Sad news for MONSTA X fans. Starship Entertainment has revealed that Wonho has left the group.
Through a series of bizarre claims ranging from an accusation that Wonho was making fun of the #MeToo movement through a vague moment at a fan meeting to saying that he still owed someone money from before he was a trainee, the idol seems to have been under attack the past few days from mainly two people: Jung Da Eun (who was friends with Wonho before his debut and appeared on the show “Ulzzang Generation 7”) and Han Seo Hee (a former YG Entertainment trainee who has been a source of controversy due to her connection with many major scandals in K-pop the past couple of years). After an initial denial a month ago, the two later admitted they have been dating for quite some time.
In the past few days, the two aforementioned people have been posting various claims about Wonho, as well as private text conversations between Wonho’s lawyer and Jung Da Eun. Perhaps thinking the rumors would blow over, Starship Entertainment was slow to respond to the accusations which ultimately seemed to lend power to the accusers. As such, some people in Korea began trending a hate hashtag directed at Wonho as the situation grew completely out of hand. (*Please be aware that WTK has a no rumors policy. As such, we are only choosing to explain this current situation in brief terms so fans can understand Wonho’s own statement and what has led him to withdraw from the group, as well as to bring up concerns about rumors and how they affect idols and other celebrities.)
At this point, the label did speak up and deny the allegations, but Wonho was spotted crying and looking upset during promotions. In the meantime, Han Seo Hee went on to make accusations that Wonho had been in some legal trouble as a teenager and that fellow member Shownu had been in a relationship with a married woman. Starship quickly clarified by explaining that Shownu had been in a relationship with a woman before her marriage and that she had gone on to get married to someone without telling Shownu. However, when Shownu found out about her marriage, he cut off contact with her immediately.
On October 31st, the label then released a statement saying that Wonho had left the group. You can read their statement below:
After the announcement was revealed to the public, Wonho then took to social media to post his own letter. He began with an apology for causing fans pain and for not being able to keep his past promise of only making good memories with his fans.
He then went on to say how thankful he had been for his time in MONSTA X and for the members who had been by his side.
He continued to explain by revealing that although he had made some mistakes in his youth, that was no longer the case. He stated that since he had become a trainee and then later debuted, he had worked hard to avoid anything that would cause him shame.
However, he confirmed that he would be leaving the group.
As a result, fans have been trending various hashtags worldwide and asking Starship to intervene, to hold the accusers responsible, and to support Wonho. Meanwhile, other K-pop fandoms have also joined in and stated their support since Wonho has always been known to be a kind person and one who was respected by many in the K-pop community. In addition, a petition has also been started asking Starship to reinstate Wonho as a member.
With only vague details known and most rumors still unconfirmed and with no evidence given at all to prove the veracity of the accusations, the effects remain clear. As such, it begs a few questions about accusations in general against celebrities: Should people’s past mistakes and immature judgement as teens (when applicable) be cause enough to ruin their careers as adults? Should the people making the accusations be held accountable for making them lose their jobs? With situations being repeated like this over the past few years in K-pop, why do we continue to insist idols have a spotless life or past when they are only humans too? Is it fair that entertainment agencies (many of whom we can safely presume have known about their stars’ past mistakes already) are fully supportive of them when the celebrity in question is making the label a lot of money, yet seem to abandon ship at the first sign of trouble? Lastly, should a rumor, which is often never proven to be true and sometimes is even proven to be untrue, be enough to ruin someone’s career? If not, why does it continue to happen in the Korean entertainment industry?
What are your thoughts on this and other similar situations? Let us know by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1.
In the meantime, we wish Wonho and the other MONSTA X members the best of luck in their future.
Media: Starship Entertainment