- READ MORE: It’s time we stop putting K-pop idols on pedestals and view them as they are – fallible human beings
In a brief statement released by the group’s agency via South Korean media outlet Star News on August 14, CUBE Entertainment announced that Soo-jin has officially departed from the group.
“(G)-IDLE will henceforth promote as five members. We will continue to do our best and provide unstinting support so that (G)I-DLE can show their growth in music and performance,” wrote the agency, as translated by Soompi.
While the company did not name any explicit reasons for the idol’s departure in its statement, CUBE has apologised for “having caused concern through the controversy associated with [Soo-jin]”.
The singer has been embroiled in bullying allegations since February this year, which both Soo-jin and CUBE have since denied. However, following the controversy, the singer has taken a hiatus from group activities since March. She was also cut from the group’s most recent single ‘Last Dance’, which was released in collaboration with the community app UNIVERSE.
In response to Soo-jin’s departure from the girl group, several fans have kickstarted a petition demanding “justice” for the idol. The petition has amassed nearly 140,000 signatures of its 150,000-signature goal at the time of writing. The fans, who have called for the K-pop idol to be reinstated as part of G(I)-DLE, alleged that she was “falsely accused of school bullying” and requested CUBE Entertainment to “bring Soo-jin back”. Neither the agency nor Soo-jin have responded to the petition.
Soo-jin made her debut with (G)I-DLE in 2018 with the group’s first mini-album ‘I Am’, participating in all their subsequent musical releases with members So-yeon, Minnie, Mi-yeon, Shuhua and Yuqi.
Her last inclusion in (G)I-DLE was their 2021 mini-album, ‘I Burn’, which was released in January before her then-indefinite hiatus.