These days, a growing number of stars in South Korea are braving society’s stigmas and coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer. For one former JYP Entertainment trainee, however, being gay cost him his chance at ever debuting as a K-Pop idol. In an interview, KilliAN revealed his experience of being kicked out of JYP Entertainment for being in a homosexual relationship.
32-year-old KilliAN, whose real name is Lin Jia Le, has been in the entertainment industry since he was just a child. In fact, entertainment runs in his bloodline; when he was young, his dad was an action movie star. Initially, KilliAN’s family didn’t want him to go down the same path and tried to keep him away from the industry. However, after being offered a movie role, KilliAN made his debut in Hong Kong at the age of just 8 years old.
Then, in his middle school days, KilliAN’s social media began attracting attention. By his early teen years, that attention had earned KilliAN the offer of a lifetime—a trainee contract from JYP Entertainment, one of the biggest agencies in South Korea. Given his family’s hesitations, it should come as no surprise that they opposed the idea of KilliAN becoming a K-Pop star at first. “The opportunity came,” he explained, “But I had a big fight with my family over wanting to go to Korea.”
However, after a period of difficulty, he was eventually able to travel to South Korea to join JYP Entertainment when he was 14 years old. At the time, the company was readying to debut 2PM and 2AM, and KilliAN could well have been one of the members—if he hadn’t been kicked out.
KilliAN ended up revealing the real reason that he was made to leave JYP Entertainment: he got caught in a gay relationship.
Opening up about his sexuality in his interview, KilliAN stated, “I’m gay, but Koreans were very conservative about homosexuality at that time, so in the end, they asked me to leave because of it.”
This happened several years ago, but this is the first time I’ve revealed the true reason for my departure.
KilliAN explained that when he was caught dating a fellow male trainee under JYP Entertainment, the agency was very angry. While he’d once believed he would finally achieve his dream of becoming a celebrity under the company, JYP Entertainment didn’t want to take the risk of a gay trainee. KilliAN went on to note that not being Korean also ended up being a key factor in the agency’s decision. As such, all things considered, JYP Entertainment asked him to leave for good.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the discrimination KilliAN faced in the entertainment industry. After he lost the opportunity to debut in a K-Pop boy group, a JYP Entertainment make-up artist introduced KilliAN to a new agency. However, after spending time training under five different Korean entertainment companies, he eventually returned to Hong Kong to train.
But in Hong Kong, KilliAN says he was “basically under house arrest.” Everywhere he went, someone from his company followed him, and his boss even asked him to get testosterone injections because his voice was “too feminine.”
His hardships only continued from then on. After a film opportunity fell through due to a scandal involving Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing, KilliAN decided to enlist in the Taiwanese military. “I thought perhaps I just don’t get along with the entertainment industry,” he explained. But when he eventually tried to return to acting after his military service, he was exploited by an unscrupulous boss.
KilliAN was preparing for another movie opportunity in Beijing, and one day after shooting, his male boss invited him to a karaoke bar. However, it later turned out that the boss had ulterior motives and hoped to have a sexual encounter with KilliAN. In exchange, the boss offered him a lead role in a production. Tragically, the situation escalated further when KilliAN’s boss attempted to drag him to a washroom, but KilliAN was thankfully able to reject him after a struggle ensued.
The difficulties KilliAN has faced in his journey to success would be enough to make many people give up entirely, but the aspiring star is still staying strong and striving on. “Right now I’m just going with the flow in terms of building my career in the entertainment industry,” he stated.
I’m slowing down and not hoping to become super famous. I hope a fitting opportunity will come.
KilliAN has not stopped with his love of being himself and K-Pop, even participating in KARD’s “ICKY” challenge. He is also very open about his sexual identity on his Instagram.