Is the cut-throat world of Kpop pushing people too far? Now, Wanna One’s Yoon Ji-sung has been accused of bullying a trainee to the point of near-suicide.
It’s the sort of situation that could have gone horribly wrong. But a cut-throat Kpop training ground almost claimed the life of a trainee, thanks to ‘extreme bullying’.
Enter Wanna One’s Yoon Ji-sung, who has been accused to bullying trainee Jung Joong Ji to the point of near-suicide. According to Allkpop, the intense bullying started during the filming of ‘Produce 101’ season 2. That’s where Wanna One was created, with extreme mental battles among would-be group contestants.
Sounds like some great Kpop bloodsport, and Ji-sung apparently played hard. Fair or not, he has not been accused of aggressive behavior that utterly destabilized a Joong Ji.
+ allkpop: Jung Joong Ji posts suicidal message about how he was bullied by Yoon Ji Sung during ‘Produce 101’
Word of the alleged abuse ultimately leaked online, prompting heavy blowback from fans. That storm actually turned against Jung Joong Ji for posting a ‘happy selfie’ with Jisung, despite the obvious issues. Others may have been wondering why Ji was even competing in such a difficult battle.
On Thursday (November 2nd), Jun Joong Ji posted a lengthy response detailing the incidents.
And, clarified why he uploaded a happy selfie of the pair.
“You asked for feedback. I wasn’t going to but here it is. There was a time we ate together for the first time during ‘Produce 101 season 2’. There, Yoon Ji Sung hyung suddenly called me over and said, ‘You have a lot of followers on Facebook. You should make money with that. Why the hell are you here?’ So I replied, ‘I’m sorry, hyung.’
After that, he kept bothering me about 10 times so I told him that he’s really making it hard for me and to stop bullying me. He smiled and said ‘okay’, and then told me three trainees in his agency had left because of him. Then on the day when we had the level test, I only slept for an hour due to ongoing practice and messed up almost entirely during the actual test so I was sitting down with a frown on my face, and he came over and teasingly said, ‘You just did your worth.’
I was so startled and in disbelief (at his rudeness) so I talked back to him. But after some time, we made up and that’s why I uploaded the photo (selca)”.
Jun also denied allegations of talking behind Ji-sung’s back. Instead, he stated that he was merely answering questions posed to him by fans.
Irregardless, fans have accused Jung Joong Ji of fabricated the serious accusations.
Ji also replied to those charges, while exposing suicidal thoughts and extreme stress.
“No matter what anyone says, I am not lying. No matter who believes me or not, I just wrote the truth with a hand over my heart. And no matter who criticizes me or not, I’m not afraid because I wrote this truthfully. A lot of words will be circulating due to this but people keep telling me to stop lying and that’s making me feel suicidal so I’m leaving this long message”.
“Also, stop sending me direct messages. I’m a human, too. Stop tormenting me.”
The festering issue offers another glimpse into the cut-throat nature of Kpop.
Indeed, successful groups are often forced into extremely brutal schedules, including touring, recording, and publicity events. Add intense requirements for plastic surgery and other demands, and onlookers are wondering if Kpop’s growth is ultimately healthy.
Then again, ‘Produce 101’ sounds utterly tame compared to American reality TV. And hey — as they say stateside, ‘welcome to the NFL’.
More as this develops.