Fans Start Petition After K-Pop Star Wonho Quits Band Monsta X Amid “Me Too” Joke Rumors
K-Pop is on the rise and it seems like anyone making waves in the Korean pop music industry would want to hold on tight for as long as they could. But a member of MONSTA X has announced that he’s leaving the band and issued an apology for failing to, “keep the promise that I would only provide good memories to our fans and for causing them pain.” Wonho Shin Ho-seok, also known simply as “Wonho,” made the decision to leave MONSTA X mutually with the band’s management company, Starship Entertainment.
Unfortunately, fans haven’t accepted that Wonho’s leaving. A fan petition popped on Change.Org, titled, “Keep a member of Monsta X,” noting that “Monbebes do not want Wondo to Leave. Monsta X is 7 members.” Monbebes is the fan army name for Monsta X fans. In only six hours since a user name Isabel Sun made the petition, it’s garnered nearly 131 thousand signatures from K-Pop fans.
Wonho’s departure comes soon after allegations were made on Twitter that the K-Pop singer and songwriter owed his friend a significant amount of money. Also, he was recently bashed on Twitter for allegedly making “a joke,” about the #MeToo movement, though it’s unclear whether he just said the words, “me too” or was referencing sexual assault victims. Wonho apologized, writing “I’d like to sincerely apologize to the people in the fansign venue and anyone who was hurt of uncomfortable by my careless words. I did not think that my words that I spit out could cause damage to the courageous victims and survivors … when I spoke about the Me Too movement.”
translation of wonho's fancafe apology letter pic.twitter.com/9BuvGApV88
— iris #원호탈퇴반대 (@janeandthor) October 26, 2019
Many fans didn’t think the apology was necessary because the intention behind his words was so unclear. It’s also worth noting that the pressure K-Pop stars feel from their management companies has been a hot topic of discussion in recent weeks since Sulli tragically died by suicide. Sulli was a member of f(x) and her tragedy came less than two years after Jonghyun of Shinee also killed himself. The rigorous work and social demands of making it big as a pop star in Korea has been widely documented, so a scandal surrounding Wonho could’ve made those psychological pressures even more intense.
If Wonho and Monbebes decide it’s best for MONSTA X to have their seventh member back, we hope that Starship will allow it. It appears that’s all the fans want.