On October 19, the leader of The East Light, Lee Seok Cheol along with his lawyer Jung Ji Seok held a press conference and revealed about the 5 years of severe physical and verbal abuse which they have endured at the hands of the producer of their agency, Media Line Entertainment.
The East Group is a teenage kpop boy band debuted on 2016 with 6 members - Lee Seok Cheol (Age:18, Leader, drummer), Lee Eun Sung (Age:18, Vocalist, Keyboardist), Lee Seung Hyun (Age:16, Bassist), Kim Jun Wook (Age:16, Guitarist), Jeong Sa Gang (Age:15, Vocalist, guitarist), Lee Woo Jin (Age:15, Vocalist, Keyboardist).
Warning: Below content has description of abuse.
In the press conference, the 18 year old Lee Seok Cheol held back his tears and said "Hello, my name is Lee Seok Cheol, the leader of the East Light. From 2015 to 2017, the East Light members have been abused by the music producer of the Media Line Entertainment. In the practice rooms, recording studio, roof top, we have got hit by baseball bat, metal mop, metal mic and others. The abuse was inflicted mainly on our buttocks, and the producer even threatened to kill us if we were to tell our parents.
Lee Seung Hyun, the bassist of the East Light was locked in a studio on the 5th floor by the producer and physically abused severely. He was hit with a baseball bat on the head, thighs, arms and buttocks about 50 times. He suffered from severe head injury resulting in much blood loss along with heavy bruises in beaten areas.
When the abuse was reported to the CEO of the agency, he simply neglected it and said simply "go easily", which makes him guilty of being a bystander and neglect. In addition, the representative of the Media Line let us go on TV without a proper medical care. Lee Seung Hyun who is bassist, also my brother underwent treatment for physical and psychological trauma due to the abuse.
Furthermore, another member received a message from the producer, threatening to kill him if he were to tell anyone. He is still suffering from it. The producer wrapped a guitar string around my neck while preparing for my debut in August 2016, he wrapped and pulled it to choke me every time I made a mistake. This went on for 4 hours. The abuse of a bruise on my neck. We are not staying in the dorm right now. Each member lives alone in a small studio.
My parents come to Seoul to take care of me at the weekends. I never told my mom, I was not able to because of the threats. However, the offenders gave their actions an excuse, calling it an abuse with educational purpose. The offenders said, "If this was revealed to the world, the East Light will be disbanded, which will be the end for you guys". As a result, our members could not tell our parents.
As the leader of the East Light, as well as a Kpop singer, I could not sit and watch any longer for my brothers and members. I stand here in hopes of banishing all child abuse and violence of human rights in the kpop scene. Thank you."
To his fans, he said "We promised our fans that we would always give them good music and good image, so I'm sorry that this had happened. I couldn't tell earlier and I think it has hurt the feelings of many good people around me."
Lee Seok Cheol also confirmed that he and his brother will be filing a criminal case against the abuser and the agency.
Yesterday, Media Entertainment released a statement "The agency became aware of the abuse only one year and four months ago in the process of teaching and training the members of The East Light. After that, we spoke to the parents of the members and promised to prevent recurrences."
They claimed to have resolved the issue with the members at that time, and the producer had resigned from the agency.
Here's the link to the press conference.
A Kpop artist might carry a light like smile on their face for their fans while greeting them or in a TV show. But that smile hides a lot of pain, injuries, sufferings, hard work, fears and tears. That's why it's important to protect each one of them.
The Ktruth truly hopes justice will be served and the East Light members and their dreams will be protected.
With heavy heart,
- The KTruth