Before it disbanded last February, K-Pop all-girl group Stellar was known for its sexy concept and provocative outfits.
Its ex-member Gayoung or Kim Ga-young has come forward alleging that they were sexually exploited to ensure they get the much-needed attention.
In a recent interview with Insight, a South Korean publication, the 27-year-old artiste said that the members were not entirely aware of just how provocative one of its music videos would turn out to be.
“There was a scene in which (a member) spills milk. The script said, ‘(The character) misses her ex-boyfriend; she tosses and turns in bed; she wakes up in the morning and drinks milk.’
“We thought, ‘Oh, she must be drinking milk because it’s the morning (and she just woke up).’ So that member was filming the scene and drinking milk, and (the director) told her, ‘Try spilling some milk.’ She thought, ‘It must be because (the character) is exhausted,’ so she ended up spilling some of the milk.
“Later on, she realised that the scene could evoke a certain image, and she was extremely shocked and no longer drinks milk now because of that incident,” said the Gayoung recounting the incident.
She also said when the girls refused to do certain scenes, their agency would “remind” them about their contracts.
Stellar which debuted in 2011 with the release of the digital single Rocket Girl, only hit it big three years later following the release of the racy music video for Marionette, which was deemed unsuitable for minors.
Both the music video and the group’s new sexy concept quickly became controversial, and the group received a great deal of attention for their provocative attires and marketing tactics including their “stripping game” promotional material, which involved fans having to “like” posts on Stellar’s official Facebook page to reveal photos of the members’ body parts.
Despite the controversy, Marionette became their best selling single.
However, last February, Stellar was disbanded. Altogether, the group had eight members including Gayoung, while its final line-up were Minhee, Hyoeun, Soyoung and Youngheun.