NCT’s Taeyong caught up in bullying rumors, SME releases statement

Since his debut, Taeyong of NCT has been surrounded by controversy, but a new one recently emerged as he was accused of being a school bully in middle school.

“There were seriously a lot of guys who would harass that friend back then, just because she was chubby. Lee Taeyong was one of the guys, he would treat the girls he found pretty (by his standards) and who were lively well, but will look down on kids who weren’t lively and who were ugly (by his standards).”

“First of all, I’ll prove my legitimacy with this graduation photo, we were in the same class in our second year. I made an online cafe with our class’ students and you could only join by using your real name. Swears were also prohibited. I didn’t want to do it like that but had no choice since the TA and the homeroom teacher were also in the cafe. First of all, the first person who shared Taeyong’s rumors on community sites didn’t provide any proof of graduation album, I don’t know who shared it either. The thing I’m sure of is that if I wasn’t a student of our class, I wouldn’t be able to write this, nor would I be able to join the cafe.”

“Title of the cafe: the superior class 4
Lee Taeyong: Hul XXX… there are 10 people in the photo but I’m seeing 13″

“The name I hid is my friend’s name and it’s true that this was written by Lee Taeyong. His ID got rejected a couple of times it’s known that he has 4 IDs”

“The post with the group picture was made by me. I thought that naming the group “the superior class 4″ would be a good idea”
(The screenshot below shows that the name of the group cafe is ‘the superior  class 4’ on the last row. It also shows that the cafe is set on “private”)
Also, the fact that I made the group cafe private is a proof in itself.
I am really scared of being cornered by people, I’m also scared of spreading rumors. But this is not a “rumor”, so people who are calling this a “rumor” are a bit… I’m scared of revealing the truth. I’m sorry towards Taeyong for bringing things that happened a few years ago but even so, what he did was wrong so I hope he stops playing innocent. There are countless of his fans who are trying to hush this issue down but I think that it would be better for him to reflect on his past and acts better. Also, since I’m the admin of the cafe I’m a bit scared since everyone in our school knows who I am… I’m scared that there will be lies belittling me that will come out.. I’m just a commoner ㅠㅠㅠ
My friends also think that I might get hurt and some of them also told me not to reveal this. But there are also other kids telling me that this is the thing that I should do, so I made up my mind and decided to upload this.
I don’t want to criticize Taeyong but even so, I hope that he knows that mocking and harassing that chubby classmate and other “ugly” kids are wrong.
If there’s something lacking, please let me know and I’ll edit this post.”

As far as evidence for bullying rumors go, this was pretty extensive and obviously included screenshots of Taeyong basically being a dick.

Additionally, a report by Wikitree was released about the accusation.

“I was in the same class as Taeyong in 8th grade. We would often hang out together. “A” was very quiet. We weren’t friends with them. We would bully “A”, and that includes Taeyong.” – B

One day, “A” threw a chair at us because they couldn’t handle the bullying. In the next class, “A” cut their hand with a box cutter, self harming themselves. The teacher ran to grab (the cutter) while the other students stopped “A”.
— “B”

Taeyong was timid and didn’t lead the bullying. But when he was with his friends, he would say some things to “A” when they were bulling “A”. I was a bystander at times. I couldn’t stop Taeyong.
— “B”

Taeyong had a reputation where his likes and dislikes are very clear. He was nice to pretty or popular classmates. But on the other hand, he wasn’t the same with classmates who were fat or ugly.
Because of this, there are classmates that remember him as a good friend, and some who don’t.
— “B”

Out of the 100 girls, there are probably 50 of them whose figures are like Otakus?
These facilities are great…
— Taeyong (2009)

That caused a clarification to emerge. Fans are spreading it acting like it exonerates him but it makes clear initially that it was not a defense of Taeyong’s mistakes back then as the evidence provided was true. However, it clarifies that they didn’t say anything about school violence, and things were unnecessary added. Additionally, a teacher says the class was fine. Granted, the teacher not knowing about bullying and what not (or protecting the bullies or lying about it) wouldn’t exactly be new or rare.

Additionally, following the reports emerging, former SM Entertainment trainee Minwoo posted about them on Instagram Stories. “I’ve been watching him since my trainee days and all of these are facts. His personality is really shit. Stop protecting him already.’

All of this led to SM Entertainment releasing an official statement, where they reveal their checking led to no misdeeds being found.

In response to the reports about Taeyong from 2009, 10 years ago, we asked Taeyong’s family to check his records and other materials from the middle school in question to find out the exact situation, as his agency. According to the data, there were no records of any disciplinary action or comments made by the teachers, nor did the parents of the child (reportedly) involved ever have a meeting with his parents. Taeyong has said in the past that he deeply regrets his actions, behavior, and senseless remarks he made in middle school before he developed his dream of becoming a singer. He has also apologized to everyone he hurt, whether it was during his trainee period before debut, or after debuting. Even now, he does his best without forgetting to reflect on his own actions.

Right, so even this doesn’t defend essentially him being a dick in the past, but it’s being put out essentially to deny that he was the worst kind of bully that was violent. We’ll see if anything else develops from here, but it seems like everybody involved is somewhat done with it.

As far as how this impacts what you think of Taeyong, it’s up to the individual tolerance, really. I mean if you supported him to this point, it probably doesn’t change much honestly.

It certainly seems like everybody agrees Taeyong was not a pleasant person back in the day, but is he that person now? I dunno. It’s an especially good question when kids are involved since they’re all using their undeveloped child brains and if one admits to wrongdoing and apologizes (and it’s not like sociopathtic violence) then I think it’s definitely possible for people to change. There’s nuance to it at least (one recent case made me think about it). I can understand that, but really it’s up to the individuals as nobody is truly wrong, per se.

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