Since their debut back in 2013, Stray Kids (스트레이 키즈, Seuteurei Kijeu, often stylized as SKZ) has become one of the more popular boy groups among the newer generations performing in K-pop today.
However, the last two years have been hectic, with malicious rumors made against the boy group.
JYP Entertainment, the entertainment agency that manages Stray Kids, is doing all they can to protect their K-pop act. Recent malicious rumors have resulted in JYP Entertainment threatening to take legal action against those spreading them.
JYP Entertainment takes action
On Thursday, January 9, 2020, JYP Entertainment made it known they would take action against those who spread malicious rumors about Stray Kids. The agency posted a statement online for the public on the matter.
“Rumors about our artist are spreading on various online communities and mainly on a specific social media channel. These [rumors] are not true and groundless.
With the judgment that these rumors are severely damaging the image, honor, and character of our artist, we will take all legal measures possible against the person who initially posted the rumors and those who circulated them, and we will take strong action without any leniency.
Legal complaints and reports can be filed immediately, and criminal punishment can be given for creating and circulating malicious rumors about artists as crimes of defamation and personal attack.”
Reportedly, JYP Entertainment has “completed a collection of evidence regarding this matter” and will “take immediate action.”
They are also “monitoring in real-time” and ask K-pop fans, especially those who are STAY (official fan club of Stray Kids), to report any evidence collected on their behalf to JYP Entertainment’s official website.
From dating rumors to bullying
The rumors JYP Entertainment is trying to combat weren’t exactly expressed in detail. However, there have been numerous rumors, both malicious and suspiciously tabloid, over the last two years aimed directly at Stray Kids.
Some of the “less damaging” and “more tabloid or gossipy” rumors surround Bang Chan, which includes him dating Soyeon and using racist words though it clear he wasn’t. Another is I.N having plastic surgery.
However, the most damaging rumor was toward Hyunjin. Allegedly, before he was a K-pop idol for Stray Kids, he was a bully in school, specifically towards an unnamed girl. The rumor was spread on an online community forum two years ago on April 7, 2018.
Since hearing about the rumors, it has hurt Hyunjin personally. During a fan meeting event, he broke down crying, which led some to speculate the rumors reached him.
It is good that JYP Entertainment is taking care of Stray Kids. Many Korean entertainment agencies are taking better care of all their musical acts, whether they be K-pop or not.
K-pop fans who want to show their love and support for Stray Kids can do so by listening and engaging in their music.
For international fans who want to own official merchandise, which includes past albums Stray Kids have released, it is available on YesAsia.