As first-generation K-Pop stars, the members of g.o.d have been around since 1999, and leader Joon Park recently addressed one of the group’s biggest “controversies” at the time they were most active.
Back in 2001, g.o.d was at the top of the charts, enjoying sky-rocketing popularity with their music, when news of Joon Park (going by his Korean name Park Joonhyung) dating actress Han Go Eun broke out and caused a stir among the public.
In an episode of YouTube‘s new K-Pop documentary series, K-Pop Evolution, Joon Park addressed this particular topic, and talked about how he was one of the first idols to come out and say that dating for public figures should not be something to condemn or look at in a bad light. He also shared how when the news of him dating first broke out, his agency at the time (SidusHQ) decided to kick him out of the group, with no prior consultation with either Joon Park or the other members of g.o.d.
I was actually the first “gateway” to come out and say, “Hey man. It’s a natural thing for a boy and a girl to like each other, and hold hands and go on a date.” I was already 31 or 32 in Korean age. I did have a girlfriend at the time and I came out with it and our company decided to kick me out of the group.
Joon Park also brought up the press conference he held after news of him dating Han Go Eun came out, and talked about how the feelings of frustration and anger he had made him break down in tears because he was on public trial even though he had done nothing wrong.
I had that press meeting. When I was going there, my mom and my sister go, “Go up there. You didn’t do anything wrong Just be firm and say what you want to say.” I went up there but then I started talking, I got so…I was so mad! I burst out into tears because I was so mad. Like it was ridiculous.
It was like, “Are you kidding me?” Come on, man!
Eventually, when news of him being kicked out of the group reached fans, they strongly opposed to it, and his fellow members also held their own press conferences in support of Joon Park, which ultimately convinced their managing agency to back down and retract their original decision.
After moving to JYP Entertainment in 2004 as a quartet, the group then went on an indefinite hiatus in 2006, and finally regrouped and made a comeback in 2014 under their original management agency, SidusHQ.