Here Are Some Controversies in K-POP That You Should Know About

While a scandal sometimes can be slipped under the carpet after a few years with the involved person continuing forward in life that is not the case when you are trapped in the midst of a controversy in South Korea, it becomes even more of a hapless situation when one is in the entertainment industry.
The pretty critically buzzing society can bring a person’s career down if the word got out that the speculated person was involved in some kind of a scandal/controversy. Some get out of it while the unfortunate ones go down with a lot of hate and harsh criticism

Here are some the controversies and scandals in k-pop that we think you should know about

1. Kim Hyun-Joong:
This actor , singer, entertainer in South Korea has received much love and acclaim for his role in Boys Over Flowers, roping in his rapping and singing skills, he’s been one of the most recognized South Korean celebrities.
But things certainly took a turn in  August 2014 , when a report surfaced that a young woman, Kim’s girlfriend had filed assault charges against him for domestic violence which left her with a fractured rib.

  • The police then investigated the actor but the whole investigation was dropped when the girlfriend dropped the charges. Apparently she demanded a settlement of about 600 million Korean won to drop the charges against him.
  • But there was some light when Kim admitted to a mutual physical fight for which he was fined 5 million won. It was later revealed by Kim’s lawyer that the girlfriend had concocted the charges;  her injuries which she’d sustained due to a gym workout.
  • This wasn’t the end, in 2015 February reports surfaced that Kim’s girlfriend (Yes, the same girlfriend who got back together with him after a brief separation) was pregnant with his child, to which Kim stated that he would take full responsibility if it were to be true.
  • With the girlfriend filling a lawsuit against netizens to Kim counter-suing his girlfriend for defamation of character, his enlistment in military, his acquittal of all charges against him and the birth of the baby; Phew it must been hell, , this certainly was much talked about in the media.

Kim was discharged from military in early February, 2017 with nearly over 1,500 fans who waited at his discharge venue.



2. Tablo:

Daniel Armand Lee popularly known as Tablo is a South Korean musician, who has scaled critical acclaim as the main lead of the Korean hip hop group Epik High with Mithra Jin,DJ Tukutz. Tablo’s career was soaring , it seemed like no one could tarnish it but the internet has a way of stirring up a brewing, hot damn cup of koffee and splashing it across an individual’s life, that’s what happened to Tablo.

The internet is a free place where one can easily criticize someone and even take it up a notch further to harass an individual.

  • An online forum known as Tajinyo (We Demand the Truth From Tablo)
    many users accused the entertainer of forging his educational qualifications.
  • Tablo had graduated from Stanford with a dual degree in English Literature and his Master’s degree in creative writing in three and a half years.
  • This was a time where in South Korea forged educational qualifications was a sensitive issue, where a museum curator was arrested for forging her credentials that she’d graduated from Yale University with a PhD, many more were (Prosecutors investigated about 120 cases of fraudulent diplomas, framing celebrities, politicians and surprisingly even a monk was in it too) .
  • The users of Tajinyo with more than 200,000 users started accusing Tablo of forgery, they didn’t quite stop there, they went further pulling Tablo’s family into the situation.
  • Tablo released his certifications to the media and you would think it would’ve stopped there but no the accusers then came forth with a new twisted theory that Tablo had stolen the identity of a man named Daniel Lee
    who had graduated from Stanford and questioned his immigration documents (His family immigrated to Canada when he was young).
  • Many users started sending emails to Stanford requesting evidence which was provided but still there was no end
    it took a drastic toll on Tablo psychologically, when his wife Kang Hye Jung  (A well acclaimed actress in the film industry) had given birth to a baby girl, Haru he said that he was terrified and scared because he didn’t know if they (the online accusers were watching him,further went onto to say that he didn’t know if the doctor who was injecting needles into his baby was one of them).
  • A documentary about Tablo travelling back to Stanford to get the transcripts from the University registrar and compare it with the original one, was broadcasted on MBC in a two-part special, which in fact was a legit sail for Tablo as it was confirmed that his credentials were nothing but the truth.
  • This is certainly one of the most heartbreaking incidents where one can feel how difficult it is to be harassed by people who hide under the cloak of anonymity, the psychological damage though is something that can be overcome with care and help; it is the same for everyone, celebrity or not, harassment can have serious inflictions on one’s life.
  • Tablo, signed with YG Entertainment (Win!) and released a solo album Fever’s End which topped the iTunes chart and was well received by critics.
  • Tablo has been involved in the composition, production and co-writing of all of the songs right from his Epik days.

The man, certainly is someone with an instinctive talent that sets him apart.

Daniel Armand Lee popularly known a Tablo

Click here to read more about his ordeal from the Stanford Alumni Magazine


Jessica, previously a member of SNSD was inappropriately touched during the end of 12th Annual Korea-China Song Festival, to ensure the betterment of the relations between Korea and China.


  • Many netizens and SONES, were convinced that a man had inappropriately touched Jessica.
  • This seems to have happened two times, when Jessica was giving the speech on behalf of SNSD at the end and when she was playing with the Korean flag.
  • Jessica turns to Hyoyeon to whisper something to which Hyoyeon seems to be giving a glare towards the man.
  • Hyoyeon then turns to Sooyoung, Yuri and says something to which they all seem to be giving disgusting looks towards the man, who was assumed to be a top excecutive.
  • The members quickly clear off the stage with Jessica visibly shaken.

S.M. was pretty dismissive of this issue as it released no statements whatsoeverand there was not that many fancams that I could find with the incident footage on it. Here’s a video link, you can see something is wrong from 4:30 in the video.

Jessica exited from SNSD in 2014, as it was stated that she was forced to exit the group later S.M Entertainment in early 2015 announced that the two parties have officially parted their separate ways. She later launched her success in the fashion industry with her venture, Blanc & Eclare, a fashion brand not just that she made a comeback as a solo artist with her album With Love, J under Coridel Entertainment. (Seriously , you gotta listen to ‘Love Me the Same’ your soul will be blessed and also because its so ‘fly’)



4. Stellar:

Stellar ,a comparatively unknown girl group in a time where GGs flourished, gained the attention of the country for their provocative music video’s , sexy choreography and stage outfits.

  • They received major criticism from netizens for their sexy concepts and choreography.
  • It seemed there was more to the whole thing, in an interview with No Cut News reported by Allkpop, the group members (Hyoeun, Gayoung, Minhee, and Junyool) revealed that their entertainment company ‘Entertainment Pascal’ had asked them to wear and perform explicitly.
  • One of the members, Hyoeun said this during the interview when asked about them having worries: If a group is not from a large-scale agency, it’s hard to gain attention even if the song and concept are great. Because this is reality, it’s pitiful when we see teams from other smaller agencies also decide to take on sexy concepts to become successful. 
  • Gayoung: We have to promote ourselves, but I couldn’t get myself to upload the controversial teaser image of us on my SNS. But we can’t always live doing only what we want. We have to do what the public wants for them to listen to our song.
  • Junyool: That’s right. Of course we do have worries, but every time I go up on stage, the urge to do music continues to grow.

Read the full interview here, just an excerpt of the interview might paint a different picture so click here and read the full article.

Hyoeun, Gayoung, Minhee, JunYool

5. Sulli:

Sulli, a former member of the much-loved, critically acclaimed girl group f(x) was under much backlash and hate for dating Choiza (Dynamic Duo) a rapper, who was much older than her.

  • Netizens pounded on her life as if it were a football field game so much so that Sulli decided to take a hiatus from the promotions of the f(x), when they were promoting their album Red Light.
  • The hiatus only worsened the whole ordeal further as fans and netizens constantly scrutinized Sulli life.
  • S.M. entertainment announced that Sulli would be leaving the group with the four members (Victoria, Luna, Amber and Krystal) continuing as a group. (Release of 4 Walls)
  • The company announced that she would be focusing on her solo career as an actress and other activities.
  • Sulli variably came under much scrutiny for her suggestive Instagram posts.
  • Early March, 2017, S.M. confirmed that Sulli and Choiza have broken up officially.


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3 Replies to “Here Are Some Controversies in K-POP That You Should Know About”

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