Bullying allegations against SEVENTEEN's Mingyu had led him to halt all his activities temporarily. Currently, after verifying facts and meeting those who had made bullying allegations against Mingyu, Pledis Entertainment has released an updated statement regarding their stand on the issue.
Earlier, the agency had released a statement on February 28 regarding the school violence accusations against their artiste Mingyu. In the latest statement, Pledis addressed the post accusing Mingyu of verbally abusing writers of the post while attending academy for extra classes [also known as hagwon].
"We met up several times with the person who wrote regarding an incident that occurred when they attended the same hagwon as our artist [Mingyu] and verified the facts. As a result of this process, we resolved misunderstandings regarding this matter and mutually agreed to conclude this situation," the statement read.
Giving details of the meeting, Pledis explained that the writer of the post had experienced various personal matters unrelated to Mingyu while attending middle school. The writer is said to have written the post to reveal what happened in middle school and hagwon.
Mingyu had said that he did fool around with male students who were in his class at hagwon. He also said that he did not intentionally cause misery or humiliation to a specific individual. But he apologized in case the writer happened to feel discomfort or had a hard time due to his past actions.
"Apology Accepted, No Further Arguments"
"The writer accepted Mingyu's apology, and since the beginning of our discussions, they said that they do not wish for this matter to cause his departure from the group or for him to halt activities. Therefore, we hope that no further arguments regarding this matter will arise and potentially cause harm to the writer," said Pledis.
Though the agency has contacted and discussed with everyone mentioned in the post [whose identities could be confirmed], it is working on verifying facts with those whose identities are not clearly confirmed.
Bullying Allegations Against Mingyu
First accusations against Mingyu were made through social media posts on February 22, 2021. Pledis took to social media to inform that it was not true. Then second post with school violence allegations against Mingyu was made on February 26. Around the same time, another person took to Instagram and said that Mingyu along with his friend had sexually harassed her.
Reacting to the same, Pledis stated that there was a discrepancy between what was posted and what the artiste told. "We confirmed that there is a discrepancy between what was posted and what we have checked with the artist. As there are many issues being raised socially regarding school violence, we decided it was foremost in importance to check the exact facts of the matter and are currently carrying out steps to verify every matter," wrote the agency.
Speaking about allegations of Mingyu bullying a student with disabilities, Pledis stated: "This is completely false."
"The artist clearly remembers the person who is being referred to as the victim, so we were able to contact their mother after asking around. She has confirmed to us that the person being referred to as the victim had in fact been on good terms with the artist. The mother remembered the names of the students who bullied her child at school, so she was able to confirm this fact with us immediately," the statement read.
Pledis further stated that the person referred to as the victim was currently living well in society and felt burdened about the incidents of their past being known without their consent.
Currently, Pledis has not clarifies if Mingyu will start promoting his activities. As the process of verifying facts is still going on, the agency said: "We will share a separate statement in the future regarding additionally verified matters."