Scandals can break out anytime in the K-Pop scene, but nothing is worse than a scandal that is exposed just before an artist’s comeback. In fact, the Korean music industry has witnessed some comebacks seriously damaged or delayed because of a member’s scandal. As scandals cause fans to feel frustrated and leave the fandom, the group’s comeback will be negatively affected. Whether or not these scandals are law-related, they still seriously hurt those involved.
T-Ara – ‘Day by Day’
Opening this list is one of the biggest scandals in K-Pop history, leaving the most serious consequences. T-Ara‘s comeback with ‘Day by Day’ in 2012 was badly boycotted after Korean netizens suspected that Hwayoung had been bullied by the other members. As a result, the agency quickly terminated their contract with Hwayoung, and ‘Day by Day’ became the final product that she appeared as a T-Ara member. The group’s promotions at the time also had to be halted due to too much criticism from the public.
The scandal turned T-Ara from a top girl group to a hated gang of bullies, continuously being opposed by Korean netizens for years. However, 8 years after the incident, a lot of evidence has been shown that the T-Ara members are completely innocent, and the real villain in the story was Hwayoung herself. To this day, fans still feel extremely regretful and angry because T-Ara could have gone much further if they hadn’t gotten into the scandal that year.
Super Junior – ‘Black Suit’
In November 2017, Super Junior was preparing for their comeback with the song ‘Black Suit’. However, just one month before the song was released, Siwon’s bulldog caused a serious scandal when it fatally bit a neighbor. The incident made the online community extremely angry and constantly criticized Siwon for not muzzling his pet dog before letting it out.
Siwon later apologized, but the public anger showed no sign of cooling off. As a result, he had to withdraw from Super Junior’s promotional activities during that comeback, and the group also had to rearrange their choreography to fill in Siwon’s hole.
MONSTA X – ‘Follow’
At the end of October 2019, MONSTA X released their song ‘Follow’. But soon after the product was out, Wonho unexpectedly got into a drug scandal. Immediately after the scandal broke out, Wonho had to withdraw from MONSTA X, and Starship Entertainment quickly ended their exclusive contract with him. MONSTA X’s first comeback stage with ‘Follow’ on ‘M! Countdown’ then suddenly became the last stage to have all 7 members. Since then, MONSTA X has continued to work with a line-up of 6-member, while Wonho has also started a new path as a solo artist.
AB6IX – ‘The Answer’
Next up is the most recent scandal on this list. Initially, AB6IX planned to make their comeback in early June 2020, and all of the teaser images were revealed. However, just a few days before the group’s comeback, their leader Lim Youngmin got in a drunk driving scandal on May 31.
Because AB6IX is a rookie group that has only debuted for 1 year, this incident faced strong criticism from the famous Korean angry online community. In the end, Lim Youngmin had to leave the group. AB6IX’s comeback was also delayed for 3 weeks, because the members had to re-record the album and revise the choreography with a 4-member lineup.
PENTAGON – ‘Naughty Boy’
In September 2018, PENTAGON released their new song ‘Naughty Boy’. However, their comeback was completely overshadowed by the news regarding HyunA and E’Dawn’s dating, which had been announced just a month earlier. The articles at the time all focused more on the couple’s dating than PENTAGON’s comeback, although Cube Entertainment announced that E’Dawn would not be promoting ‘Naughty Boy’ with the group.
Cube Entertainment then announced the termination of their contract with the couple, meaning that E’Dawn will also leave PENTAGON. HyunA and E’Dawn are currently managed by PSY’s company, while PENTAGON recently participated in Mnet’s ‘Road to Kingdom‘ and finished third.