KBS JOY’s “Coin Law Room” recently gained attention for featuring two former girl group members on the show.
Warning: descriptions of sexual harassment.
On March 13, the show featured two female clients who once promoted in the same girl group but recently parted ways with the group. During the show, the women opened up about how their agency had treated them inhumanely.
The former girl group members shared, “They did provide us with rice. But there were bugs in it, so if we wanted to eat rice then we had to pick out the bugs [out of the rice] daily. Our parents paid the expenses for food, but our electricity and water were cut off. We had to look for a barbershop to wash our hair.”
They added, “While we were on our way to an event in Busan, there was a car accident and the rear bumper became crooked. Our necks hit [the inside of the car] three times and we spoke up about the pain, but despite this, we arrived at the event location in Busan by speeding. The next day after completing our event in Seoul, they did not take us to the hospital.”
One of the women shared, “So in the end, I went to the emergency room by myself.”
Showing his concern, Moon Se Yoon said, “If you release an album and promote, there’s a big possibility that the same situation might happen again,” to which the former girl group members replied, “It’s true. Even now there are other young idols who are promoting there [in the agency] again.”
Moon Se Yoon commented, “They are using the dream of (an idol debut) to satisfy themselves,” and lawyer Shin Joong Kwon added, “It’s abuse. Abuse.”
The former girl group members continued, “While we promoted for 3 years as a girl group, our manager, food expenses, and transportation were not provided by our company at all. We didn’t even have an office. We would use a coffee shop or a fast food place as an office space.”
They added, “We would also have performances at clubs that were filled with cigarette smoke. When we met with the people in question, they would touch our butts and stroke our thighs. While a member was in the restroom, they would put their numbers into the member’s phone to find out her phone number. And they would try to kiss us when pictures were being taken.”
The two women revealed that the agency CEO responded to all this by saying, “They must have done that because you are cute and like a daughter to them.” After hearing this, Song Eun Yi replied, “That’s ridiculous.”
The former members shared, “For three years, we did about 500 events. When we asked other girl groups, [they said] event fees usually start at around 5 million won (approximately $4,400). After we left, our CEO even changed cars.”