South Korean cosmetics brand CLIO has made a formal statement regarding K-Pop group Stray Kids (스트레이 키즈). They were named the company’s 2021 male models after CLIO’s contract with last year’s Kim Woo Seok had finished.
On 28th February, CLIO released an announcement regarding Stray Kids after recent allegations of school violence were made against group member, Hyunjin (현진). Following these accusations, the cosmetics brand has decided to remove all photos of the group from their online platforms. Hence, CLIO had to remove Stray Kids as a brand ambassador, even though they’re the new face of the brand.
The accusations thrown against Hyunjin started around 22nd February when the accuser posted on an online community alleging the idol of committing school violence against his victims and verbally abusing them during middle school. The Stray Kids’ idol owned up to his past and met up with his classmates to formerly apologise.
Regardless of that, CLIO’s recent full announcement is stated here:
“We are making an announcement to everyone who loves ‘Clio’.
First, we apologise for our brand’s late official response to the controversies around a member of Stray Kids. Right after the controversy, our company ended all promotional activities with the model. We heard from the label that it would take time for the clear truth to come out, and we had asked all of our partners both in and out of Korea to stop using promotional material with the model. However, overseas distributors had already received the material a long time ago and we continuously asked them to stop using them, but because of local situations, it has not come to be. The contents of the model have been released overseas as previously planned, and we have not yet received how that will change.
“In this process, we apologise sincerely to our customers who felt uncomfortable with our late response. We are still discussing what to do about our future models. We are talking in detail with everyone on how to most effectively address this situation and we will let you know what to do after final discussions.
All the Stray Kids released contents that were uploaded before the issue happened have been deleted, other than from some foreign distributors. We will do our best to continue to listen to our customers.
This was not the only announcement made on the exact same day, as another statement was released for SEVENTEEN’s (세븐틴) Mingyu (민규). The official statement from Pledis Entertainment shares their position on the accusations of school violence that were used against the 23-year-old idol.
Pledis Entertainment’s first response to the controversy revolving around Mingyu all started on 22nd February, the same day the allegations started circling across the internet. The idol’s company on this day denied that any of the accusations were true.
Then on 26th February, a different story was shared online. Here, the writer of the post mentioned how a student with autism was one of Mingyu’s alleged victims of his bullying actions. Additionally, another allegation from a different individual was shown that the SEVENTEEN idol alongside his friend had sexually harassed the accuser back in school.
However, it was found out that Mingyu never actually bullied his disabled classmate after talking with the alleged victim’s mother. Other accusations are still in the process of confirmation of its validity, while Mingyu takes a break from activities.
The recent statement written by Pledis Entertainment can be seen in the following:
“Hello. This is Pledis Entertainment.
We announce our position on the claims that were posted online regarding SEVENTEEN member Mingyu’s school days.
First, we apologise for not being able to share our position more promptly. After recent claims were made, we had checked with the artist himself and taken additional procedures to verify the facts. In the process, we confirmed that there is a discrepancy between what was posted and what we have checked with the artist.
As there are many issues being raised socially regarding school violence, we decided it was foremost in importance to check the exact facts of the matter and are currently carrying out steps to verify every matter. We apologise that we are late in announcing our position due to this process.
As stated above, we used various ways to contact the person involved in the matter at the time in order to verify the exact facts and are currently in touch with them as well. We have checked with the artist’s former classmates and other acquaintances about the circumstances at the time.
To first explain what has been confirmed so far, it was said that the artist bullied a student with disabilities, but this is completely false.
The artist clearly remembers the person who is being referred to as the victim, so we were able to contact their mother after asking around. She has confirmed to us that the person being referred to as the victim had in fact been on good terms with the artist. The mother remembered the names of the students who bullied her child at school, so she was able to confirm this fact with us immediately.
The person who was referred to as the victim is currently living well in society and feels burdened about the incidents of their past being known without their consent and in a way that they did not wish for. Despite this, they have verified the facts with us for the sake of the artist.
We are actively looking into the other matters as well. However, it is difficult to identify the people who uploaded the posts online, and in some of the posts, the writer has expressed their reluctance to be reached out to, making it a situation in which it is not only difficult to get into contact with them but also one that requires discretion.
We respect the writer’s position of not wanting a direct confrontation. At the same time, if it’s what the writer wants, we are open to meeting with the writer and confirming the facts at any time and in the way they prefer, and we will take measures accordingly after that.
We have no objections to the opinion that the society-wide issue of school violence must be considered from the victim’s perspective. However, in addition to the victim’s perspective, we determined that it was necessary to clearly verify the facts before taking any necessary measures.
The matters that were deemed problematic were incidents that took place in the past when the artist was in elementary school and middle school, so we believe that it is necessary to verify the facts and get as close as possible to what really happened in order to make a judgement.
The artist himself shared his apology for causing discomfort to fans due to this issue being raised. He has temporarily halted his scheduled activities and entrusted the company to take the necessary measures to confirm the facts. We also bow our heads in apology for causing discomfort with something related to our artist.
This announcement is not the end of this matter, and we will continue to confirm the facts and take measures accordingly. However, we ask for your understanding as this is not a simple process and will take some time.
It is most important to meet those who have stated they were harmed, verify the facts, and help their mental wounds heal. In addition to this, we cannot make a swift decision about something that will impact an artist’s life without making sure of the facts, and we ask for your understanding on this as well. Of course, after we have completed our fact-checking and find that there was clear culpability, we promise to take clear measures accordingly.
We once again share our apology for causing an inconvenience with a matter related to our artist”.