Kim Hyun-jae, a former member of K-pop group BLACK6IX, has withdrawn from JTBC’s idol competition reality series Peak Time following allegations of school bullying.
On March 6, an individual claiming to be one of Kim’s former schoolmates alleged in an online post that the idol had been a bully. The victim alleged that they had been “gaslighted” by Kim for an extended period of time, per KoreaJoongAngDaily, and experienced anxiety and nausea after seeing him on television.
Today (March 13), both Kim and the team behind Peak Time announced his departure from the reality show following the recent allegations. “I decided to step down with the thought that I could no longer harm the Peak Time program and the members of team 24:00 (Kim’s current team on the show) while waiting for my innocence to be proven,” he wrote on his personal Instagram account.
Kim went on to share that he had spoken with the individual behind the post, and later decided that it was “a difficult situation to solve through conversation” due to both parties’ memories being “so different”.
“What I can tell you is that it is not true. I will point out my innocence,” he said.
Meanwhile, representatives of Peak Time from JTBC said, per Soompi, that it they had “been trying to be very careful in figuring out the facts of this case in which the two parties are making different claims so that no innocent victim will be generated”.
“Today, after discussing and judging that this issue cannot be clearly concluded in a short period of time, the production team decided that Kim Hyun-jae willl be stepping down from the show,” they said.
“Even at this moment, all participants are working hard to prove their values and protect their teams. We ask for your support for all the teams who are taking on the challenges with hope, and we will do our best to present viewers with great stages until the end,” said the Peak Time team.
Peak Time, which premiered in February, is a reality competition programme where members of existing or disbanded K-pop boybands compete for the title of “Worldwide Idol”. The winning team will be award KRW300million, an album release and global showcase.