Recently established K-Pop agency AMX Entertainment is getting ready to debut its first girl group this year, but concerns are growing over the age of one of the members.
Known under the temporary name of AMX NEWKIDS, AMX Entertainment’s first girl group is set to debut this year. Back in May, they announced the official first member of the group: Hyejin.
Born in early 2002, dancer Hyejin is currently 19 years old, putting her age in line with many other rookies debuting this year. However, when AMX Entertainment announced the group’s second member—Haeun—many K-Pop fans immediately became confirmed.
Haeun will be a dancer in the new girl group, but before becoming an idol, she worked as a child model and a K-Drama extra. She can also play multiple instruments (including guitar and piano), and she knows taekwondo. The problem? She was born in September 2008, making her just 12 years old.
The middle schooler and upcoming starlet has reportedly trained for two years already, which means she’s been in the industry since the age of 10. While it’s not entirely uncommon to see 14- and 15-year-old idols, rookies who haven’t even hit their teen years yet are almost unheard of.
Unsurprisingly, Haeun’s age led to an outpouring of shock and concern on social media. To put her age into perspective, one fan pointed out that she wasn’t even born when groups like SHINee debuted, and she’ll still be a teenager by the time her presumed seven-year contract expires.
2008??? NO FREE HER!!!! https://t.co/ttqMr5q8Jw
— zed SUNOO PROTECTOR (@smileyheejin) June 17, 2021
Can we go back to debuting adults already? Follow the example of Blackpink and aespa i beg you https://t.co/OMQEbVsrD6
— Wolf Moon🍹🏛️ (@3G1RLHYE) June 17, 2021
Many K-Pop fans called on companies to stop debuting children into such a mentally and physically taxing industry, while others suggested it should even be illegal for idols to debut this young.
PLEASEEE STOP DEBUTING CHILDREN PLEASE THEYRE NOT READY FOR THIS INDUSTRY https://t.co/mfPPxj2pbD
— ☀️👑 (@rolIingirls) June 17, 2021
i’m sorry but like. you shouldn’t be able to legally debut idols this young 😭 https://t.co/muCcEaDZpj
— val (@webgvrl) June 17, 2021
While the rest of the members are yet to be confirmed, 13-year-old Minju is another surprisingly young trainee expected to be in the lineup. Other possible members include 16-year-old Gaeun and 14-year-old Seoyoon.
On top of this, since AMX Entertainment’s bio for Haeun didn’t list her as the maknae, fans are concerned that there could be a member aged 11 or younger joining the group.
notice how it doesn’t say “maknae” either… 😬 https://t.co/Zp7JbwI0DR
— Pandemonium ❍ | IA, in Africa (@ImPandemonium) June 17, 2021
Haeun’s skills can be seen in this cover of (G)I-DLE‘s “Luv U,” in which she’s the dancer who starts the song in the center. While she’s certainly talented enough to hold her own on stage, fans still believe she shouldn’t be debuting so young.