AOA‘s Choa‘s absence from AOA was a mystery to fans that worried them into thinking that she’s left the group. FNC Entertainment later clarified that she was just on a scheduled break, which had people increasingly skeptical, and recently Choa herself confirmed that narrative in an Instagram post.
On May 16, Choa took to her personal Instagram account to explain and said, “Hello, this is Choa! I was a little surprised by all the attention I got for the first long break I’ve had since my debut, but I’m sincerely grateful that you were thinking of me even when I’m not there.” She continued to write, “I’ve been swept up in a controversy about my absence, but the break I took was something I had planned and discussed with the head of our company since before we filmed the music video for ‘Excuse Me’ in December 2016. I suggested letting you all know before I took the break because I knew you would be waiting for me, but I was advised against putting out an official statement for a personal break. Our management team was of the opinion that I should refrain from using social media while on my break, so I complied though I wasn’t fully on board with the idea. I should have tried harder to persuade them for the sake of our waiting fans. I think I was too complacent. I want to sincerely apologize to all those who waited and showed their support for me.” Choa added, “It may be because I’m releasing this statement so late, but there are a lot of unkind speculations and rumors going around. All I’m doing is being on a break that I had planned in advance, so I hope that there are no more bad rumors that come out of this. To those posting these baseless speculations! Those really hurt the people they’re about. Please delete them.” She concluded with, “As I conclude this post, I would like to once again express my gratitude to those who have shown their support for me. I hope to recharge and work hard to be even better than before. Thank you.”
The cynical side of me sees something like this that comes sort of randomly over a week after FNCE addressed it, and sections in it like where she was “advised” against explaining herself beforehand and where she encourages people to delete the rumors, then thinks something is definitely wrong and the company guided her message in this. Choa’s my favorite in AOA and I think she operates best in a group, so I definitely prefer if she stays, but I don’t think this is that reassuring.
To be clear, I feel like it’s totally realistic to believe she’s just taking a break due to reasons they don’t actually want to disclose (and fans are saying she has health issues), but it’s hard not to be skeptical when we’ve seen this play so many times before.