It has been approximately four months since Stray Kids Hyunjin was embroiled in a bullying controversy. Fans of the star, however, received some happy news on June 26th at midnight Korean time.
Fans extremely excited for Stray Kids Hyunjin's comeback
After months of taking a break from his schedule, a teaser image featuring Stray Kids Hyunjin was released. A video titled Mixtape: 애 was also released. Just seeing Stray Kids Hyunjin's name made fans jubilant.
In fact, there are over 1 million tweets that mention Stray Kids Hyunjin and most of them are about how his comeback has made his fans extremely happy. The video in particular has left fans in tears as they watch their favorite idol make a comeback after his scandal.
Statement from JYP Entertainment about Stray Kids Hyunjin comeback
Following the scandal, Hyunjin's agency JYP Entertainment released a statement explaining how they were verifying facts and meeting online users who had accused Hyunjin of bullying. It was also revealed that Hyunjin met some of his former classmates and apologized to them in person.
In a statement from the agency dated June 15th, they revealed that Stray Kids' first release after their participation in MNET's Kingdom had been confirmed. However, the release date and other details at the time were not revealed.
The agency said, "Strays Kids are preparing to release a new song. We will let you know the release date once it is confirmed." They also did not hint at Stray Kids Hyunjin's comeback either.
However, instead of an official announcement, fans got to see Stray Kids Hyunjin in a mixtape video and his name was also included in the teaser image for an upcoming MV. Some fans have also noticed that the font on the teaser image released could be that of Hyunjin's as well.
When did Stray Kids Hyunjin bullying controversy arise?
In February 2021, many idols and actors were accused of being bullies in their high school and middle school years by netizens claiming to be their classmates. Stray Kids Hyunjin was also one of the idols who was accused during this period.
The post against Stray Kids Hyunjin was written by a member of the popular online community Nate Pann. In a long post, this user had recalled different instances that painted Stray Kids Hyunjin as a bully when he was a student.
This member also claimed that they had not expected him to debut as a member of a boy band group that became one of the most celebrated fourth-generation Kpop groups in the country. However, soon after this member's post went live, another member who claimed to have gone to the same school argued that Stray Kids Hyunjin was no bully.
He also warned the accuser against lying about Stray Kids Hyunjin in his post. Since then, there has been a debate, as there have been contradicting claims.
JYP Entertainment denied all allegations after it reportedly looked into the claims made online, and also confirmed that it will be taking legal action. However, things did not stop here as a week after JYP Entertainment's statement was released on February 22nd, Stray Kids Hyunjin posted an apology on social networking site (SNS).
In this handwritten post, he had said "I would like to apologize to everyone I offended with the way I spoke and behaved when I was still in school."
Stray Kids Hyunjin added, "Looking back to when I didn’t know any better than I do now, I’m ashamed of what I did. There is no excuse. I did not know how to be considerate in the way I spoke or behaved and I now realize that I’ve hurt other people’s feelings. I’m terribly sorry about my actions."
It was after this that Hyunjin's scheduled activities were halted and he took a break.