The “Female BTS”? HYBE’s First K-pop Girl Band Le Sserafim | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “Female BTS”? HYBE’s First K-pop Girl Band Le Sserafim

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
”Le Sserafim” had a good debut, but there were unfortunate turn of events. (Image: Jiji Press)

The ripple effect is still happening. The popular South Korean group BTS has suspended its activities.

The stock price of their agency, HYBE, dropped 27% at one point. The market capitalization fell by 2 trillion won (approx. 200 billion yen), and the uproar was caused by the reports of the activity suspension. On June 22, Lee Ja Yeon of the Korea Singers Association appealed to BTS to reconsider their decision.


“I have a strong fear that the ‘Hallyu wave’ which has become a worldwide trend, may be coming to an end. There is concern that the tailwind to the Korean entertainment industry will be cut off. I hope they will reconsider changing their decision about the suspension of their activities.”

The shock is spreading to the Korean political world as well. One of the possible reasons for the suspension is military service. Under current law, one of the members, JIN, must enlist this year due to age restrictions.

“There are growing calls, especially from the ruling party “Power of the People,” that the law should be amended to exempt entertainers who have made significant achievements from military service. If BTS were to suspend its activities because of the enlistment of its members, it would be a great loss to the Korean economy” she said. Olympic athletes and top performers in international art competitions are exempt from military service, but entertainers are not.

Music video has been viewed 64 million times

”Le Sserafim” is currently missing one member. (Image: Jiji Press)

But it’s not all gloomy news: the popularity of the group that is expected to replace BTS is soaring. The group is Le Sserafim, a six-member girls unit belonging to the same HYBE group.

“Le Sserafim” just debuted in May of this year as the younger sister unit of BTS. One of the members is Sakura Miyawaki, a former member of “IZ*ONE”. Their popularity is taking off. Their debut album “FEARLESS” sold about 310,000 copies in its first week of release, the highest ever for a girl group. Their music video has been viewed over 64 million times. Military service would not be a problem. The Korean entertainment industry has been expecting a lot from them.


“Le Sserafim” seemed to be off to a good start, but soon after their debut, they ran into a painful problem. On May 20, one of its members was forced to suspend her activities.

“The allegations against Garam were affecting the group. In April, an anonymous person who had attended the same junior high school as Garam, wrote that she had been threatened by Garam and was under mental stress, and that she had transferred schools because of the bullying. A captured image of a messenger application was uploaded, in which Garam is said to have written, ‘Answer your phone or I’ll kill you’.”

“HYBE” immediately denied the online postings. It claimed that the trouble between friends was distorted and that Garam was rather a victim. However, when “Le Sserafim” made its debut, the allegations grew louder.

“On May 15, the anonymous person uploaded a document that she claimed was evidence. In the document, it said, ‘The assailant is Kim Garam, a student in the third grade of the first year’. When interviewed by the press, the school replied, ‘We cannot confirm (the authenticity of the document)’. Since the school did not clearly deny it, speculation is growing that the document may be authentic.”

On May 20, “HYBE” admitted that Garam had been punished by the school. On the other hand, they denied the bullying. They claimed that the trouble started when the anonymous person (A) was harassing Garam’s best friend (B). Garam went against A’s actions.

“According to HYBE, A took the liberty of taking pictures of B in her underwear and posting them on social media. When Garam protested, A reported to the school committee that she had been bullied. The school committee reported that A had been bullied and rumors were spread that Garam hit her friend on the head with a brick or a flowerpot. However, Garam suffered psychological damage from the series of disturbances, and on May 20, she announced her suspension.”

The Korean entertainment industry is rife with turmoil. Hopefully, the “Hallyu wave” will not be affected, as many people fear.

Two Japanese members (Image: Jiji Press)
  • Photo Jiji Press

Photo Gallery3 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles