Chuu has opened up for the first time about her ongoing dispute with BlockBerry Creative and denied committing "any shameful acts."

Chuu on Monday evening posted a short statement in an Instagram story and addressed the controversy surrounding her and the management company for the first time since the issue broke out Friday.

Stating she was still getting a grasp of the situation, Chuu said, "I wasn't contacted or have been aware of the series of events, but one thing I'm certain is that I have not done anything that would be shameful to my fans."

"I'll speak again when I've decided on my position," she added, closing the short letter with words of gratitude for her supporters.

On Friday, BlockBerry Creative, the agency behind Loona, announced it was expelling Chuu from the group for her alleged abuse of company staff.

"Following a report about Chuu's violent language and misuse of power against some staff members, we have confirmed it true through an investigation and the agency head is apologizing to and consoling the victims. We have decided to take responsibility and remove Chuu from Loona," the agency's statement read.

K-pop act Loona poses at a press conference for its special album. (BlockBerry Creative)

But the allegation was instantly met by public backlash, with voices in support of Chuu coming from her fellow entertainers and staff members who have worked with her.

Bandmate Hyunjin openly sided with Chuu, writing on the official online fan community on Saturday, "It's Chuu who will be feeling the worst right now. Please send her support and love."

K-pop singer Sunmi also posted a picture she had taken with Chuu, implying her support for the ex-Loona member.

As public sentiment seemed to lean toward Chuu, the agency released another statement Monday insisting its intention with the initial statement was to announce the bandmate's dismissal and not expose all her alleged wrongdoings.

In a follow-up statement, BlockBerry Creative said, "It's up to those people in question to speak about anything that they think is not true or needs to be corrected about the situation," adding it is willing to disclose the evidence with the consent of both Chuu and the alleged victim.

Meanwhile, difficulties between the 23-year-old singer and BlockBerry Creative have been ongoing for the past year or so. Last year, the singer applied for an injunction to suspend her exclusive contract with the company following reports she was not being paid properly for her individual activities on TV shows and ads. In March, the court gave her a partial win that allowed her to continue her solo activities without the agency, and she went on to found her own label, Chuu Inc., in April. Chuu was still affiliated with BlockBerry Creative as of Tuesday, the company's public relations official told The Korea Herald.

The clash resurfaced again when some local media reported in June that Chuu was leaving BlockBerry Creative to sign with digital marketing firm BY4M, which has still not been confirmed. On Monday, news outlet Edaily again exclusively reported Chuu's relocation to BY4M .

Chuu is absent from this group image for Loona's second Japanese EP, "Luminous." (BlockBerry Creative)

Chuu officially debuted in the 12-piece Loona in August 2018. The band held its first world tour, "Loonatheworld," in August to October this year, but Chuu was not a part of it. She had explained during an album press conference in June that she was sitting out due to "conflicting schedules," but some fans had presumed she was left out intentionally by the agency.

The situation seems to be only worsening for BlockBerry Creative. On Monday JTBC reported that nine of the other members -- save for Hyunjin and Vivi -- had recently filed injunctions requesting the suspension of their exclusive contracts with the firm. The agency's official denied the report to The Korea Herald.

Loona has continued group activities as an 11-piece act since Chuu's dismissal Friday. According to Osen, Loona on Sunday conducted a videoconference fan meeting in Japan following the drop of their second Japanese single, "Luminous." Chuu was absent in the official group image for the Japanese album.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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