Yoon Seobin, a JYP Entertainment trainee gaining spotlight on Mnet‘s TV show PRODUCE X 101 as the current #1 spot winner, is now facing rumors that he was an infamous school bully in his earlier days. As soon as the first episode of the program aired on May 3, 2019, an anonymous writer posted online what he/she knows about Yoon Seobin’s history.
Yoon Seobin received a lot of attention even before the show debuted because of his “outstanding visuals”.
This anonymous writer claimed he/she knew Yoon Seobin since as early as his elementary and middle school days. The writer shared yearbook pictures of a “Yoon Byung Hwi” and claimed that it was Yoon Seobin’s real name prior to changing it.
Yoon Byung Hwi was infamous in the City of Gwangju. Everyone who is my age probably knows about him. He was a known bully since his middle school days. It was a part of his daily life to pick on other students… If this isn’t true, I’m ready to be sued.
As soon as this post went viral on social media platforms, other alleged pictures of Yoon Seobin’s past began to surface. These pictures captured a male student in school uniform engaging in underage smoking and drinking.
The post, now deleted, pointed out that Yoon Seobin was a “일진 (il-jin, delinquent / bully)”, and voiced a tremendous amount of concern. The post claimed, “I’m writing this because… I wouldn’t want someone like him to succeed, become self-absorbed, then turn into someone like Seungri.”
Translations: “I feel like you will only believe me with pictures, so here are his elementary and middle school yearbook photos. He changed his name to Yoon Seobin, but his name used to be Yoon Byung Hwi. I’m sharing this because Yoon Byung Hwi was an infamous ‘iljin’ in the City of Gwangju. Everyone who is my age probably knows about him. He was a known bully since his middle school days. It was a part of his daily life to pick on other students. A lot of students I know were bullied by him. I’ve seen it happen all the time. He deleted his Facebook account and ghosted everyone for years… before showing up on TV like this. I wouldn’t want someone like him to succeed, become self-absorbed, then turn into someone like Seungri. So that’s why I’m writing this. If this isn’t true, I’m ready to be sued. Sorry if I make no sense.”
Since the rumor, the PRODUCE X 101 fan page shared a statement formally requesting Yoon Seobin’s withdrawal from the program. The statement explains, “Yoon Seobin would not be fit to be a part of the program that is ‘of the national producers, by the national producers, for the national producers’ to discover potential global K-Pop stars.”
Translations: “[Official Request to Remove] The ‘PRODUCE X 101 Gallery’, a community for Mnet’s audition program PRODUCE X 101, is releasing this official request to remove trainee Yoon Seobin from the show, after hearing the disappointing news of his history of being a bully. On May 5, Yoon Seobin’s yearbook pictures went viral on online communities. An anonymous writer shared allegations of Yoon Seobin having been a delinquent in his neighborhood and bullied his fellow classmates. Other pictures of him cursing on Facebook and smoking in his school uniform were shared. This shows that Yoon Seobin would not be fit to be a part of the program that is ‘of the national producers, by the national producers, for the national producers’ to discover potential global K-Pop stars. It could have been a simple “stupid mistake” by a teenager growing up. But if there are victims of his actions, they are forever traumatized because of him. Therefore, we of PRODUCE X 101 Gallery request of PRODUCE X 101’s creators to immediately remove Yoon Seobin from the program.”
Both Mnet and JYP Entertainment have responded by confirming that they are in the middle of figuring out if the allegations are true.
We have spoken to JYP Entertainment about the issue and are waiting for the agency’s response.
Meanwhile, some Twitter accounts are now fighting against Yoon Seobin’s possible bully allegations and showing support for the trainee. Another anonymous netizen, identifying himself/herself as Yoon Seobin’s middle school classmate, stated that while Yoon Seobin did have a delinquent-like exterior, “He was a part of a sports team. He was not a bully. He was a good friend to a lot of our classmates.”
Yoon Seobin is yet to respond personally to any of these allegations. The show will continue to air as scheduled, despite the scandal. While Yoon Seobin remains the current #1 spot holder, should any of the rumors prove to be true, the rankings could drastically change depending on how the agency, the program, and the producers decide to react to the issue.