Lee Hae In issues lengthy statement detailing her ‘Idol School’ experience following recent controversy

Following the recent controversies surrounding ‘Idol School’ that have emerged, former contestant Lee Hae In has come forward with a statement.

She mentions that she’s hesitant to come forward but doesn’t want to speak through her dad or anybody else anymore. She starts by stating she has no knowledge about the vote manipulation or anything like that.

I believe I am someone who can’t know for sure whether there was any manipulation [of the results] or not, and I’m not sure whether the existence of manipulation is an important part of my life. Over a long period of time, I have felt that life is not fair to everyone, and setting aside what is going on, just as I was lucky to be able to be active for a short period of time and meet the fans who are supporting me, I was ready to just think of “Idol School” as an opportunity I was unfortunately unable to grab. I believe the truth will be revealed through the police investigation.

That said, she calls out the ‘Idol School’ staff for lying about the audition process for the show.

Regarding the controversy about the audition with 3,000 people, it’s true that I was asked to not participate. If the staff are going to say that everyone did participate in those auditions, I want to ask them if they’d be willing to release the video tapes of everyone. The broadcast date and the date we actually began living in dorms together were completely different. I will only speak of the factual things I know, setting aside any personal speculations I have.

Again, the fact that some are pre-selected is not necessarily what’s fishy, but the fact that they’re lying while they’re already facing a legal investigation is.

She also talks about unfair practices and essentially manipulation by the show.

When we were preparing for “Mr. Mr” on “Idol School,” we prepared for the performance thinking we were competing amongst ourselves, like the position battle on “Produce 101,” but on the day of the performance, the rules were changed so that it was a battle between teams. For “Catallena,” which was supposed to be a live dance performance, the opposing team lip synced their parts. For the last mission for the live show, where we were auditioning for new songs, I was told by the people who rejected me that the staff were against me, and they apologized to me. Other than this, there were also instances where they would tell us to move to a beat, even though there wasn’t any music playing, and say that a song was good, or to turn around and smile, filming scenes like a drama.

She then says that it’s not true 41 people signed contracts with CJ E&M, that only a certain amount of people did, and talks about an incident that made it feel the results were pre-determined.

Unlike the reports, not all 41 people received exclusive contracts, only a few people. If they really want to claim that everyone signed a contract, then they can end this issue by revealing the account balance that shows payment of a contract deposit. The day before I was eliminated on “Idol School,” they were going up to certain contestants who were probably going to debut but didn’t want to and consoled them. This made me think that I was probably going to be eliminated, and I prepared my elimination speech just in case, and after preparing for my performance the next day, I went on stage thinking that it would be the last stage of my life. As expected, I was eliminated, coming in at 11th place. I want to ask the staff who handed me a microphone. Why did you make the person who came in 11th place do an elimination speech when you didn’t ask the person in 10th place to do so, in a competition that only picked nine people? I want to know what you were thinking when you filmed a two-shot of me and another contestant who had appeared on survival shows.

She also confirms the other reported stories about the conditions they lived under, stressing that this was not just about being a bit hungry or cold like others had inferred.

Like what has been reported on the news recently, we never spent a single day outside of the Yangpyeong English Town from the moment we entered in May till the final broadcast. I believe this system, which was unlike “Produce 101” where we were only in the dorms for a short period of time, was only possible because we had our phones taken away and we didn’t have agencies to protect us. About once a month, we were given the opportunity to buy necessities at Olive Young, and we had nothing to eat other than at meal times. Even if you missed a meal because you were sleeping from fatigue or because you were sick, we weren’t allowed to go to the store in the facilities, so it’s true that we starved. Like what was reported, it’s true that contestants who would go to school once or twice a month would smuggle food back in their clothes, and many of them had that food taken away as the staff would conduct body searches once they returned. The temperatures of Yangpyeong are very different from Seoul, and it felt much colder. As the end date neared, many of us continued to object to our treatment but the staff said they couldn’t let us out, so they let us get just one package from our parents. Do you really think this was just because we were a little hungry and cold? The staff would order food for themselves and eat snacks, and we would sometimes smuggle away the food they left behind to eat it, there were no human rights when we were filming. Most of the contestants were underage, and they did not keep industry standards for filming hours. We developed skin diseases, stuck in studios without a single window, but the staff just told us to sleep. We complained and complained and when we were finally granted permission to move dorms, that’s when we realized, nothing would change unless we spoke up. We were at least able to go to the hospital of our choice. I believe this was all because they did not have enough managers to take care of so many people. But that does not change the fact that they did not provide us with basic support while living in those dorms, where we stayed for their convenience. For five months, we lost concept of time and we were not paid any money as that was before the law was changed. We were trapped there, and people will tell us, “But you wanted to be there.” But I believe that, like when you get a job at a company you wanted to go to, you shouldn’t be forced to endure unreasonable situations.

Finally, she expanded on what her father talked about regarding their promises to her to debut.

After the finale, I felt ashamed to see my parents and go to the party afterwards, so I met with the teachers by myself to console my heart. I had crumbled and was crying because I was eliminated, and I was left speechless when the staff came up to me to ask if this was really worth crying about. The day after I was eliminated, I asked to terminate my contract, and asked to know the truth about the manipulation controversy that was present at the time. The response I got was, “You’re trending on search engines right now, you’re the winner,” and when I said I was worn out and didn’t want to be in a team, they promised to make me a team. They asked me what shows I wanted to appear in, they said they’d let me appear in all the dramas and other things I’d been personally contacted for, that they wouldn’t leave me hanging in the practice room, that they’d let me pursue individual activities while preparing to debut in a group. When I was with other trainees, who hadn’t been training for that long, they even said that I was the only one with a promised debut and if they weren’t ready, I would be allowed to debut on my own. They said we’d have to push the debut back a little to prepare as a dancer for MAMA, for which I agreed, but after MAMA, the timing became awkward and they said that if I do to many activities on my own, people might get tired of seeing me so I did what they asked and focused on training with the others as the oldest and leader of the group. Seeing the article that “Produce 48” would be taking place, I expressed my desire to appear on the show because I wanted to do something, but they told me it would be best for me to not appear, so I continued to go to the agency by myself to train, with nothing but the hopes of the October debut that they had promised me.

She talks about how they didn’t fulfill their end of the deal.

Trainees sign a trainee contract while artists sign an artist contract. For artist contracts, there is an obligation for each party to faithfully carry out their role as there is money involved. If I had known that I was going to be a trainee all throughout my artist contract, then I would have signed a trainee contract. All I did in terms of activities was one radio appearance and attending Fashion Week just once, so I really have no words if people are going to claim the agency did things for me. The people who had been so proactive in holding on to me when I said I didn’t want to do this anymore, none of the higher ups would meet with me when I asked to terminate my contract this year, as it was becoming too difficult economically to carry on as the promised October debut date had long passed. What I asked for wasn’t to just leave the agency. I asked them to just give me a sense of direction, even if the details weren’t concrete. As the debut project that had been discussed when I signed my contract was basically over, I wanted to know what the new plans were. But they told me they had nothing to tell me yet, and they said it would be difficult for me to do anything on my own, such as acting, so I requested that we come to an agreement to terminate my contract as they did not fulfill their duties of the contract. I asked for this in February, and we came to an agreement on April 30, but I only received the document that finalized the agreement in the summer after I contacted them every day for it. This is the post-it that came with the document [“You’ve worked hard all this time. We’ll support you from afar.”]. Thinking that years of my life are in that single post-it, I can’t hide the feeling of emptiness inside of me. I didn’t want to talk about this and I know that I will lose if I speak up, but I felt like not speaking up would lead to misunderstandings and regrets later in life, so I’m sharing the facts. I apologize for posting about such an unfortunate issue. As in my case, where I signed a contract and did not make it, there were others who signed contracts who didn’t make it those who didn’t sign contracts who did make it. I want to make it clear that it can’t be used as proof of manipulation and can’t be used to make assumptions about people. People like me have no way of knowing if there were people chosen to be in the final lineup in advance. All I know is that we weren’t 41 people who had been chosen out of 3000 in this competition. I hope there aren’t any misunderstandings.

Almost a literal receipt.

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병원도 선택해서 갈수있었습니다. 이모든건 사실 이많은 인원을 통제할수있던 매니저 인력이 부족해서 라는걸 알고있습니다 그렇지만 그렇다고 그들이 편하자고 쭉 합숙을 진행하며 기본적인 지원도 하지않은건 바뀌는 사실이 아니라고 생각합니다. 오개월 내내 24시간 뭐 시간개념없이 촬영한 저희에게 법안이 생기기전이라 출연료 하나받지못하고 그곳에 같혀 생활해야했던 이유가 단지 니들이 가고싶어서 한거잖아 라고 한다면 정말 할말이 없지만 어떤 회사도 본인이원해서 취직했기때문에 불합리한일들까지 참아야한다고 강요할수없는것이라 생각합니다. 마지막 생방송이끝난날 저는 부모님을 볼 자신도 쫑파티를 갈 마음의 여유도남지않아 혼자 선생님들을 만나서 마음을 달랬습니다. 떨어져 주저앉아 계속 우는제게 이게뭐 울일이냐고 묻는 제작진에게 저는 정말 할말이 남아있지도않습니다 떨어진다음날 계약 해지를 요구했고 그당시있던 조작논란에대해 진실이뭔지 알려달라 하였지만 너가실검에 떠있지않냐 너가더 승리자인거다 라고하는둥 더이상 지쳐 팀이하기싫다는 제게 널위한 팀을 만들어주겠다고 약속했습니다 그리고 나가고싶은 프로그램이 뭐냐고 그당시 개인적으로 연락이왔던 드라마나 여러일들도 다 시켜줄거고 연습실에 절대 방치하지않을거고 개인활동하면서 팀 데뷔준비할수있게 해주겠다고 약속하셨고 훗날 비교적 연습기간이짧았던 연습생친구들과 함께있을때도 나는 여기서 데뷔 약속한거 해인이 밖에없다 다들 준비안되면 해인이 혼자라도 시킬거다 라고 말씀을 하셨습니다 당장은 마마 백댄서 준비를해야하니 좀뒤로 미루자는말에 그렇게했지만 마마가 끝나고 시기가 애매해져 활동을 하면 이미지소모라는 말에 팀에서 맏언니고 리더가 연습에 집중을해줘야 동생들이 잘 따라온다는말에 정말 같이연습했던 친구들하나보고 의지하면서 시간을보냈습니다 그와중 프듀48 이 한다는 기사를보고 뭐라도 잡고싶은마음에 출연하고싶다는 의사를 밝혔지만 너는 하지않는게 좋겠다며 말리셨고 그래서 저는 회사에 홀로 연습을 나가며 시간을 보냈습니다 약속했던 10월 데뷔만을 바라보면서요 연습생은 연습생계약을하고 아티스트는 아티스트 계약을합니다 계약금이 오가는 아티스트 계약은 서로의 역할을 충실히 해야할 의무가 있습니다 제가 계약기간이 흘러가는내내 연습생을 다시 할거면 연습생계약을 했지 왜 아티스트 계약을 해야했던것인지 모르겠습니다 활동이라곤 라디오 한번 패션위크 한번이 전부였던 제게 뭐라도 시켜줬잖아 라고 하신다면 정말 할말이없지만 그렇게 하기싫다는 사람을 잡아서 설득시킬땐 적극적이시던분들이 경제적으로 너무힘들어 약속한10월이 훌쩍지난 올해 계약해지를 요구하니 고위직관계자분들께선 아무도 만나주질않았습니다. 제가요구한건 대뜸 회사를 나가겠다가 아니라 구체적이진않아도 진행방향을 제시해달라는 거였습니다 처음 계약할당시 이야기했던 데뷔프로젝트는 무산애 가까웠기 때문에 새 방향을 알고싶었습니다 근데 당장말해줄수있는게 없다는 답변을 들었고 혼자서도 연기로도 당장은 플레이가 힘들다라는 말씀에 전속계약서상의무를 갑이 이행할수 없다고 판단해 해지합의를 요청한 것입니다 정확히 이월이였고 해지합의서상 날짜는 4월30일로 명시되어있었으나 이마저도 매일매일 독촉해서 받아낸 해지합의서에 실제받은날짜는 몇개월뒤인 여름쯤이였습니다 해지합의서에 실제로 붙어있던 포스트잇입니다 저 포스트잇 한장에 제 몇년이 들어가있다라는 생각을하면 허무한마음을 감출수가없습니다 말하고싶지도않았고 말해서 잃는것밖에 없다는걸 너무잘알지만 말하지않으면 많은 오해를낳고 훗날 후회하게 될까 사실만을 기록합니다 좋지않은일로 글을올리게되 죄송합니다 계약을했던 제가 떨어진것처럼 계약이 합격으로 이어지지않은친구도있었고 계약하지않은친구도 데뷔했기때문에 그게 조작의 증거나 지표는 아니라는 말을 합격여부에대해 아이들은 추측할뿐 그누구도 확신하거나 알수없었다는 사실에 대해 덧붙입니다 최종합격자와 관련된 내정자라는건 존재했는지 저희는 알수없습니다 다만 제가아는건3000명중에서 뽑힌 41명이 경연에임한건 아니라는 사실뿐입니다 오해가 없길바랍니다

A post shared by 이해인 (Lee Hae In) (@s2onlyone1) on

It’s partially an airing of grievances, but it’s primarily about coming clean and talking about the truth. It seemed to be coming from a place of not being able to stand the speculation and just wanting her side out there once and for all even if it exposes her a bit as a part of it (signing the contract that others didn’t).


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