For the past few days, leader Moon Junyoung from K-Pop boy group ZE:A raised concerns among fans after posting a series of shocking tweets about his CEO Shin Joo Hak.

ZEA Junyoung

Currently known as Lee Hoo, the leader had become emotionally unstable ever since ZE:A’s Taehoon suffered from nasal fracture after the member debuts as an MMA fighter. In fact, one of his friends had passed away.

From September 14th to 15th, Lee Hoo started off by posting a series of tweets about his sudden emotional breakdown during ZE:A’s concert in Tokyo, Japan. Through his series of tweets, the leader apologised to his fans for causing unnecessary worry and explained that his emotions were deeply affected by Taehoon’s injury and the passing of his dad’s friend.


He also pleaded the fans not to leave the group and claimed that the performance in Tokyo will be his last time performing on stage. However, some of the tweets have since been deleted:

(Image via ZE:A Vietnam’s fanpage)

On September 21st, the leader once again pleaded for help from fans and media by posting a series of tweets about the painful experience he has had with his CEO. Lee Hoo revealed that he almost wanted to commit suicide after all the struggles he had been through.

Again, most of the tweets have been deleted, including the tweets below:

(translation credits: akp)

The leader later changed his Twitter profile with a new profile picture and a new display name. According to AKP, the new Twitter name “Moon Junyoung and that Lee Hoo” is a play on words as “geu lee-hoo” means “afterwards” or “after that”.


He updated his Twitter again with new messages, stating that he is disappointed with media’s responses to his tweets. He said:


Portal sites, I’m so disappointed. Don’t take down the searched terms and please keep up ‘Moon Junyoung,’ ‘ZE:A,’ ‘Star Empire Mistreatment,’ ‘CEO Shin Joo Hak truth,’ so the public will know. If you have sons like me, please do it. We can’t have another victim… If you act like this, I’m going to reveal my first round.

He then posted another tweet about his firm stance against Star Empire and said: “I’m.. asking you. Other people, other agencies, once you are on Star Empire’s side, I’ll reveal those companies’ wrongdoings as well.. Don’t get hurt in this.. Don’t get involved in other countries’ war. If you can handle it, use your money then. That’s your specialty. But this is the truth.”


Star Empire Entertainment then commented briefly on his tweets, stating that it was about a financial issue and that they will issue an official statement soon. They also added that those tweets were deleted by the idol himself.

Before the company released an official statement, Korean media outlet TV report approached a Star Empire employee about the issue. The employee responded, “After midnight, [Lee Hoo] and CEO Shin Joo Hak met to start talking. They talked openly about everyhting, including their misunderstandings and friction. Through this chance, they were able to actually have a good talk. They will be able to have an easy relationship.”

The company also added that nothing has been decided on ZE:A’s promotional activities yet but they are working their way to dissolve the friction and misunderstandings. They said, “We’re very sorry to have worried so many people. Both ZE:A and Star Empire will work hard.”

The company once again apologised to the fans through an official statement and said:

Hello, this is Star Empire. First, we bow our heads in apology for worrying fans who care a lot about [Lee Hoo] and ZE:A. Late at night yesterday (the 21st), [Lee Hoo] met with CEO Shin Joo Hak to talk about their sincere feelings and to solve misunderstandings. After talking openly about everything with [Lee Hoo], they were able to solve all the friction. We should have taken interest earlier and held this conversation, but since we have spent so much time together, the thought that they would just understand just made the misunderstandings grow bigger. Through this situation, we will work even harder together. Lastly, we apologize deeply once again for worrying everyone who love and show interest for [Lee Hoo], ZE:A, and Star Empire.

This is not the first time Star Empire Entertainment is allegedly embroiled in a case of unfair treatment as they were previously criticised for abusing the girl group, Nine Muses.

The alleged abuse was revealed through a BBC K-Pop documentary about the girls’ trainee lives before their debut:

As seen in the documentary video, the members were treated harshly by the CEO and the staff, which led netizens to claim that the CEO is a former gang member. Regarding the allegation, the director of the documentary Lee Hark Joon revealed in an interview that the documentary “shows the dark sides outside the stage and reflects heavily the girls’ point of views”. He said:

Nine Muses got lazy sometimes and did not obey rules. Managers also have reasons to act quite strictly. I hope that they are not seen as bad people. They are desperate because they have to shut down their business if Nine Muses fail.

The documentary also seemed to show how the management treat their artistes in general. What do you think? Is it a case of unfair treatment towards the celebrities in Star Empire Entertainment? What really happened between ZE:A’s leader and Star Empire?


ZE:A’s leader had spoken to his CEO Shin Joo Hak about the issue and made another shocking revelation through a series of tweets. According to his tweets, Lee Hoo stated that Star Empire will now be operated by his group. However, the tweets detailing the results of his negotiations have been deleted.

The translations of his deleted tweets are quoted as below:

 “I have finished talking with CEO Shin Joo Hak. It has now been decided that I, that we, will run Star Empire – we will make it into a ZE:A company. Everyone, I promised you that this will be ZE:A’s day, that I’ll either cause this all to collapse or absorb it entirely. Everyone, it’s now time for you to please protect me. However, the truth is…”

“In the end, [CEO Shin Joo Hak] has lost everything and has gone broke. I still resent him and hate him but still I served under him for 8 years and I gunned him down. That responsibility…for that, I will accept the denouncement of the public and from our fans. CEO Shin Joo Hak and I will take responsibility for all the abuse and criticism. We have also decided to reverse the contract, 70% to us and 30% to the CEO,” he continued, revealing that ZE:A will soon be going through contractual changes with Star Empire.

As seen on his Twitter timeline, the remaining tweets are now detailing about his gratitudes toward everyone who had helped him to reveal the truth.

ZEA tweet

The translation of the remaining tweets are as below:

“What I want to say is that, through this recent incident, all the agency CEOs are aware of the fact that there is a lot of issues with the contracts. I will keep my mouth shut so I hope you will correct this and treat your artists better. Lastly, I respectfully request this from you. From the heart…if you really understand…

“Truly take the mindset that you’re starting afresh…put everything aside and believe that this is your own children. I respectfully request that you do this again just once more. And to all the public, fans and reporters that have helped out..thank you…I sincerely thank you for clearing these false charges,”

“In future, for the sake of everyone that has read all my messages, as the representative of the singing, dancing, variety show ZE:A, along with my seniors, colleagues, juniors and all the artists, I vow on my changed name ‘Lee Hoo’ and ZE:A that I will dare to continue to work and live extremely hard.”

“But I’m not a coward, I’ll just keep quiet for a bit and observe. To all the agency CEOs and management, I hope you will resolve these issues internally, correct them and apologize for them. What we want is for you to put everything aside and try to win over the hearts and minds of the artists.”

“In the future, if something like this happens again, I will hear about it, observe it and feel it. In that case, it would be great if you are aware of the fact that I hold a weapon that could turn the whole entertainment industry upside down. I’m sorry for causing a fuss and I would like to say my thanks once again. Thanks to everyone, we have once again reclaimed our hopes, aspirations and dreams. Thank you, and please take care of us.”

He also tweeted to clarify all the misunderstandings between ZE:A and Star Empire.

“Since there is some people with misunderstandings. I will talk just about ZE:A’s internal workings. The guys that don’t do anything don’t get money shared out to them. When I was hurt, I didn’t get paid for 2 years. $0. We do not split our pay amongst the members (N/1). I will not talk about this any further and hold my tongue. Thank you.”

“The thing about popular opinion is that it can become a much talked about topic, and also make me a fool in an instant. The criticisms started coming instantly when I didn’t show off anything interesting. ‘It’s all the same, it’s because of money,’ people say. These sort of provocative statements, I’m not going to pay any attention to them. Not even when I was younger had I been slapped by my own father.”

“They were just a student that started down this path because they just liked singing. If they had endured being slapped while doing what they loved and wanted to keep it a secret then…please…Everyone don’t make me speak of it anymore. I beg of you. I’m sorry. I shall now call a ceasefire in this war and I shall see you next time. I once again sincerely give my thanks.”

“Yes. that’s right, I shall put the final nail in the coffin. Star Empire, CEO Shin Joo Hak, just because I’m a guy, just because I’m the leader, as the representative of ZE:A, I have been slapped by him. It was more than once or twice. This sort of clear and provocative statement. I’m also human, so if I did all this seeking money then right from the outset I would have….sigh…..”

“And please don’t criticize the members. Please don’t do this. To be honest, those friends did nothing wrong. They are just kind guys that worked hard and did what was asked of them. Please criticise me and CEO Shin Joo Hak. Why someone had to do this and for what cause..please think it over once more…I beg of you. If I did something wrong then I will accept my punishment,” Junyoung concludes, “Sorry, and thank you.”


Few hours after the updates, Junyoung came back on Twitter to explain the group’s current situation with the company. However, the leader went from expressing his hatreds toward his CEO to “protecting” him and the group. He started off by apologizing for causing trouble and stated that the issue between the company and the group has been resolved.

“This is ZE:A’s Junyoung. First, I’m really sorry for causing so much trouble today. I just finished talking to the CEO and we worked it out, and I’m so glad that my sincerity was communicated. I want to thank our CEO for listening to us and caring about us.

.. I just wanted to let you know this. It’s all pitiful, especially after working things out with our CEO, who is now scolded by the fans and the public.. Look at this, everyone.. It’s just like our CEO and I had a family feud. Other agencies may be worse than this.. but the reason why I’m stopping now is because I don’t want to see our CEO be left alone..

What I misunderstood.. all the emotions.. since all the other agencies are the same, CEO Shin Joo Hak was the one who had to see blood.. because everyone else avoids it.. Because they only know how to watch fights, passing by as if it’s not their business, saying that this is how world is run. I’m sure there are people who do this. Now we’ve bought our company’s heart..

For the other celebrities’ sake, I will continue to criticize. I think they should know how to watch them fight and stand by their side and protect, like me… especially if you are a male CEO. Now I, with ZE:A, will protect Star Empire and CEO Shin Joo Hak. Specifically, I love our ZE:A’S so much

This isn’t just my opinion.. Siwan was busy with his schedule.. One entertainment CEO apologized and cried in front of the eight of us, and seeing those tears I just felt like I needed to protect him more. After all this, he is someone that I trusted, and now he’s on our side.. I’m telling you firmly that nine of us are sticking together stronger.

Our CEO today, really.. he protected us and listened to me. The other stories attached to this, now only we will continue to know.. We cried so much today and I felt that when we confront with our hearts, we can understand each other. We saw tears…”

Along with the last Tweet came a photo of his CEO’s signature as a a sign of promise:

ZEA Lee Hoo CEO signature
Image via Lee Hoo’s Twitter

The sudden change of decision has raised suspicions among the fans but what do you think? Have they finally reached the agreement? Has the company controlled Lee Hoo’s right to reveal more shocking truth about the company?

Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

(Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6/ Featured image)

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