|Irene of K-pop act Red Velvet apologized over a bullying scandal. Courtesy of SM Entertainment|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Irene of K-pop girl group Red Velvet apologized over her bullying scandal involving her stylist, but some fans are demanding she quit the act.
"If Irene does not leave the band, the scandal will haunt Red Velvet and deal a critical blow to the band's image," the group's fan community DC Inside Red Velvet said in a statement, Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, Red Velvet's leader admitted she had verbally attacked a stylist/fashion editor during a recent filming, and apologized.
"I sincerely apologize for hurting the stylist with my foolish attitude and indiscreet words and acts," she wrote on her Instagram. "As I looked back upon time, I was ashamed of myself and once again felt how precious our staff members are. From now on, I will be more cautious in preventing the recurrence of an incident like this."
SM Entertainment, home to Red Velvet, also said Irene met the stylist on Thursday afternoon and apologized for being "careless and immature."
The bullying scandal erupted Tuesday when a stylist ― who is known to have 15 years' experience ― claimed on her Instagram that she ended up crying after being "trampled and abused" by a celebrity. She did not disclose the celebrity's name, but dropped a hint with hashtags "psycho" and "monster" ― which are the titles of Red Velvet and its sub-unit's previous releases. The stylist later deleted the post.
Despite Irene's apology, numerous online users are still giving her the cold shoulder.
An Internet user commented, "I feel so bad for other members ― Irene should leave the group." Another wrote, "She truly failed me. Even her apology lacks sincerity."
Irene, whose real name is Bae Joo-hyun, debuted as part of Red Velvet in 2014 with the album "Happiness." She also featured in the web drama "Game Development Girls" (2017).