K-Pop companies can often be quite shady towards their artists, and there have been plenty of moments where idols decided to speak up against their companies. Here are 5 moments where female K-Pop idols made surprising statements about their companies.

1. Former Nine Muses member Sera revealing why she got demoted as leader

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In an episode of Miss Back, former Nine Muses member Sera revealed the reason why she got demoted as the leader of the group. She revealed that back then, they pretty much did everything their agency asked them to do. So, when the agency told them that they needed to wear garter belts for a performance, they agreed.

When we had our first performance, our agency told us to put on garter belts.

— Sera

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However, Sera ended up breaking down in tears when she wore the garter belts.

I didn’t even know what garter belts were at the time. I thought it was a four-character idiom or something. When I saw myself in the mirror, I teared up. And when I saw my younger members in high school wearing it, I couldn’t control my emotions.

— Sera

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Sera broke down in tears during the performance, which caused them to halt filming multiple times. Sera then revealed that the company demoted her as the leader after this incident.

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2. CLC’s Elkie revealing why she’s terminating her contract with Cube Entertainment

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CLC has spoken several times about their disappointment with their agency (Cube Entertainment).

| clczone/YouTube

Recently, CLC’s Elkie revealed that she’s terminating her contract with Cube Entertainment. In a letter, Elkie wrote about the challenges that led her to this decision.

However, it’s sad that many times I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I have encountered many obstacles along the way but it is what it is. Sadly I couldn’t show you more and give you all I have. This made me feel so bad… and when I think of you who have been always supporting me makes me feel even more disappointed and depressed.

— Elkie

3. Stellar revealing how they were “used” by their company 

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When Stellar debuted in 2011, they originally had a concept that was a mix of cute and girl crush.

| Stone Music Entertainment/YouTube

In 2014, Stellar’s company decided to change the group’s concept to a sexy one.

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This concept change caused the members to get criticized by netizens, as they weren’t in favor of it. However, it turns out that the members were also not in favor of the concept. Former member Gayoung revealed that their company tricked them into filming provocative scenes for their music videos.

There was one scene where a member had to drink milk. The script said, ‘Missing your past lover, Tossing and turning in bed, Wake up and drink milk.’ We simply thought that they wanted her to drink milk to portray a morning scene. The member drank the milk for the scene, but they apparently told her, ‘Spill the milk while drinking.’ She thought that she was spilling it to show that the character had no strength, but we were shocked when we read the comments that said, ‘This scene can make you imagine a certain act’. The member who filmed it was only 20 years old at the time, and she was so shocked that she can’t drink white milk to this day. She was hurt a lot. No one knew that was [the purpose of the scene].

— Gayoung

Stellar ultimately disbanded in 2018.

4. Former gugudan member Sally revealing how the members were kicked out of their dorm

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Former gugudan member Sally revealed that in 2019, their agency had told them to leave their dorm and never come back. While some of the members tried to resist, they were ultimately unsuccessful.

At the beginning of 2019, my agency told me to go back home. When I asked them when I should come back, they told me there was no need to come back.

— Sally

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At the end of 2020, gugudan’s agency announced that the group would be disbanding.

Hello.

This is Jellyfish Entertainment.

First, we would like to thank all of the fans who have sent their love and support to gugudan. We are writing to inform you of our official position regarding the future of gugudan’s group activities.

gugudan, who have been working hard and have been well-loved since their debut, will be ending official group activities on December 31. After a series of long and in-depth discussions between the company and the artists, we have agreed to end the group activities.

Although the group activities will be over, we will do our best to provide our full support to the members’ various personal activities, such as music and acting.

Thank you again for your support for gugudan, and we would like to sincerely apologize to gugudan fans for the sudden news.

Finally, please continue to send your love and support to the members who will be embarking on their new paths.

— Jellyfish Entertainment

5. Former 4L member Yeseul revealing how her company’s marketing tactics forced her to leave

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4L faced criticism as soon as they debuted, as netizens were quite critical of their song “Move”. Netizens criticized both the group and company for their “19+ marketing,” as they believed that the outfits were too revealing and the performances were over-sexualized.

This affected the members greatly. Former member Yeseul revealed that she left 4L and their company due to the criticism and marketing tactics.

I thought to myself multiple times, ‘do I really have to resort to such matters?’ I did not want to resort to such things any longer and decided that staying in the company held no future for me. That’s why after thinking long and hard, I left the team.

— Yeseul