LOONA’s Chuu Removed From Group After Power Abuse Allegations


Kim Ji-woo (김지우), aka Chuu (츄)

Beatrice Bruce, Reporter

Popular K-pop girl group LOONA has recently lost a member due to a decision made by their agency, BlockBerry Creative, to drop member Chuu. This decision was made due to allegations of “violent language and misuse of power” against staff members. However, many fans of the group and staff members themselves have spoken out against this controversial move.

Reported comments from different people who have worked with LOONA describe Chuu as a good and friendly person. The writer behind the series Chuu Can Do It commented that “Even when it was tiring for Chuu, she was someone who worried in case the staff wouldn’t get paid.” A photographer who often worked with the group for photoshoots stated that they “always remember that every time we had a photo shoot how Chuu would give me a warm hug and energize me. The warmth of the LOONA members. I’m always rooting for you with love.”

Other LOONA members have also shared their feelings, as seen on the app Fab, made for the purpose of closer artist and fan interaction. Hyunjin, another LOONA member, made a post reading “My head hurts / My heart hurts too / I’m angry / I’m so angry / ‘Hyunjin can you be on Fab?? You never know so let’s be careful, we are hurting too..’ / No / I’m so sorry… / Chuu unnie’s heart is probably hurting more than anyone’s right now / Please root for and love her lots.. / ‘unnie.. aren’t you gonna get in trouble..?’ / Why would I get in trouble did I do anything wrong?”

Some fans have noted that tensions between Chuu and BBC arose after a lawsuit against the latter. Nine members of the group filed lawsuits against the company with the aim of terminating their contracts. At least in Chuu’s case, she allegedly gained partial approval, after which she was excluded from some shows and generally had a strained relationship with the company.

Even before the lawsuit, however, fans have questioned the future and integrity of LOONA and BBC. William Matishov (10) shares his thoughts about the situation as a fan of the group:

Chuu’s full Instagram story

“It’s important to note that even before this, there was a general feeling of uncertainty among fans about the future of the group, with people listing claims of mistreatment towards group members. … The removal of Chuu from LOONA is not an event that will be forgotten—in a sense, it could mark the end for the group in its entirety. That’s not a casual event, either, but, from what I can tell so far, there’s not much of a chance that fans will just let this go. They’re called a historical group for a reason.”

Chuu had been a member of LOONA since December 14th, 2017, and debuted with her solo “Heart Attack”, one of the groups most popular songs at the moment with 62,224,875 streams on Spotify alone. She is also very popular within the group’s fanbase, Matishov stating “there is no doubting that Chuu is one of the most famous members, whether that be via advertising or internet culture.” With Chuu’s solo being their most streamed song on Spotify and her having such an integral part in the fandom, it’s a wonder why BBC would remove her from the group.

After a little while of silence, Chuu herself spoke up on her Instagram story, stating “As I have not received any contact regarding this series of situations or know anything about them, I’m currently grasping the situation, but what I’m sure of is that I haven’t done anything that would be shameful to my fans.”

What, if anything, BlockBerry Creative will do regarding Chuu, her part in LOONA, and scathing fan criticism is yet to be decided.