Didn’t see this coming. Korean pop group Girls’ Generation, one of the biggest K-pop acts, has kicked a member, Jessica, out of the group. There’s no sign that this would happen (at least not in public); and the timing couldn’t be weirder as all the members have just renewed their contracts a few weeks ago.
Jessica posted a message on her Weibo early this morning (September 30, 5am KST), quote…
I was excited about our upcoming fan events only to shockingly be informed by my company and 8 others that as of today, I’m no longer a member. I’m devastated – my priority and love is to serve as a member of GG, but for no justifiable reason, I am being forced out.
Many fans thought her account was hacked but became seriously concerned as SM Entertainment (the group’s agency) didn’t respond to the event after a couple of hours; and the fact that Jessica was not with the rest of the members who travelled to China for the mentioned fan meeting.
It took 7-8 hours for SM Entertainment to finally release an official statement, quote (translated by Soshified)…
This spring, Jessica herself said that due to personal reasons, she would stop group activities after one album promotion. With Jessica’s sudden words, the company and Girls’ Generation members have been continuously thinking and working hard to have Girls’ Generation promote in a good direction.
Recently, Jessica started a fashion-related business while there was lacking mediation in orders of priority with Girls’ Generation’s promotions and interests. Despite continuous discussions, we’ve gotten to the point where the group cannot be maintained. We couldn’t help but decide to move up Girls’ Generation promoting as eight earlier than initially planned. During the announcement and process, Jessica made her posts today at dawn, her time.
The eight-member Girls’ Generation and Jessica’s individual activities will continue with unchanged support and management.
[Update] Jessica released her side of the story (translated by Soshified, thanks)…
Hello, this is Jessica.
On September 29th, I was notified by my company that I was being withdrawn from Girls’ Generation. I can’t hide my confused and upset heart, and want to express my position.
As a member of Girls’ Generation, I’ve put Girls’ Generation’s activities before my personal life and business. However, despite my hard work and dedication for the group, I was notified to leave the group by my company.
While planning my business that I’ve personally had lots of interest in for a while, I’ve sufficiently discussed things and sought understanding about my business with the SM company and members a number of times, from the beginning to recent times.
Early August, up until the launch of BLANC, I received consent and approval from SM about carrying out my business [alongside group activities]. I received congratulations from my members and started the business.
However, only one month after the launching, in early September, the members changed their positions and they called a meeting. After that, without proper reason, they requested for me to choose to either quit my business or to leave Girls’ Generation. I explained that I received permission from the company, I hadn’t neglected Girls’ Generation’s activities, and that I couldn’t end my business after one month of launching due to a contract with my business partner. As a result, I said that choosing is an unfair request.
Becoming a Girls’ Generation member has been the greatest thing in my life, and I never thought about quitting. I was taken aback, met with the company’s CEO on September 16th, and told them my position. The company’s consent regarding my running of the company [alongside group activities] was reconfirmed at this meeting.
However, on September 29th, I received a one-sided notification by the company to leave Girls’ Generation. Through that, I was not able to attend the fan meeting at Shenzhen, China that was planned for the next day, September 30th, and I’ve been excluded from all of Girls’ Generation’s activities thereafter.
More that anything, I’ve been hurt a great amount by my colleagues and the company that I spent over 15 years together with, pouring out my passion and affection, requesting that I leave Girls’ Generation because I’m running a business, and I cannot hide my regrettable feelings.
I want to apologize to the fans for making them worry. I would like for it to be understood that this situation is not what I wanted, and that I’ve always valued Girls’ Generation, and I always will. Thank you for always supporting and loving me unconditionally.
[Update] With the unfolding of events it seems that profit-sharing is not part of the problem as I initially thought.
The marriage plan (with Korean-American businessman Tyler Kwon, although he openly denied this) may cause problem from sponsors’ point of view, but as I mentioned earlier SME would rather make the “kick” next year to milk as much money as possible from the group instead of making the decision now. Thus, commitment issue, as speculated by many reports, is most likely the trigger point.
Other SNSD members definitely have a say in this, unfortunately. Not saying that they are at fault, people need to look out for themselves; and we are not sure if Jessica (and possibly Tyler Kwon) has done anything else that may have irked the rest. General believe is that the other eight want Jessica to prioritise on Girls’ Generation activities while Jessica thought she could juggle both.
The fact that Jessica was in New York for week(s) for her personal business before a huge fan meeting in China is one of those things that might split opinions. Jessica might thought that she’s working extra hard to make things work but some members might simply see that she’s no longer committed to the group.
The fans won’t be happy regardless of the explanations. The fandom is already bleak, and split, with series of events in the past 6-9 months; and it doesn’t help that the group hasn’t produced anything memorable for the past 3-4 years. Personally I would rather see them dissolved altogether in one piece, with their legacy intact instead of cutting off a member, whatever reason it is.