11:35 - 4th August 2012, by David West

T-ara Take It Day By Day As Controversy Surrounds The Group

The clouds of controversy have gathered in the world of K-pop due to the dismissal of a member of the girl group T-ara.

The group's management, Core Contents Media or CCM for short, had been experimenting with adding new members to the line-up. After starting out as a five-piece, the group has grown in what looked like an attempt to rival the success of Girls Generation.

But all what not well within the group and on 30 July, newcomer Hwayoung had her contract terminated.

There were accusations of unprofessional behaviour, that Hwayoung had refused to perform on the TV show Music Bank. She was on crutches at the time due to an injured foot but in rehearsals she had performed her part of the song sitting down. When the time came to go on stage, Hwayoung allegedly refused.

T-ara are still in the K-pop charts with their latest single Day By Day.
There were allegations of bullying with the group that had led to Hwayoung refusing to perform and CCM released a statement to counter the rumours.

"As T-ara lives their lives together, I feel that if someone places her/himself above the rest and rocks the boat, the overall stability of the team falters. I wish to emphasize the fact that the 'bullying' reports surrounding T-ara have no basis in truth," read the statement.

"If T-ara becomes lazy or puts themselves first, then the group will become empty on the inside. Therefore, the first priority would be humility, basic manners, and their character. That is the only way I feel T-ara will continue to become a true Hallyu idol."

"Since Hwayoung has much promise as a rapper, Core Contents Media has decided to end her contract without conditions and believe that she will grow into the future as a free artist."

Yet the talk about bullying within the group, with the longer standing members picking on the new girls, refused to die down. A Korean cosmetics brand that used the girls in its advertisements announced it would not be renewing their contract due to the controversy.

There were numerous Tweets from both camps, with one from Hwayoung saying, "To my fans, you've loved me until now, and I'm sorry that I've only given you disappointment. Please stop now, and look forward to our more mature and improved selves in the future. I apologize for making you worry during this time. I also want to apologize to my Core Contents Media family. I'll greet you all with a better image next time."

CCM CEO Kim Kwang Soo issued his own statement, saying "I deeply apologize for the lacking explanation given for the termination of Hwayoung's contract, which led to several bullying misconceptions. From this point forward, I will work hard to be a role model for the entertainment industry by being more careful and thoughtful of my actions."

The group are still in the Mnet charts with their current single Day By Day. Here's the video, a 15 minute epic.

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