An old Internet post has come back to haunt the leader of one of Korea's hottest boy bands. Park Jae-beom, the leader of 2PM, wrote derogatory comments about Korea and Koreans on social networking website MySpace four years ago while he was an understudy at JYP Entertainment.
The 22-year-old Korean American decided to quit the band on Tuesday, four days after the controversy surfaced. In a message to the official fan site, he wrote, "I think it will be difficult for me to see you on stage because I am so sorry. I am leaving 2PM as of today." A JYP Entertainment spokesman said, "We discussed it numerous times, but he was determined to leave. He will go back to the States to be with his parents for the time being."
Park is from Seattle and holds a U.S. citizenship. Between 2005 and 2007, he wrote comments such as, "Korea is gay. I hate Koreans. I wanna come back" and, "Korea is whack, but everyone thinks I'm like the illest rapper when I suck nuts at rapping." After the comments were unearthed, Park faced a storm of criticism here. He left a TV program on Monday where he was a regular member of the panel.
Originally a breakdancer in the streets of Seattle, he passed an audition by JYP USA and came to Korea. After over three years of training as an understudy, he debuted as the leader of boy band 2PM in August last year. The band, comprised of seven pretty young men, has been immensely popular.