brief guide to chuu

chuu blinkie

♥ CHUU! ♥

Chuu (Kim Jiwoo) is a Korean singer formerly of the girl group "Loona" (Girl of the Month). Chuu debuted in Loona on December 28, 2017 with the solo song "Heart Attack". Chuu was kicked out of Loona after a long legal battle with Loona's company Blockberry Creative on November 25th, 2022.

Loona is a unique Kpop group due to their "project" format. Before they released a song as a group, each member was teased and then revealed to the public with a solo song, followed by several "subunits" consisting of 3-4 members. They released their group debut song, "Hi High", on August 20, 2018. In 2019 with "Butterfly". The group was then embroiled in several lawsuits. In 2019, BBC (a subsidary of larger entertainment company Polaris) had been rumored to have gone bankrupt. Fans were relieved when the group released a new song, "So What" in Feb 2020.

Then, days later, the Donuts lawsuit hit and the company lost even more money due to gross negligence. However, fans rallied behind the group and managed to chart all of their albums on Billboard. This drew the attention of SME founder Lee Sooman, who gave the group several songs for their mini album release in October 2020, the title track of which was "Why Not?". In January of 2021 it was announced that CJ&M Entertainment had selected Chuu to the the star of their new webseries about saving the Earth, named "Chuu Can Do It." Later that year, Loona released "Paint The Town (PTT)". They released their first Japanese EP in 2021 as well, with "Hula Hoop" as the title track. In 2022, they participated in MNET's reality/competition show Queendom 2, and unfortunately got second place due to all of the members catching COVID-19 and being forced to miss the first round. After that, they released a special summer mini album with the title track "Flip That". Shortly afterwards, they went on their first world tour which Chuu did not participate in. I saw Loona live on Aug 27, 2022!

In 2022, it was revealed that Chuu had been quietly suing her company since Dec 2021 and had recently been granted an injuction on her contract with BBC. Chuu was the most well known member in Korea, and BBC profited off of this by overworking her and sending her on numerous solo schedules such as filming ads, variety programs, solo OSTs, and more. Despite this, Chuu (and the other members of Loona) had never been paid. Chuu's injunction partially suspended her contract, which would give her more freedom in choosing her schedules and prevent the company from forcing her to do extra work she wouldn't be paid for. Later details came out about the court case and Chuu's contract due to BBC leaking info, like private text messages and phone calls, in order to paint Chuu in a bad light. Loona's contracts were unfairly skewed in favor of the company. To make a long story short, the girls had to pay for 70% of the various production costs, but could only recieve 50% of the profits. This meant that in over six years of working, despite the BBC paying off their debts and profiting off of the group, the members themselves had not earned a single penny. In fact, they all still owed BBC around 20,000 USD each. This unfair system led to many being firmly on Chuu's side and not caring about BBC's cherrypicked phone calls, in which Chuu gets angry at the company for reprimanding her mother.

After Chuu won the injunction, the company retaliated by leaving Chuu out of group schedules, like preventing her from participating in their concert in South Korea, despite not having any other schedules on that day. When BBC finally bit the bullet and kicked Chuu out of the group, they did so by accusing her of "gapjil," aka abuse of power over staff. Gapjil is taken very seriously in Korea and has tanked careers before (like with Irene from Red Velvet). But within hours, dozens of entertainment industry staff had spoken up on Chuu's behalf, defending her and demanding proof from BBC for such a serious accusation. Chuu Can Do It staff members and writers vehemently denied that Chuu would act that way, and staff from other programs she had guested on came to her defense as well. Ironically, BBC overworking her as a cash cow meant that there were literally hundreds of people she had worked with coming out in her defense. BBC released a second, confusing statement saying that they had never meant to "expose" Chuu and that it was her job to prove that she was innocent.

The same day BBC accused Chuu of staff abuse, nine of the remaining Loona members filed injunctions against the company. Four of the nine members had their contracts suspended immediately, due to them having the same unfair terms as Chuu— Heejin, Jinsoul, Kim Lip, and Choerry all exited the group and company. They went to Modhaus, the current company of former Loona creative director Jaden Jeong. They seem to be putting together a new project, called "Artms" (Artemis). Odd Eye Circle (members Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Choerry) had their first comeback after five years on July 11th. Members Haseul, Yeojin, Yves, Olivia Hye, and Gowon were not granted an injunction, due to them having previously renegotiated their contracts; the court ruled that there was no immediate danger. This doesn't mean that they lost their court case— simply that they were not granted an immediate injunction and have to spend more time in court. Members Vivi and Hyunjin, the only two to not file for contract termination on that day, filed for termination and won their cases on May 9th and both won their cases. On July 16th, the remaining members were won their lawsuits, due to BBC signing a contract with Universal Japan on their behalf without their written consent. All of Loona is now free from BBC, although BBC continue to threaten to countersue. Chuu is now under a subsidary company, ATRP, that was set up just for her, and plans to make a solo debut later in 2023. Loona as we know it is done. LONG LIVE CHUU!

My history with Chuu is long and happened by chance. I randomly came across "Heart Attack" on Tumblr, where it was being praised as a cute lesbian music video (in the video, Chuu follows around fellow member Yves and tries to get her to notice her by giving her fruit and copying her mannerisms). I thought the music video was cute and the song was catchy, and I looked into Loona. I had no prior experience with Kpop and they were my introduction into it! They really opened my eyes to a whole new world of music out there, just waiting to be discovered. Loona themselves have an incredibly diverse discography, consisting of over 70 solo songs, 5 subunit albums, and 4 group albums. They've done synthpop, 90s retro, 80s retro, chiptune, dreampop, as well as darker and louder music. Their music is great and their predebut project, consisting of an intricately intertwined lore universe, adds a uniqueness to the group that you just can't get anywhere else. To me, the only bad thing about Loona is their company, which has basically sabatoged them at every turn. Just when their momentum would pick up and they would start to take off, BBC's incompetence would stall them (like the numerous lawsuits, as well as BBC's issues with distributing and printing albums). When I think about how big Loona could be by now if they had been with any other company, I get genuinely sad. They're such talented and hard-working girls and they don't deserve to be treated like this. Hopefully, they're all able to get out of their contacts and maybe even get scooped up by another company. Redebuting in any way with even half of the members would be a dream come true for me. Mostly, I just want them to be safe, healthy, and happy.

Chuu especially; when I think of how BBC has treated her, I get so angry. She's such a hardworking, genuine, kind, and talented person and they took advantage of her for years. When she finally demanded WHAT SHE WAS OWED they purposefully sabatoged her, separated her from her family and friends, and forced her to go to solo schedules with no company support (fansites saw her taking taxis to solo filming locations when usually the company will send a car). Then, when they realized they couldn't break her, they kicked her to the curb and tried to slander her name to make themselves look better and to try to destroy her career in retaliation. It's genuinely sick. But seeing the amount of people coming out to support her is heartwarming, and I truly believe that she will rise from the ashes and become bigger and better than ever. #Chuugummyforlife #JusticeForChuu #WeLoveYouChuu