19:31 GMT14 May 2021
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    South Korean company Starship Entertainment recently announced that Wonho, the main vocalist of the band MONSTA X, would be permanently leaving the group in the wake of a scandal sparked by an awkward exchange of jokes related to the “MeToo” movement.

    Social media support for Wonho and K-pop boy band Monsta X is gaining momentum, a week after the announcement of the lead vocalist’s departure.


    As the hashtag #LoveUWonho trends on Twitter, the devoted army of the group’s fans, known as Monbebe, meaning "my baby" in French, is sending out messages of hope for Wonho's return.

    ​One fan, Isabel Sun, started an online petition for Wonho's return on the website Change.org, which has received more than 441,000 signatures.

    ​Others fans of the band have directly addressed Starship Entertainment, the management company of Monsta X, to reinstate Wonho.

    ​As Monsta X have been nominated for the top spot on the popular Korean music television show Music Bank, many fans have been encouraging each other to keep streaming the band’s music.

    ​Starship has not responded officially to the fans’ pleas.

    A poor judgment joke

    Korean boy band MONSTA X was recently embroiled in a scandal when two members, Monsta X Minhyuk and Wonho, made a poorly-received joke during a speech at a fan signing event on 9 March.

    A video of the incident spread on Twitter on 25 October, just before the group’s scheduled comeback with their new mini album “Follow: Find You”.

    The footage shows Minhyuk putting his mic on Wonho's chest and saying in Korean, "Mr. Nipple, please say something" while Wonho puts his hand up and shouts in English, "Me too".

    ​The video generated a storm among Korean fans, according to local media reports, with the boys criticised for having mocked the MeToo movement.

    Most international fans, however, rushed to Twitter to support the musicians, insisting the situation was taken out of context.

    Nevertheless, the South Korean company Starship Entertainment issued an official statement that the main vocalist Wonho, who has been with the band since its formation during the reality survival programme No.Mercy in 2015, would be permanently leaving the group, which would now feature only six members.



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    K-Pop Star Wonho Leaves MONSTA X Band
    MeToo, k-pop
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