In the latest episode of Midnight Idol on NAVER NOW, show host Ha Sungwoon interviewed rising star girl group STAYC. During this interview, STAYC members revealed that they currently don’t have access to their cellphones — as per their agency High Up Entertainment‘s restriction against rookie groups having personal cellphones.
When Ha Sungwoon asked in shock when the “phone ban” will be lifted, STAYC members clarified, “The CEO said we can have it when we win #1 on a music program.”
애들 지금 폰 없대..
공중파 1위하면 폰 준다고 했대.. 블아필이 pic.twitter.com/jwoEyGw6Ba
— 129 (@jloveunly) April 23, 2021
Ha Sungwoon: You don’t have phones?!
STAYC: No, because we’re rookies…
Ha Sungwoon: Oh, because you’re rookies… I see. That kind of sucks?! When will you get your own phones?
STAYC: When we win #1 on a music program… One of the three main broadcasting channels’ music programs.
Ha Sungwoon: Oh man, I hope you win soon so you can all have your own phones.
Shortly after the episode aired, STAYC fans criticized the agency CEO, Black Eyed Pilseung, for implementing a restriction that is “so against a basic and essential human need.” In over a thousand quote tweets about the short clip shared, fans expressed frustration with the “outdated restriction.”
to them getting their first win, like they can control when they get their first win or not
— stayc pics (@archivestayc) April 23, 2021
While phone bans aren’t new to the K-Pop world, as STAYC’s industry sunbae groups OH MY GIRL and GFRIEND also reportedly had their cellphones “taken” by their agencies for years, fans are finding the practice to be generally unnecessary — especially since “it’s literally 2021.”
Cellphones aren’t the only things K-Pop agencies “restrict” in the name of managing their artists. Read more about some of the most absurd K-Pop rules here: