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Why Was Chuu Removed From LOONA? Answered and Explained

Chuu in the LOONA music video for Flip That

The music record label, Blockberry Creative, sent shockwaves through the world of K-pop when they announced on November 25, 2022, that Kim Ji-woo, known professionally as Chuu, had been removed from the girl group LOONA. The K-pop genre has experienced a rise in popularity in recent years. South Korea has capitalized upon this fame by forming sophisticated boy and girl groups capable of producing mesmerizing performances and catchy tunes, and of becoming K-pop idols.

LOONA is just one of many groups that have thrived in this K-pop era. However, the group gave itself an edge with the bold and unique manner in which it established itself. For starters, LOONA is quite a large girl group, consisting of a total of 12 members. To capitalize on their numbers and talent, LOONA established and introduced each member of its group by having them release a solo single. This introduction process went on from 2016 – 2018 until all 12 members were revealed: Haseul, Vivi, Yves, Jinsoul, Kim Lip, Chuu, Heejin, Hyunjin, Gowon, Choerry, Olivia Hey, and Yeojin.

Their introduction strategy proved effective as the band raised anticipation for their official 12-member debut in late 2018. Since the singles, the band has released 5 EPs and has topped the charts of South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart frequently. However, the band’s signature 12 members has dwindled to 11 and fans are curious about the reason why.

Blockberry Creative announces Chuu’s expulsion

In a statement released on November 25, 2022, Blockberry Creative, LOONA’s label, announced that one member, Chuu, had been expelled from the group. The long statement began by acknowledging that there have been speculations about Chuu recently. This was about recent reports about Chuu being absent from tours or concerts and allegedly filing a lawsuit against Blockberry Creative. Blockberry Creative indicated that they, and LOONA’s members, ignored speculations and rumors out of dedication to fans.

However, the record label claimed that an investigation had found Chuu to have been abusive towards the music group’s staff. As a result, they took action and removed her from the group. Blockberry Creative stated:

However, after recently being told of Chuu’s violent language and misuse of power toward our staff, the truth was found upon investigation. Agency representatives are apologizing and comforting staff, and we have decided to take responsibility for this and remove Chuu from LOONA.

The label apologized to fans for the group going down to 11 members. It also apologized to any staff members who had been harmed in the alleged “incident.” They concluded by indicating LOONA’s continued hard work towards improvement and towards ensuring that the group is respective and appreciative toward their staff so that the alleged incidents that happened with Chuu never happen again.

Fans’ reaction to Chuu’s expulsion

While Blockberry Creative painted Chuu as a pop star who abused her power, some fans have questioned if that is the full truth. The questioning is warranted, considering there were reports earlier this year that Chuu had filed a lawsuit against Blockberry Creative. It is unclear if the lawsuit was confirmed or rumored. However, the reports first arose in the Spring of 2022, alleging that Chuu had filed the lawsuit in an attempt to get out of her contract with them.

Chuu’s fans began speculating that the LOONA member had spoken out and attempted to get out of her contract due to being overworked by the label. Fans believed the fact that Chuu sat out from a February concert due to “health issues” was evidence of her being overworked. The announcement of her expulsion has received criticism from fans and alleged staff members. Fans have expressed the belief that she was overworked and mistreated by the label and that they kicked her out for speaking on her concerns. Meanwhile, alleged staff members have claimed that Chuu only treated them with warmth and affection, though it is difficult to confirm their reports.

Previous reports have claimed that South Korea is notoriously strict with its boy and girl bands. There have been reports of alleged dating bans for boy/girl band members and of members being kicked out of groups for being accused of being “bullies” in grade school. Some believe this strictness is part of the genre’s success, and that bands have risen to fame because of the grueling practices, guidelines, and expectations that the record labels in the country hold their musicians to. Sadly, it is difficult to confirm such reports as few K-pop artists have spoken out. As a result, it can’t be said whether Chuu was removed from LOONA for the abuse allegations Blockberry Creative levied against her or if it was retaliation for her lawsuit or for her breaking some other strict code of the industry.

(featured image: Blockberry Creative)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.