The global girl group VCHA was officially introduced at the end of September following the conclusion of the idol reality competition program, A2K, which was a joint venture between JYP Entertainment and Republic Records.
The show’s final episode, which aired on September 21, finalized VCHA’s six-member line-up, with contestants Kaylee, Kendall, Savanna, KG, Camila, and Lexi joining the group.
(From left:) Lexi, Savanna, KG, Camila, Kaylee, and Kendall | @Official_VCHA/Twitter
Amid the growing criticism surrounding minors debuting in the K-Pop industry, the ages of a few of the show’s contestants, who ranged from 12 to 18 years old at the time of their auditions in 2022, raised some flags.
The age of VCHA member Kaylee, who is currently 13 years old, alarmed many netizens as they expressed their concern for her rushed debut, with many hoping the talented idol would spend more time training in order to debut at an older age.
VCHA’s Kaylee was only 12 years old during her “A2K” audition. | JYP Entertainment
In a recent interview with Nylon, Daniel Hong, an LA-based JYP Entertainment manager, directly addressed these concerns, assuring fans that the company has been strictly following regulations set by California regarding minors working in the entertainment industry.
These regulations include restrictions on working hours for minors, access to education through provided tutors, and guardian presence when needed.
That rule has been put together and followed until today and it’ll be followed until later.
— Daniel Hong
Hong acknowledged that following the guidelines may put VCHA at a disadvantage compared to groups that don’t follow them, but he stated that following the regulations is non-negotiable.
There are concerns regarding quality because we’re competing with other groups that are not necessarily following the same guidelines like we do. But it is something that we can’t really cross. We’re not going to cross that line.
— Daniel Hong
Earlier this year, a new bill was approved by the Ministry of Culture to protect underage K-Pop idols. Read more on that in the article below!