Anyone who is familiar with Korean culture would know how important is education is to them. Which is why when a celebrity was found to have received preferential treatment and got admitted to a post-graduate programme in Kyung Hee University without passing the interview, netizens were up in arms.
It was later revealed that the celebrity in question is CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa. According to Korean media outlets, he had skipped the mandatory interviews needed for admission to the PhD programme. An initial report by SBS News revealed that Yong Hwa did not go for the initial round of interview and hence, scored a grade of 0 for that round. He later applied during an additional round of submissions, and got in even though he did not attend the interview.
While the news report did not specifically name Yong Hwa, the description of his works fitted him to a T.
His agency, FNC Entertainment, today admitted that the CNBLUE singer is indeed the celeb in question. They apologised for the controversy and clarified that the singer did not know what went on because the application was done by the agency. They added that both the agency and Yong Hwa believed that the individual interview conducted by the school (separate from the rounds of interviews) was the normal procedure, and did not realise that it was preferential treatment.
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Yong Hwa thought he went through a proper interview when a professor from the school, reportedly his aunt, went to the agency to meet him.
The agency also said that the school had recommended Yong Hwa to apply for the course because they were trying to get more students to fill up classes, and that the professor wanted Yong Hwa to help the school by applying for the programme.
Due to a low application rate, everyone who applied for the course was accepted into the programme.
FNC Entertainment clarified that Yong Hwa did not know that it was against the law for him to be personally contacted for an interview, and that the interview had to be conducted at the school. Had he known, he would have made time to attend it and the agency would not have done something that would damage his image as a celebrity, they added.
The police is investigating the case on the suspicion of preferential treatment.
Meanwhile, Yong Hwa posted a handwritten letter on his Instagram page to apologise for the controversy.
He wrote, “First of all, I bow my head to sincerely apologise for what happened. Regardless of the reason, regardless of the truth, I know that it’s my fault and I will be reflecting deeply on it.”
He also apologised to his family, fellow members and fans for disappointing them.
He added, “I know whatever I saw or post now, it will be hard to get through to you, but I want to apologise once again. I’m sorry for taking up your precious time in reading this letter.”
Image: TPG/Click Photos