Speaking out is just as hard as the courage it takes to endure and survive bullying so this is really such a difficult story to hear come to light. Popular girl’s group AOA is all over K-news this weekend after former member Mina (Kwon Min Ah) went public via multiple lengthy SNS posts alleging a decade’s long bullying she suffered from one member the group leader Jimin and solely targeted at her. Like, WTF is wrong with that girl if this is true. It was so bad and so pervasive Mina attempted to slit her write multiples times to end her suffering. She was not allowed to cry when her father was in the hospital with late stage cancer, was told she was a downer after her dad died, was called stupid and useless frequently, was forced to be respectful to Jimin as the unni and leader, and was basically the target of verbal aggressions both micro and macro. So far the agency and the other group members have not made a statement but this may mark the end of AOA as a group which has seen three member departures in the last four years including Mina in 2019. If what Mina is alleging is all true, I just want to give her a big hug and tell her to love herself and not let this define her or mar the rest of her life.
I was so sad for her when I first read it!
Update: it is true and Jimin gave her an “apology.” Her apology was so meek and so fake. It is crazy how horrible humans are to each other.
FNC Entertainment their agency (employer) are accountable as well to allow Jimin to behave like that and if the other members ignored the bullying and did nothing then they’re just as guilty. Let’s just admit it – K pop kingdom is like the modern day ‘Gladiators’. It’s a cut throat, survival of the fittest merry go round and all we see is the prettiest most talented ones performing but under that veneer is the ugly truth. Mina’s story is tragic and I’m all in support of her telling the world the horror of what she had to endure from within her own group. Gosh and 10 years of it!
Jimin – Not nice, not cool at all.
I do hope that Mina can recover and move on from this unfortunate experience. I hope she realises sharing this makes her a stronger person and empowers others as well. Much love and happiness x
The other members were also allegedly bullied but Mina was the main target
It’s really sad that this had to go on for 10 years. Personally, I hold the company’s management more responsible than either the bully or the victim, for creating a culture in which bullying was allowed to continue. They couldn’t be unaware at some point that this was going on. As management, recruiting girls at a very young age as trainees, they are under an obligation to ensure that not only the physical needs of their trainees are met, but that they are mentally okay as well. Though this probably happened in the past when mental health wasn’t taken seriously in Korea. Because of some recent high profile suicides, and the exposure of a lot of toxic culture in K-ent to the public in recent times, people are beginning to see the value in ensuring the mental health of those working in such a high pressure environment. Regular checks with a counselor, and management taking timely remedial action will go a long way in addressing this, so that victims do not have to suffer for years with a stiff upper lip, holding everything inside and pretending to be okay. I’m not excusing Jimin, far from it, but it is obvious that she was able to go that far because her environment allowed it. I’m also very angry that the company couldn’t let Mina take some leave to care for her father in the hospital. That’s messed up!
I strongly agree with everything you´ve stated. It´s too easy to simply put all the blame on Jimin (she definitely has some responsibility) but the company created the environment for this to happen.
I agree with you 200% . It’s time to end the omerta . I think that the government should not watch the other way of what’s going on in theses agencies . Economy it’s important but not over humans . Honestly when i was young i used to think that K entertainment was ” pure” but now i think that’s not better than any other country !
Adal, if I could like your comment a thousand times, I would. I really hope this issue being brought to light is another stepping stone in normalizing mental health services for everyone.
And active methods to promote anti-bullying
Koala after her first attempt, she told FNC…they didn’t believe her….Also AoA went to her house and Jimin apparently yelled at her screaming and shouting for a knife to kill herself. Later she insisted she doesn’t remember and said sorry. We call guess that this human trash only said the word and its an empty apology. I liked AOA in Queendom. But I hope they disband and cancel Jimin.
That’s not an apology, it’s a threat and gas lighting! All best wishes to Mina.
I dont want to be that person but the leader’s face and vibe tells some about her already. Im so glad she was able to come out what a brave girl! I hope she has people who truly cares for her.
Yeah she has a sour face.
And, discussing about this issue publicly won’t help to either of them but destroy them.
It might, then again, it might not. Confronting a bully is one of the hardest things to do as a victim, but it is the first step to healing and closure. Mina has said she tried to confront Jimin one on one in the past, but lacked the courage to see it through. Maybe this was one way she knew she’d be taken seriously and heard. And it was effective in getting their attention, if not a sincere apology, from her abuser. But I think she held it in too long, she needed an outlet and it all poured out of her. Now, I hope that netizens can let it rest, and let both of them deal with the aftermath privately. How it’s handled going forward will decide the fate of these girls. I sincerely hope that no one commits suicide as a result of this. I do hope that Mina receives counseling/treatment and Jimin gets help for what looks like anger management issues.
It’s very difficult to give opinions when we don’t know the anything about the issue. The only thing clearer to me, both parties are vulnerable.
I agree with you 100%. As outsiders we don’t really know what pressures these girls are under or a fuller picture, other than one side of the story. All I have read and seen in the K-ent world since Jonghyun suicide in 2017 has affected my love of kdramas and kpop. I now wonder what hidden pain is behind the bright smiles of these young men and women bringing us entertainment.
Bullies exist everywhere. Be Strong and stand firm. Jimin – you are done!
I think it’s important wake up call for Korean entertainment industry how to manage their artists. Korea has a tough hierarchical work culture and I can’t imagine to call a bully,”Unni” and still has to show respect! Hopefully it will improve their working environments for the future idols. It sounds like buying a designer clothes made in sweatshops, People enjoy their great products without knowing their working condition. Someone has to speak up just like any other movements in our history.
This story is really sad. But it’s hard to judge. Her pain is without any doubt real. But the world is not white or black. She painted Jimin like a monster. But we don’t know what really happened except that idol life sucks : Chanmi tried to run away, Seolhyun was overworked, Jimin didn’t look good neither, she was really underweight and her plastic surgery looked like deseparate… The pressure of the agency and the fans is really hard for young people. Jimin as a leader had the most responsabilities. I don’t doubt she did bad things like every human being forced to live and work with people they didn’t choose. Did she really bully? It’s another question. Mina said it was only Jimin but the other members would have heard or seen it.
The most important is that Mina gets the help she needs. Her agency wrote they will help her. But the fact she didn’t work since debut 2019 doesn’t help her depression…
The culture of seniority though and the power it allows to wield to junior members of society. Last month an athlete girl killed herself because she was physically, mentally and emotionally abused by her coach, doctor, senior teammates. However, even when Korean society allows this to happen, as a human being how can someone inflict pain and injury of that magnitude and on repeat to another person? Only sick people can do those. Even the act of slapping someone for anything is horrible. Is it right to assume then that many of these people are mentslly sick? That’s cruelty. You dont even do them to your dogs. But these people practically on a day to day basis? Wow. A society so messed up.
Welp, their agency announced that jimin woul be leaving the group, and retire from the industry. Wonder what would happen next to AOA.
She’s leaving because she was outed to have a man came for sex at their dorm and not because she’s bullying Mina for 10 years! Talking about company priority. AOA needs to go, who will support bunch of bystanders?
Easy for you to say. Other members still need to make a living. You are so cruel just like Jimin! Be more humane please.
The bystanders just there to save their careers and turned blind eyes to Mina’s bullying for a decade for money! That’s not humane. Even animals can do better! Did you read Mina’s last words? Do you think public will give them a chance? I bet they regretting for not stepping up! The cruel one is people like you that making excuses for the cultures for bystanders. The lesson is treat others as you want to be treated because there’s consequences/karmas.If there’s bully, STEP UP!!
I won’t claim animals can do better. Natural instinct is to survive. The bystanders are merely applying that natural instinct. As I have said, it is easy for you to say whatever unless you were in the Group. Hypocrites talk too much without empathy. I am not siding with anyone here. Those who are not speaking up probably have their own reasons. Don’t be too simple and naive to believe just the weak. You may not support the Group now but I do feel for the other members. It takes Mina 10 years to step up, does this sound easy for you too?
I know it’s not easy to step up. I’ve been there, done that. I was one of the bystanders who saw a family member who’s bullying my loved one. The family member had a lot of power in my culture, so it’s not easy to step up. As I’ve seen my loved one became depressed and sometimes suicidal, I found the courage to step up and called out the bully family and all the family members who were bystanders. I got a lots of blacklass curses and isolated from other family members, but I felt good for stepping up for once. I felt good I could help and set free my loved one even myself of the fear of this bully. It took me 17 years, but I’m glad I did it. I’m free for guilt trip of becoming one of bystanders. It hounds you as bystanders, believe me. I like myself better because I could say I love others as I love myself.
Thanks for your sharing. You are very respectable in stepping up for your loved one. 17 years is a long time. The difference in your case and the AOA case is yours is family, AOA is just work. How many coworkers will step up against authorities while they also have their own family to feed? There is no right or wrong. Just life choices. AOA members were not friends to begin with, big difference.
To you might be a big difference between family and coworkers, but to me I just see them as the same. I think become humane is not only pick and choose whom you want to be kind to. I wish all the best to you and the rest of AOA and their future endeavor.
First you said AOA needs to go. And now you wish the best for the rest of AOA. Talking about double standards. LOL.
Bullying is everywhere but it seems it’s more pervasive in the Korean culture? I hope meaningful change will happen and that the next generation (not just in Korea) will be kinder to each other
I don’t think she is being brave, especially in our culture of victim culture and without fact checking. So far just her word is enough to destroy Jimins career without any evidence, and nobody cares. She might just as well be bitter because she wasnt as popular and unhappy, we don’t know. Before mobilizung the mob it might be nice to wait and observe first, but apparently thats not necessary anymore. I’m sorry if what she says is true but I don’t think we sould be this easily prepared to just take her word for it and start bashing someone else. I hate mob justice that is all to readily utilized by alleged victims nowadays. We shouod be more careful is all I’m saying.
If jimin was innocent,. Just call her group mates. Last time i saw her with seolhyun. Bring aoa members and defend her. But where are they? Bystanders. They saw their friends got bullied. Not one. But two. Choa was also a victim. She left aoa eventho she was the main vocalist.
If jimin was innocent, sue mina!!! Some idols got the same issues before, most of them are still with the groups. Mina left aoa, fnc could give their support to jimin. But nope.
Seolhyun is now also in trouble as Netizens are pointing her out too. No one knows the real truth behind the scenes except Mina and Jimin. All I can tell is that Jimin is not a kind person.