In a recent episode of MBN‘s Miss Back, former Stellar member Gayoung shed tears while revealing that “the group’s sexy concept had been forced upon” the members.
Gayoung also exposed the agency for “tricking” Stellar members into doing a shoot in extremely skimpy outfits — and using the resulting photos in teasers without the members’ consent.
After the episode aired, K-Pop fans heavily criticized The Entertainment Pascal — a since-closed agency that managed Stellar at the time. In an exclusive interview with News1, however, the former CEO Choi Byung Min disputed Gayoung’s interview.
At first, Stellar started off doing cute concepts. But sexier concepts began trending in the industry, so we also gave it a try. We, as an agency, held multiple meetings about how to approach the concept though. Back in their “Marionette” era, the members didn’t have any problems with going in that direction.
— Former CEO
As far as the teaser picture is concerned, the former CEO specifically clarified that “While members did think the outfits to be excessive, they also did give consent to use the photos as teasers.” He then showed disappointment in Gayoung “for making it sound like everyone who worked at the agency forced the members to do things that they didn’t want to do.”
He then went on to explain how Gayoung had actually been indebted at the beginning of her career as an idol. The former CEO claimed it was the agency who helped pay that debt off.
Both Gayoung and Junyul had around $87K USD in debt. But I figured having that on their minds would make promoting difficult. So I helped with paying that off. Whatever else I could distribute to them, I did… Everything was handled legally and correctly. Their parents would agree.
— Former CEO
Finally, the former CEO claimed that he will be taking legal action against the channel MBN and the program Miss Back for spreading false information.
When asked to leave a comment for Gayoung, he took the opportunity to blame her and the other members for “the ultimate failure of Stellar” by accusing them of being ashamed of their concepts.
But there are artists who pull off sexy concepts all the time. Those artists know how to use the sex appeal to their advantages. So it’s all a matter of how the artist looks at it. Again, we agreed on the concept… but if the members thought it to be shameful, well then I guess that is one of the reasons Stellar didn’t do all that great.
— Former CEO
K-Pop fans grew furious at the former CEO’s stance on things. Knowing the competitive nature of the industry, fans viciously pointed out that “While the members could have given consent, that consent may have also been forced upon them.”
- “I feel terrible for the members. No way could they have liked their concepts…”
- “This is super shocking… I can’t believe the CEO actually thinks he’s right.”
- “Mm. Just another no-passion, no-vision thugs founding an entertainment agency to sexually exploit young girls’ desperate dreams… But to blame the girls for going under and not becoming popular? I’ve heard this story too many times before. They’re f*cking thieves, that’s all.”
- “It’s not because Stellar members couldn’t be proud of their sexy concepts that they failed. It’s because the agency CEO tried to manage them with such a nasty business mindset to begin with. The audacity to say the things he did!”
- “I actually stanned Stellar, so I know better. Keep in mind that this is the agency that used a story about how the members cried because they didn’t want to wear thongs… as a marketing opportunity.”
Neither MBN nor Miss Back has yet responded to the former CEO’s announcement to seek legal action against the channel and program.
Watch the controversial Miss Back segment here: