|Seolhyun of K-pop girl group AOA has stirred mixed reactions with her first social media posts since the group's bullying scandal. Courtesy of tvN|
By Lee Gyu-lee
Singer and actress Kim Seol-hyun, better known as Seolhyun of K-pop girl group AOA, is receiving mixed reactions with her first social media posts since the group's bullying scandal last year.
Kim posted pictures of herself on the set of the tvN series "Awaken," in which she played the lead character Hye-won, on her Instagram Wednesday.
The series, which ended on Tuesday, revolves around a legendary special forces officer Jung-woo (Namgoon Min), and his hot-tempered colleague Hye-won teaming up to uncover the connection between the current mysterious cases and a cold case from 26 years ago.
Kim also wrote a long emotional message, expressing gratitude to the cast and crew, as well as to fans.
"'Awaken' meant so much to me. I don't know how I could have gone through these days without this drama," read part of the message. "I was so grateful to brave and courageous Hye-won. The series and the character has given me encouragement that pulled me through … I learned and experienced so much."
Her first social media post in about six months has stirred conflicting reactions as she failed to address AOA's former member Kwon Min-ah's claim that Kim turned a blind eye when she was being bullied by group leader Jimin.
"You make yourself sound like a victim… when it's the other way around. I guess fans just go for the popular member," a user commented on her post.
Another user wrote: "It was just as guilty as a crime. You helped ruin someone's life and now you're talking about how precious your life is."
Other people offered words of encouragement to Kim, with comments such as "Always rooting for you! Happy New Year to you, too."
One user wrote: "We are human and we make mistakes that is why we learn from them and never repeat them… All the best."
The AOA bullying scandal made headlines last July when Kwon ― who left the group in 2019 ― accused Jimin of bullying her for years and revealed she tried to take her own life several times because of it.
She also called out Kim and Han Sung-ho ― CEO of the group's agency FNC Entertainment ― for doing nothing to stop the bullying, saying "they are unbearably trashy people" on her social media shortly before she attempted suicide. Fortunately, she recovered after receiving hospital treatment.
Jimin apologized and left the group soon after the accusation. The agency also issued an apology.
Following the scandal, many also criticized Kim, with some people calling for tvN to kick her out of "Awakening," which had not yet aired. But the network ignored the demands.