Just when one thought the whole Myung-soo dating debacle was done and dusted, it has resurfaced again. This time, Woollim is backtracking and admitting that Myung-soo did date the ulzzang, Kim Do-yeon. The key word: did. Or at least that’s what Woollim claims. The last time the agency spoke on the issue, they said that Myung-soo was not dating her, that they were just friends. However, when the fansites started closing with messages on the tune of “We were willing to stay quiet but Myung-soo did not take enough care” and the like, it was obvious that it was not over, that there would be cracks to Woollim’s statement that the two are just close friends.
And those cracks have expanded and once again, Woollim is showing their incapability to properly handle scandals.
Honestly, the backlash of Woollim backtracking their previous statement would not be such if they had admitted the relationship in the first place if the relationship was over. Even the female in question has alluded to not seeing or being in contact with him for some time now.
This allusion is made after the ulzzang asked for fans to stop barraging her with stones and such whenever she is out in public. She then goes on to list several incidents and it is this post of hers that had Woollim finally speaking out on the issue. But what really stood out in this instance was that commentary by netizens went back to age-old problem of Woollim: scandals.
I will say this: I am a Woollim stan. I loved Woollim-era Epik High, I love Nell, Infinite and Tasty and am one who is awaiting the debut of Woollim Girls. Woollim is a stomping ground for talent and diverse music but there has always been a problem in Woollim’s scandal handling team and it has been seen in several occasions.
The first of such occasions was a little talked about incident, but nonetheless one that fans know about. This is the incident where the fan manager who handles gifts for Infinite had taken several for his or her own use and additionally talked bad about the fandom. It had gotten to the point where the fans issued an open letter. To answer questions, Woollim simply released a statement saying that they had no comment. Did this incident spread like wildfire? No but it give a brief view of the tendency of Woollim to say things to appease fans but with no real effort to solve the issue.
The second incident is one that resulted in Sunggyu deleting all his tweets but one: and apology to those he may have hurt. This was in response to tvN releasing clips not seen on the show, Genius: Rules of the Game, a show Sunggyu was a regular on. The show is all about using guile and cunning to gain an advantage so that you won’t be eliminated. A fairly complicated show, its appeal was for those who wanted a game show with wit and games focused on using ones brains to solve everything. In called for alliances and had a cast where Sunggyu was the only idol and one of the youngest contestants. The “scandal” in question was when Sunggyu called Park Eun-ji a ‘yomul’ which can be construed as a derogatory. When used to describe a woman, it denotes that the said woman uses men to her benefit. This ruffled several feathers, saying he was disrespectful and insulted at least half of Infinite’s fanbase. For those who watched the show, he was just in character because it was everything the show was about: smart snide comments to one another in attempt to undermine the other. While Woollim did make a statement protecting Sunggyu, stating that he was just acting out the situation given the nature of the show, the statement didn’t do anything to pacify those who were already angered by the comment.
The third and most known incident of Woollim and their blunders is the Tablo incident which saw Tablo leaving Woollim for YG Entertainment, soon followed by the rest of Epik High. It’s a highly known incident and has been talked about time and time again but for those who want it in a nutshell, here it is. Tablo was accused of falsifying his stay in Stanford, netizens initiated a witch-hunt, Woollim did nothing but release a statement, Tablo had to go to Stanford to procure evidence for a documentary to prove himself and understandably distressed that Woollim did nothing but that statement, he left the company.
The reason Woollim Entertainment did not release a statement was utilitarian to be honest: Infinite had just debuted, a financial risk for a company that had put its all on its success. Nell was still in the military, as was the other members of Epik High. If Woollim had put what little it had to defending the witch hunt on Tablo, they would have not just lost what they put for Infinite, the employees of Woollim Entertainment would be at possible risk. It would then be better for them to loose Tablo and Epik High, an act that was already established and could easily bounce back, then to try and fight off the witch-hunt and putting the company in further danger. Again, a utilitarian reason for Woollim Entertainment.
This then brings us back to our starting point: the mishandling of Myung-soo’s dating scandal. Was Woollim once again being utilitarian with the handling this scandal? After all, the issue arose while Infinite were embarking on their world tour, yet another financial risk, one rumored to be the reason Woollim Entertainment is now under SM C&C. Or was this yet another example of Woollim and their blundering way of handling negative press? Maybe they thought Kim Do-yeon would not speak up about it since the relationship was over, maybe they underestimated her guts to bring the attacks on her to light so that something may be done.
All I can say for fact is at least we know Myung-soo wasn’t lying about his ideal type.