Yang Donghwa will not be making his debut with ATBO anymore.
On June 13, IST Entertainment released an official statement addressing the bullying accusations levied at ATBO’ Yang Donghwa. Rumors about him bullying his classmates surfaced recently, and in their statement, the agency addressed the situation and says he’s no longer going to debut in the group.
Yang Donghwa participated in IST Entertainment’s survival show “THE ORIGIN – A, B, OR What?” which concluded in May. He was announced as part of the lineup and the group is set to debut in the second half of 2022.
Here is what they said:
Hello. This is IST Entertainment.
This is an announcement regarding ‘Yang Donghwa,’ a member of the new idol group ‘ATBO,’ who was selected through ‘THE ORIGIN – A, B, OR What?’
After reading the posts regarding Yang Donghwa on social media and online communities, we received the artist’s consent to contact the school officials, alumni, and acquaintances to discuss the issue and confirm the facts. Along with this, we also proceeded with fact-checking procedures. Though some of the assertions turned out to be different from the truth, we found out there were students who were hurt because of Yang Donghwa’s immature and inappropriate remarks and actions.
We were able to get through to some of the students, and Yang Donghwa offered a sincere apology to them in person.
Yang Donghwa is reflecting on his past actions that were unbecoming of a student, and he is deeply ashamed of how he offended people around him with his lack of consideration. Apart from the students he had the opportunity to meet with in person to apologize, he knows there may be more students who went through a hard time because of him, and he has a heavy heart thinking of them.
We bow our heads and extend our apologies to those who were upset by Yang Donghwa’s past misconduct, as well as those who showed love for the artist. Furthermore, we have an announcement regarding the future activities of Yang Donghwa.
Following the fact-checking process mentioned above and an in-depth discussion with the artist, we have decided that he will no longer be joining ATBO in their debut and promotions.
Through this decision, Yang Donghwa intends to apologize sincerely to his fellow students for his past misconduct. Although he hasn’t made his debut, Yang Donghwa and his parents have expressed their desire to be reprimanded for the mistakes, and will take this time to self-reflect and repent.
We have gone through an in-depth discussion with Yang Donghwa and his parents, and will be respecting their decision regarding the issue.
We know this does not make up for the past, but we hope the artist’s sincerity was delivered to those he has hurt. For the artist himself, we hope this serves as a chance to look back on the past and turn over a new leaf.
Yang Donghwa will continue to work toward his goal. A young man with his whole life ahead of him is admitting his mistake, taking responsibility, and repenting. We would more than appreciate it if you understood and encouraged him as he learns from his mistakes and grows into a mature and responsible member of society. Thank you.