Stray Kids’ Hyunjin will return to activities after bullying controversy, showing a better way to deal with issues from the past

Following a hiatus after his bullying scandal, Stray Kids member Hyunjin will be rejoining the group for activities, according to a statement from JYP Entertainment.

“Regarding the past times in middle school where he gave people around him wounds due to his rough language, in February, he has met with the people who could confirm their identities, and apologized, resolving the misunderstandings and they have agreed to cheer each other on in the future. Hyunjin has since been reflecting on the past and in order to look back on himself, he had stopped his promotions as a member of Stray Kids. During that period, he took the time to continue the volunteer activities and donations that he has been carrying out since the early days of his debut. Hyunjin, who sends his greetings through this digital single, will be joining Stray Kids in July for their schedules and he is determined to show how he will promote with a more upright attitude and maturity.”

Hyunjin was accused of bullying, with the company eventually admitting that he had hurt people in the past and saying he met up with them and they settled their differences. The company also issued a blanket apology to any others who may have been impacted by his actions. Hyunjin then offered his own personal apology.

Generally speaking then, think my closing remarks from before still hold.

Obviously I believe people can grow, especially when we’re talking about early teens, and if the victims themselves feel comfortable moving forward, then I don’t think I’m one to determine whether he should quit or whatever else. But whatever fans want to do looks fair at this point, and if he continues on then hopefully actions will back up his words.

Any fans who attempt to hand wave this away as nothing when it’s brought up aren’t doing him any favors, but I’m also fine with him returning. People have a wide range of opinions on former bullies and that’s understandable. Rehabilitation isn’t one of those black and white issues, as whether one believes they’ve changed or whether their punishment was adequate is all up to our personal interpretation, then there’s also the issue of them continuing to be a public figure. Generally it takes time for the actions to back up the words, so taking some heat should be expected and is quite frankly understandable.

For me, I think not allowing Hyunjin to try to return and prove himself a solid person would be a mistake. This is an area where I’ve noticed I tend to differ from a lot of the “progressives” in the K-pop fandom, as I’m usually am (or at least I try) not in a rush to permanently condemn anybody if they show a willingness to make amends.

Everybody will have their own line, so I respect that. It’s just that not doing so seems to encourage and reinforce that the route to go for those who have done shitty things is to just delusionally continue to deny and attack, and to rely on their fandoms to get them through. Taking responsibility and trying to be a better person is something I feel strongly about, even for things exponentially worse than this (even if it’s hard), and especially for stuff that takes place before a human’s brain is fully formed and all that. Thus, I’m glad he settled things directly and am hoping for the best going forward in this case.

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