Former CLC member Elkie recently spoke out in an interview about her time in Korea and with the group, talking specifically about hardships with Cube Entertainment and in the industry. She also discussed her support for Hong Kong police.
Elkie addressed discrimination for being a foreigner without naming it as such.
Elkie claims that even though she had worked hard in order to debut, there were people that still criticized her despite her efforts. Although she would not call it discrimination due to her status as a foreigner, Elkie does acknowledge that she had fewer opportunities given to her as compared to Koreans. “Although I was mentally prepared for a tough road ahead, a lot of unexpected things happened. I’m optimistic so I always say yes no matter what other people say, but some people called me fake.”
She also talked about a composer who personally insulted her and ended up impacting her mental health, also detailing the extreme conditions she was working under.
When she first debuted, a composer allegedly told her she was “really dumb” and “totally useless” which brought her down. Elkie also called out the system for affecting her health. “The most extreme incident was when I couldn’t sleep for several days and wasn’t even able to remove my makeup. The longest time I’ve had dance practice was for 16 hours straight, from noon to late at night. I was so tired that I walked like a zombie.”
Elkie also went at Cube for not helping CLC more, including giving away “La Vie En Rose” to IZ*ONE.
Elkie also pointed out that CUBE Entertainment was not providing the appropriate resources for CLC, culminating in less than stellar results. In particular, Elkie calls the giving away of the song “La Vie en Rose” to IZ*ONE an opportunity that was taken away from the CLC girls. CLC had finished recording “La Vie en Rose” before it was given to IZ*ONE and CLC released “NO” instead. “The song and opportunity that originally belonged to us were given to someone else and the situation felt so helpless. The 7 of us worked really hard, but the agency took away our opportunities. I think the agency was way too out of line. I feel so disappointed. CLC did not have releases frequently … sometimes it took a year to have a new song or album. When the agency said they will not give CLC any more resources, I thought there was no point for me to stay. As an artist I just wanted to meet with fans through my works. If nothing can be done, there’s nothing I can do to repay the fans, and I can’t accept that.”
One of the problems with this line of thought, of course, is that “No” was great as well. If IZ*ONE released that instead it also would’ve banged because the group had a built-in fandom, which was CLC’s real problem and why “La Vie En Rose” wouldn’t have made a difference for them. Cube’s mismanagement stems more from not having a real direction for the group at the beginning than anything else.
The rest is valid and, quite frankly, unsurprising in the industry.
Putting all that aside, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Elkie also reiterated her past support for police in Hong Kong within the same interview.
Elkie claimed that she does not mind being open about her stance and declared her support for the Hong Kong police. “I was born and raised in Hong Kong, why would I want to give up my identity? Rather, I don’t understand why people think this way. I don’t mind declaring my stance, and I won’t judge what other people think. I was in Korea at that time (referring to when protests began in Hong Kong back in 2019) so I didn’t really keep in touch with the news in Hong Kong, but since this is something huge, I knew about it. I was heartbroken, but I was in Korea so I couldn’t do anything. Also, I had a mood disorder and I couldn’t even help myself.”
Elkie claimed that the issue and the pressure from netizens who wanted her to speak up drove her mood to the ground. While she did not want to post anything on social media for that period, her agency forced her to have a certain number of posts per week. The comments she read made her even more depressed. “There was a time when I lost control and just cried my eyes out at the gym. Then I stopped opening up to anyone and didn’t want to say anything. I just locked myself in my room all day and didn’t even want to go to the living room. I felt down and disappointed.”
As her stepfather is part of the Hong Kong police force, Elkie has often discussed matters with him. When asked whether she is a blue ribbon or a yellow ribbon, she said “I’m a blue ribbon.” A “blue ribbon” is someone who is pro-Hong Kong Police, and also often regarded by the public as pro-China by extension. A “yellow ribbon” is someone who is pro-democracy. “I have a pretty good relationship with my stepdad and care about his work. We discussed the situation in Hong Kong. I talk to my family through video calls almost everyday. However, my mind was not in the best state at that time, so I couldn’t help him, but I worried about the dangers he faced at work. I support him, and I also support the Hong Kong Police.”
Can’t say I feel much sympathy.
Yeah, I’ve seen the arguments about this issue in leftist circles, but I simply don’t subscribe to the mantra that state violence is good actually as long as it’s for leftist purposes.
Well, anyway, she still has a good relationship with CLC members at least.
On the other hand, Elkie maintains that she still keeps in contact with the other CLC members and that they have a good relationship. She even offered for them to have a room at her place when they come to visit her in Mainland China.
Good luck in China, I guess.