CNBLUE‘s Yonghwa has been embroiled in a preferential admission scandal involving Kyung Hee University recently, and it was something that he ended up issuing a general apology for. The latest on that front is that he’s had his admission to the university cancelled and the professor involved has been removed from their position.
According to MBN News on January 18, Kyung Hee University ultimately decided to cancel the admission of Yonghwa, who was revealed to have been admitted with preferential treatment. It’s concluded that the idol’s admission process clearly violated the rules of the university. The professor involved in Yonghwa’s unfair admission has also been removed from office. Further punishment will be announced after the police investigation.
Yikes. And this all is being levied before the police investigation has even concluded.
To make matters worse, an alleged former FNC Entertainment employee has come forward to say Yonghwa applied for graduate school to postpone military enlistment.
On January 19, media outlets revealed notes from a former FNC employee that state, “Enlistment date on August 2, 2016 has been delayed to September 30,” and “Again… pushed back for doctorate degree for the second time.” The employee told CBS No Cut News, “Jung Yong Hwa applied to graduate school as a way to push back his enlistment,” adding, “Other celebrities have delayed their enlistment like this as well. It was to the point there was an employee in place who attended online classes for them.”
In response, FNC denied that he applied only to delay enlistment and clarified that he attends online classes himself.
FNC Entertainment responded, “It’s true there is an employee who helps with school issues, but the celebrities themselves listened to the lectures through a tablet PC themselves. All the other artists who attend cyber college also do the same.” Yonghwa’s agency has further denied the allegations, stating, “He applied for the doctorate program at the graduate school in order to pursue his interests and due to the college’s advice. His application has no relation to the delay in his military enlistment. Yonghwa used standard ways to delay enlistment as a celebrity, and it’s not true that he applied for a doctor degree to delay. The former employee’s allegations are not true, and in the case that these false facts continue to be spread, we’ll take strong legal action.”
FNC doesn’t deny that he’s been delaying military enlistment, just that he didn’t go for a doctorate in order to do so. Thus, it’s difficult to say anything for sure because intent is what’s being questioned. However, it seems most likely that even if the alleged former FNC employee’s story is not completely true, then it’s awful close to the truth. I don’t say that because I think Yonghwa is a terrible person, but rather because delaying enlistment is likely the answer to why many celebrities do what they do in regards to education (in addition to it generally boosting their images).
That said, while the system is the root of the problem, I do think there are factors that make this especially bad to people: 1) Yonghwa is a public figure with a level of influence in the aftermath of Jung Yoora. 2) It’s been reported that this was a particularly brazen attempt to circumvent the process. 3) It’s a doctoral program instead of undergrad.
Anyway, Yonghwa has now been accused of preferential treatment in education, avoiding military enlistment, and insider trading, and hasn’t exactly cleared himself in any of them. It doesn’t get much worse than that trifecta in the eyes of the public as far as white-collar issues go, so … yeah. Not great.