In September of 2019, NCT‘s Taeyong came under fire due to a credible bullying allegation that led to an SM Entertainment statement essentially clarifying that he never officially got in trouble for anything. However, their statement did include a blanket acknowledgement from Taeyong of past wrongdoings.
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.
It seemed intended on covering his bases on not only this alleged incident, but also the past incidents, as aimed to move on.
A month later though, it was reported that Taeyong apologized to the classmate that made the allegations, and that also included an SME statement on the matter.
“Recently, Taeyong personally apologized to his friend from middle school that was hurt by his mistakes, including his senseless words and actions. The friend accepted Taeyong’s apology, and they both cheered each other on for their growth in their respective futures. In addition, Taeyong expressed his regret to his friend who was unable to get in contact with him. Taeyong will not forget about his past, and use it as a way to help show him how to grow up and become a better person, and act properly with a humble mindset. Thank you.”
Every time these updates emerge there’s a predictable trend that goes something like allegation/report, fandom says it’s fake, Taeyong/SME vague acknowledgment of wrongdoing, continued fan denial anyway.
The same has happened with the latest development, though it seems the fans themselves are in the spotlight as well this time, as the friend of the classmate Taeyong reportedly bullied allegedly made a suicide attempt after what she says was incessant harassment by Taeyong’s fans.
“Toxic Use Of Metal
Individual Suicide Attempt
Date Of Hospitalization: February 12, 2020″
Taeyong fans found the home address, work address and personal information of the person (A) who helped the victim spread the news to the public (it was a student in Taeyong’s class), and revealed all his information. They used the fact that A was a victim of sexual assault to harass A, leading A to attempt suicide in February. A released a post today saying that they were in too much agony. A begged to stopped spreading rumors and told Taeyong fans to cut it down.
Difficult to read.
Aside from that, one of the most interesting parts about the recent post is that it says the aforementioned apology session was allegedly an ambush of sorts.
A claims that Taeyong consistently disregarded apologizing, but it was the reporter who set up the meeting. The victim went to the meeting believing that it was a 1:1 meeting but there were five representatives from SM, a lawyer, and Taeyong, who went to look for the victim. … This is also why the victim wasn’t able to meddle with the affair directly themselves. “First of all, he’s the first one who released articles claiming he apologized for all three things and that I didn’t inflate anything I claimed. I couldn’t say anything but after the third report, the company suddenly contacted me and we agreed to meet halfway and grabbed an appointment. I agreed to not say anything and not mention anything about him until the appointed date. They claimed that he went to all the victims to apologize to the victims, but I cannot validate that. I only know that myself, the victim whom he bashed her looks for, five of SM’s representatives, a journalist, and a lawyer all met together with Taeyong. The people who didn’t even validate whether I inflated my words were the same ones attacking my post. Furthermore, my friend who was the victim ended up in a situation where she couldn’t even say anything and couldn’t even clarify her position, so I couldn’t help but do it myself. If what I said wasn’t true, why would he acknowledge it and apologize? … They brought a lawyer with him to talk, they never met separately after. The victim and A couldn’t find a way to contact SM by themselves and the journalist is the one who set everything up, so the journalist was also there. A and the victim only knew that the journalist would be there, but when they arrived, they found that SM’s representatives and a lawyer were also there.”
Essentially they are saying the apology tour that he supposedly did (and people praised him for at the time) came off as little more than a bit of PR work for Taeyong and SME to them.
Also, they are fed up with the way fans are treating them.
Comment 1: OP-ah, I seriously support you.
A: I didn’t know that this would open the gates of hell for me. Lee Taeyong and even his agency both acknowledged it, but why are they (fans) not acknowledging it? I can’t understand.
Commen 2t: Ah, I’m upset. OP, I’m supporting you.
A: Each one of them (fans) really has no ability to relate to others, what should I do? I’m so fed up and my friend who’s the victim reading this would be so hurt.
Their ordeal sounds terrible, and if she is truly in such dire straits mentally, then it’s easy to understand why she’s updating on the situation and effectively begging to be left alone. Yet … the opposite appears to be happening.
In fact, I had not looked into the new developments until I saw the fan response to it. Primarily it has involved trending a hashtag intended on getting SME to stick up for Taeyong, which means the fandom not only continues to defend him but are using language that suggests he’s the victim in all this (common defenses have been rebutted already). Additionally, the international fandom has sent an outsized amount of hatred to any outlet that has even dared to cover these developments as if they are wrong for doing so … despite this whole thing being about the fandom’s alleged harassment of a person who was helping bullying victims.
That sure is something considering back when Taeyong reportedly apologized for the alleged bullying, fans were giving him credit for changing and being remorseful.
Now they say it was all made up based on some faulty translations and stuff like that, but again, the allegations were never retracted. That alone should call into question the credibility of all these Twitter threads people claim completely exonerate him, but it’s definitely not happening.
Regardless, it’s definitely fair to say that while Taeyong and SME have acknowledged wrongdoing on multiple occasions in the past already, they have yet to address this so we do not know their side of the story yet (or the complete veracity of this one). That said, given the amount of times they have owned up to previous bad behavior, I’d say it’s exceedingly reasonable for outlets to cover alleged new developments in this controversy.
Similarly, if fans want to wait and see with this specific case again, then that’s fair enough. However, harassing people covering the story and/or acting like you already know he is 100% the victim of all this seems a tad ridiculous. And as somebody who has defended Taeyong in the past for what seemed like bullshit Pann mind-reading based on reputation, in this case it seems quite rational to see these latest developments as credible until shown otherwise, and quite frankly the focus at this point should be on the girl/woman in question and her well-being.