Hello, this is DSP Media. This is our position regarding the recent controversy about Hyunjoo and the APRIL members. We would like to give you a detailed explanation about how she was chosen to be in APRIL and withdrew from the group. Hyunjoo joined our company as an actress and a trainee. However, at the time of APRIL’s formation, Hyunjoo wanted to be an actress, but after we persuaded her, she and her family agreed she would be part of the group.
Honestly not sure how much sense this makes from the perspective that she pretty quickly went back on The Unit and participated in that group fully.
Anyway, they go on to explain that Hyunjoo essentially has always had difficulties and that nobody was in the wrong, denying that there was bullying.
Ever since her debut was confirmed, Hyunjoo hasn’t been able to faithfully participate in the team activities because she has been struggling with physical and mental problems. At that time, not only Hyunjoo but also the other members suffered damage due to the conflicts caused by this. Everyone was going through rough times, and based on the circumstances at the time, it was clear that no one could be considered a perpetrator or victim. Hyunjoo ultimately expressed that she wanted to leave the group during the “Tinkerbell” promotions. We tried to dissuade her, but she was adamant. We feel responsible for the hard time that Hyunjoo and the other members suffered during this period. Since then, we have provided full support for the acting activities that Hyunjoo wanted. We also supported her wish to be an idol after that. It is true that we provided all possible support for her activities in the field she wanted after she left the group. Unconfirmed facts and speculations can cause more damage to both Hyunjoo and APRIL. We sincerely ask you to refrain from spreading rumors. We apologize for the delayed official statement. Thank you.
It seems like a purposefully vague statement, essentially acknowledging there were conflicts between members but that nobody was bullied.
Soon after, former A-JAX member (DSP Media group) Yunyoung spoke out on Instagram Stories.
I’m so upset about this so I’m going to speak the facts only. When something happens to you guys, how often is it that you speak about it to your friends from an objective point of view… Isn’t it only human to want to pour out your hurt feelings only and be unable to be objective and to tell others to see both sides of the coin? Hyunjoo must’ve been upset…as things didn’t go her way she must’ve had it hard.. but the other kids’ hearts were ripped apart more so. Hyunjoo-yah, I’m sorry but let’s say what has to be said. Because of you, our kids were so pitiful. As I was in DSP Media, I watched the process of APRIL being formed. (You) suddenly went uncontactable and skipped out on practice, and it was common for you to be unable to go to schedules due to emergencies. Being sick and weak, that’s possible. Then you should quickly say you want to quit. But you wanted to do this, while only wanting to do the easy stuff. How could you do that?
It’s not a solo but a group. These are the kids that squatted in the practice room with their eyes swollen from crying. They tried to communicate with you but you wouldn’t speak to them and didn’t listen. Members are together more often than family. Everyone could tell Hyunjoo was the visual. But if you can’t catch up, you should’ve been more hardworking than anyone else but it was hard to see that in you. Since only one-sided posts came up, I thought everyone should know the facts. Who’s the leader, who’s the observer or that everyone was a perpetrator … please stop saying those sort of things. Even so, the kids tried hard to protect the group, Hyunjoo-yah… You wanted to shine by yourself but the kids put the group and the fans first. As everyone was young, it was inevitable that this hurt showed but while you closed your mouth and ears, you became an outcast? Bullying? Let’s stop riding the wave and giving hurt (to others). And Somin who’s in KARD right now… she’s a dongsaeng that has always worked hard without being whiny even when she was young. While she was APRIL’s leader, she lead the team to practice while biting down hard on her lips and holding back tears. Is it a crime to be hardworking? Did you wish to not see the kids do well despite them having a hard time to get to here? No matter what you’re feeling, Hyunjoo, I cheer on your future days. I hope no one gets hurt from now on.
This seemed to be more going on the offensive, as Yunyoung essentially says she wasn’t a hard worker, that she was in it for herself, and denies bullying, which backs the picture DSP painted. He also posted that he was close to Hyunjoo as well, with a picture as proof.
Soon after, former A-JAX member Seungjin also spoke up.
He claimed that being hurt and misunderstood is a natural part of human relationships and he feels it is a pity that the divide between the APRIL and Hyunjoo had grown. He also claims that he believes they were able to come to this point because they have both talked it out and acknowledged the other party. He continues, “I hedge a guess on this with the belief that Hyunjoo is a kid with consideration towards everyone so I believe she would have made this effort.” He has since taken down the post and apologized for it.
On top of that, the sister of April member Yena has also posted denying there was bullying.
There is no such thing as bullying or outcasts in the group. At that point of time the members were just young kids who were unable to accept all of that friend’s whims. That friend’s emotionally-charged actions were just another weight for her colleagues to bear, within the hard job of an idol’s. Everyone went to the hospital and received treatment for recovery and took medicine in order to hang on and stay awake during the time spent backstage. That friend claimed her health wasn’t good and slowly started to not attend practices and days where she did not return to the dorms increased so the members were always feeling insecure. Ultimately, when they had to go on for comeback promotions on music shows, that friend said she did not want to work and disappeared. As she failed to attend two broadcasts, the members had to stay up to dawn to rearrange the choreography and went through with a high intensity schedule. Finally, the members crumbled under the stress they had suppressed until now. The people who were harmed by this weren’t only the members. After this, the members got therapy and after time passed, they were able to take this as an experience and live their own lives. But you still asked for an apology? I assure you, the one that frowned on television due to these past events is you. Was the reason that friend was hurting, only due to the members? If I also read the posts from acquaintances that specifically listed instances and claimed the members were the perpetrators. I don’t know just how much these matters were distorted or if information was left out or made up. Talking down, not apologizing, ignoring… In those posts, the members were devils that can’t function in society. How can you not include the accounts of everyone present and turn the members into evil perpetrators? I know that including that friend, everyone was someone that worked hard at their own jobs. Within that, facing a variety of hurt is inevitable. However, I’m not sure if this is something to harm someone else’s lives over it. I know that, that post was written without proof and for a certain purpose. That’s why I cannot just stand by without doing anything as the misunderstanding and biasedness grows worse in this aggravated situation. The members cannot be hurt more than this. I appeal to you to not shoot the arrows of criticism towards the company and members anymore. Thank you for reading this long message.
She posted family registar pics as proof of identity.
DSP then followed up with another statement, this time appearing to specifically address the allegations of Hyunjoo’s friends on a point-by-point basis.
Due to the posts on community portals, we deliver an additional official statement.
Hello. This is DSP Media. We send out an additional explanation with regards to the unsavory issue between APRIL and former member Lee Hyunjoo. Although we did not wish to mention the related parties atop of the artists themselves, due to the severity of the matter, we decided to further explain after confirming facts.
Regarding Jeon Somin. Jeon Somin spent a long and ardent time as a trainee since she was 16 years of age. After debuting in APRIL, she tried hard as the leader. It is false she bullied or specifically disliked any particular member. Jeon Somin and Kim Chaewon spent 3 years together as trainees and were hence close to begin with. There’s no reason for them to try hard to be closer.
Regarding the tumbler issue. There was about 40-50 tumblers in the dorm at that point in time and one member took a tumbler, filled it with soybean stew and brought it to the practice rooms to eat with the members. When Lee Hyunjoo said it was her tumbler, Lee Naeun immediately apologized and it was the situation at that point of time where all members were sharing the food.
Regarding the shoes issue. The company gave the members 12 pairs of shoes as presents. There were 6 identical pairs of each of the two designs. Amongst this, 4 members have the same shoe size and hence the issue arose.
Regarding the cursing before broadcast incident. This is false as no member cursed before the broadcast.
Regarding daily life. The company checked the CCTV regarding accusations of Lee Hyunjoo being a victim and we did not find anything that showed as such. We have also shared this truth with Lee Hyunjoo’s mother.
Regarding their manager. It is true that there was a female manager was with them 24/7 so they were all extremely close. It is false that the manager mentioned in the posts was dating a member and it is false that the manager was biased to a specific member.
Regarding the issue of greeting Lee Hyunjoo’s mother. The members knew it was a grave situation so they did not know what to say and just passed by in silence. This resulted in a misunderstanding.
We are apologetic for the situation in which we have to make such explanations. However, due to the unverified posts made by 3rd parties, we could not stand by and see the mentioned members being brought harm. Hence we ended up talking about the past, which we had no intention of.
Shortly after the unsavory issue between APRIL members and Lee Hyunjoo came to light, there have been posts that came about which talked about unverified incidents as if they were the truth. The members are suffering due to these.
Not only will we be taking strong legal action against posting and spreading of unconfirmed false information, we will also be taking action against the photoshopped images going around on community sites. Thank you.
So they basically confirm that most of these happened, but say they happened in a different way. Not sure if this is going to help or not, honestly.
From what I’ve seen this is shaping up to be somewhat of a Rorschach test right now, as one can either see this as the company closing ranks and victim blaming or that this was something of a Hwayoung-esque situation, depending on what side you believe. For me, I think the only thing that’s clear at the moment is there were major problems in April, at least at the outset.
Ideally, I’d like to hear from Hyunjoo herself, but I’m not sure she will since she’s under DSP.