Sitala Wongkrachang of H1-KEY, a rookie girl group, has made the decision to leave the group due to personal reasons. GLG, the singer's management company, issued an official statement announcing the idol's departure from the group.
The agency's statement:
"Hello, this is GLG. We would like to notify that member Sitala, who has been a part of H1-KEY until now, has decided to leave the team due to personal reasons. "
Grandline Group and Sony Music Entertainment Korea developed and manage the rookie K-pop female group. Seoi, Riina, and Yel will now make up the group. The group's first single album, Athletic Girl, was released on January 5, 2022, alongside Sitala.
Former H1-KEY member Sitala received backlash online
Sitala's agency, Grandline Group, issued an official statement on May 25, 2022, announcing the idol's departure from the rookie female group, which debuted in January 2022 with the hit track Athletic Girl.
According to the agency, group member Sitala opted to leave the group for personal reasons, and the issue has sparked outrage among netizens.
Grandline Group further added to its statement:
"The agency discussed this matter at length with Sitala herself as well as with the rest of the H1-KEY members, and the decision was reached after a thorough review of the overall situation."
The agency went on to say that the sudden revelation had caused alarm among fans, and that they apologized for it. It also asked fans to send encouraging thoughts to the K-pop idol and the rest of the group in the hopes of a bright future.
"Above all, we apologize for causing concerns with such sudden news. We ask for your warm encouragement towards Sitala's future, and also towards the remaining H1-KEY members who plan to resume the road to their dreams once again. Thank you."
Meanwhile, in 2021, Sitala faced backlash online for her family's alleged role in Thailand's 2014 political crisis. Sarunyu Wongkrachang, Sitala's father, was a Thai actor and filmmaker.
Sarunyu Wongkrachang was allegedly involved in helping the People's Democratic Reform Committee, which played a major part in the 2014 Thai political crisis, according to numerous accounts.
Despite countless netizens demanding her removal, Grandline Group reacted by confirming that Sitala would remain in H1-KEY. The agency claimed it couldn't hold Sitala responsible for her father's past decisions and actions because they were beyond her control.
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During a press conference for the group's debut, the K-pop idol, too, spoke out against the scandal. Sitala maintained that she was too young to grasp what was going on in the country and that she had no political ideas.