While many likely aren’t familiar with girl group Yellow Bee, they recently disbanded. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reason they’re in the news, as following the announcement, member Ari alleged that company staff sexually assaulted, harassed, and mistreated the members.
To begin, it’s important to note that the company bizarrely stated that the reason for disbandment was a member being promiscuous.
“Yellow Bee, who debuted in 2017, was preparing for their third digital album ‘DVD’ after a change in the member lineup. We had planned to continue Yellow Bee’s activities, but due to promiscuous behavior in member B’s private life, the agency and the members were unable to come to an agreement. Based on this, the agency made the internal decision to disband the group. We are deeply sorry to the fans who were waiting for the album.”
From there, Ari gave a detailed rebuttal and then talked about how the group had suffered under the company.
“The agency had stated that one of our members was promiscuous. I don’t know what the agency means by the word ‘promiscuous.’ Is it promiscuous if a man and a woman just stand together outside? Are all people promiscuous? It is absolutely not true that she was promiscuous. This is something the agency exaggerated. That member was not the one to engage in promiscuous behavior. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that it was the agency who engaged in such behavior. There were incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault from the managers and agency staff.”
She then goes on to describe incidents for sexual assault and sexual harassment (as well as abuse of power).
“A staff member tried to drag one of the members to the practice room to sleep with her. Lots of people were present at the time, but only the other members stopped him from dragging her off. There were also instances where they asked us to call them “oppa” or touched our thighs. A former manager said unbelievable things like, ‘I’ll give you a baby so let’s go to a motel’ and ‘Daddy’s seeking you out because he knows you.’” There were also several incidents in which they would call us at dawn and ask us to serve alcohol to people whom they said were investors. We kept quiet and kept going because we wanted to be singers. These incidents were really shocking at the time and even now they remain traumatic memories.”
She also states other mistreatment suffered at the hands of the company like not being paid and doing all the work for the group themselves.
“Furthermore, we were never paid, and there were times when we had to pay for costumes, shoes, and video editing ourselves. We had to go to a Japanese event once, and the CEO had to leave for the airport at 5 a.m. But he said that he was the only one who could take us there, so he took us to the Gimpo Airport at 5 a.m. and gave us a card and told us to figure out our airplane tickets by ourselves. He then left us alone. We had never even bought plane tickets on our own before. Only the leader, Ryuhee, had a phone, so we had to contact various people in order to figure out how to get tickets. We had to get cheap tickets, so it took a long time. The takeoff time was 1 p.m., so we sat at Gimpo Airport for eight hours. The tickets were for Incheon Airport, so we took all our clothes, album posters, and personal items to the Incheon Airport by ourselves and boarded the plane. When we were in Japan, the five of us had to work alone without a single staff member. The people there knew that our CEO had returned to Korea by himself. This is not promiscuous behavior, but we were not treated properly. This inappropriate treatment is why we said we would quit the group, not because of a member’s promiscuous behavior. Everything I have written until now are only a few examples of the kind of treatment we received. From the very start, we were at odds with the agency because of what they called our promiscuous behavior. However, we ignored that and worked hard in order to achieve our debut, so it’s ridiculous that they would use that as an excuse for our disbandment. This was included in the certification of contents that we sent to the agency. The agency is making us look bad, and we don’t know how to respond, so I’ve appointed myself our representative to write this. Thank you for reading this long post.
Given that she’s speaking for the entire group, and that she provided compelling testimony, it’s hard not to believe the girls at this point. Especially true because even the company’s statement and reasoning gives me the creeps. Can’t recall when I’ve heard a company say that kind of thing in a disbandment notice that seems to drag them through the mud unnecessarily even if true.