11-year-old Kim Rayul performing sensual choreography receives backlash from the public
The 5-member group where Kim Rayul debuted in has a 14-year-old age gap, raising concern.
When K-pop enters its fourth generation, more and more groups are making their ways into the “music race.” Most recently, NewJeans became the talk of the town when 3 out of 5 members were still minors when they debuted, generating debates about management companies when they decided to debut members when they were apparently minors.
Last year, the group Girl Crush was slammed with criticism when 2005-born Hayun was in the main team. Because the rest were adults oriented to a sexy image, having a minor in the formation raised serious backlash. More apallingly, Hayun also performed with the group in revealing outfits and sang tracks with vulgar language and sexually explicit content.
The survival show “U2U: Up to You” was a program created by AfreecaTV and founded a 5-member group after a month of broadcast, including Yooya, Nayomi, Gyumdungi, Yoonsooya and Kim Rayul. Notably, Kim Rayul was born in 2011, which meant she debuted at 11 years old.
Moreover, other members were at their 20s, meaning there was a 14-year-old age gap between Kim Rayul and the rest of the group. It was the generational gap that concerned the audience. Furthermore, viewers were saddened to see Chohee leave despite ranking second in the semi-final. On the contrary, Kim Rayul went from 19th to fourth place in the finale, leaving suspicion about the transparency of the show.
In the group performance, Kim Rayul stood out because she was much younger than the other members. More surprisingly, her management company let her perform sensual choreography, generating many negative responses about the glaring incidents of sexual exploitation of minors in the industry.
While the group has not officially debuted, a majority of audience believed Kim Rayul should spend her time studying rather than getting in the highly competitive K-pop industry at such a young age.