Let me preface this by saying: What the flying f***?!
CCM, T-ara’s agency, announced today that they’re terminating Hwa-young’s contract and she has now left T-ara. There were a lot of rumours flying around leading up to this. It went something like this (from my perspective): Hwa-young got injured and couldn’t perform at T-ara’s concerts in Japan. Then some of the other members made tweets about dedication, that could be seen as an attack on Hwa-young. See the translation here. Then Hwa-young was kicked out.
The press release reads like a continuous stream off bullshit. It offers no explanation. It basically says that the CEO had said earlier that members might be added or removed if they were “lazy” (the same CEO who “would like to reassure the fans” that T-ara weren’t on vacation when they were in Europe, wtf). Some underpaid staff members had made complaints about Hwa-young. What seemed like the other members bullying Hwa-young shouldn’t be considered bullying. Hwa-young is really talented, but had to go.
What a shitstorm. Hwa-young has been one of my favourites ever since she joined T-ara. I’ve heard comments everywhere that the best part of T-ara’s latest release was Hwa-young’s rapping, and that’s what I feel as well. So, as an outside spectator it looks like a poor decision. And how this whole thing was handled will reflect badly on the remaining members of T-ara.
The silver lining is that apparently Hwa-young is released from her contract without any restrictions on joining other agencies. There are all sorts of rumours flying around. The one I’ve heard the most is her joining Cube Entertainment, but it’s just a rumour.