Updated: Dec 9, 2019
What's taken place on Twitter over the past few days is nothing short of monumental. For those who don't know, Wonho (known as one of the lead vocals and lead dancer) of Monsta X has left the group as of October 31, 2019. The reason behind why he left the group is due to the influx of rumours and scandals that have risen against him within the past few weeks. From being accused of owing money to an old "friend" to engaging in petty crimes as a minor, there has been an unusual rise of allegations raised against Monsta X's Wonho.
In my honest opinion, nothing about this seems right and has been blown completely out of proportion. Not only is Wonho being slandered and defamed for small mistakes made when he was younger, but the overwhelming cyber attacks has led to him having his contract terminated. Prior to Wonho's contract being terminated, he wrote out a statement where he basically sacrifices himself to protect the rest of his members from the accusations. This situation is far from being fair. Now, I'm not quite sure why people have teamed up to attack such a wholesome and innocent person like Wonho who has worked towards improving his life, pursuing his passion, righting his wrongs, and learning from his mistakes, but it's been incredibly heartbreaking to watch. I'm sure it's even more heartbreaking to have to experience firsthand.
Something needs to be done about the attitude that Korean companies have when it comes to their idols getting involved in petty and irrelevant scandals. People's lives shouldn't be torn out from under them just because they're caught dating, gained weight, seen out with someone of another gender, or made innocent errors in their youth. People are capable of growing from the things they've done in their past and should be accepted for their maturity rather than condemned. What type of message is being sent out if people are demonized and cast into the shadows of society for things they've done in their past rather than celebrated from growing from it? How can we expect people to be better if we don't allow them to learn from their past first? How can we foster a healthy environment for these superstars who are already under constant surveillance and need to be perfect at all times if we don't even give them room to grow and learn? Are idols not human beings too? I understand that they help generate a lot of revenue for those they work for, but they're not cash cows. They have emotions, feelings, thoughts, and opinions just like everyone else and all of those things make them the person that they are, so both Korean entertainment companies and the general public need to come to terms with that once and for all.
Over the past few years, we've already, unfortunately, lost a multitude of idols due to an assortment of different issues, with the overwhelming weight of needing to be perfect, ailing mental health and lack of mental health resources, constant cyber attacks, lack of sleep, nutrients, and a healthy diet, with the addition of sometimes being overworked by their companies. Changes need to be made to the company policies that silence, repress, and pressure these idols in such a way where if they do anything that any other non-celebrity has done or currently does that they get punished for it. Enough is enough. How many more people need to suffer before substantial change is made?
Thankfully, monbebes (the name of Monsta X's fandom) have come together in droves in support of Wonho. They've started up a petition on behalf of reinstating Wonho back into Monsta X and this petition has garnered over 362,984 signatures in 48 hours. Monbebes have also started a silent protest outside of Starship Entertainment's headquarters in hopes of letting Wonho and the rest of Monsta X know that they'll always be by their side. In fact, fans from outside of Korea have flown in last minute to come out and show their support for Wonho during this period of time. A monbebe by the username of @dameviolencia even reached out to me to say that "she has been with [Monsta X] since debut and they've literally saved her life" and so "she isn't letting them down" which is why she is all the more motivated to give Monsta X the justice they deserve. In fact, Monsta X's fans have completely taken over ALL social media platforms from Twitter to Monsta X's fancafe page showing their support for Wonho using hashtags like:
#스타쉽_우리가_답변을_원해 = (Starship we want answers)
#WONHOCOMEBACK #몬스터엑스_응원해 = (Monsta X, cheer up)
#몬베베의_목소리를_들어봐요 = (Listen to Monbebe's voice)
To add on to that, monbebes have raised over $10,000 USD in under an HOUR to post a Billboard ad in the New York Times' Times Square to raise awareness about this issue in hopes that more people will get involved on behalf of Wonho. You can donate to the Billboard ad here!
This is what the updated Billboard ad in Times Square looks like:
Ads are currently underway in Seoul, Korea, as well
And the Philippines
Here is just a sample of what Monbebes have to say and what they've done thus far both offline and online:
This even shows how the friends of Monsta X are getting involved just because of how much they genuinely care for this group and their continual success.
Elhae is an incredibly talented, alternative r&b icon from Georgia and also a close friend of Monsta X's youngest member, I.M. In fact, they've even collaborated on a track before, so make sure to check it out here!
Nonetheless, I'm thankful for all of the people involved in raising awareness about this issue. I hope that Wonho will be able to receive the justice he deserves by being re-included back into the group that he loves so much and has worked so hard to be a valuable member of. I also hope that people understand that this is more than just k-pop. This is about idols receiving the justice they deserve and not having their careers thrown into the garbage over minuscule things. I hope that this article helps shed light on how much monbebes love, support, and will continue to be a fan of Monsta X and the positive impact that Monsta X have had on monbebes. Monbebes want to remind Wonho that none of this is his fault and that they're supporting him through thick and thin. This is history in the making and we can only hope that Wonho and the rest of Monsta X get the justice they deserve. Let's join together to #FightForWonho and hope that all of this will get resolved peacefully sooner rather than later.