A video of EXO’s Chinese members bowing to fans’ requests is resurfacing as stories about Chinese idols refusing to bow one after another is causing controversy.
On Feb 15th, an online community user captured a scene of EXO doing big bows on their knees on the entertainment show “Weekly Idol.”
This scene appears in the 108th episode of Weekly Idol, which aired on August 14th, 2013. At the time, EXO bowed at the request of their fan in a corner called “Donidoni Call Center”. That fan said to EXO, “I applied almost 500 times because I want to be selected for this corner,” adding, “Please acknowledge the hard work of us fans. First of all, please do a big bow.”
As a result, EXO did not hesitate to bow down together. Chinese members Luhan, Kris, and Tao, who were still in the team at the time, and Chinese member Lay, who is currently the only Chinese member remaining in EXO, also knelt down and thanked their fans. Some said, “We’ll work hard,” and gave an early New Year’s greeting.
The video has recently been re-examined as Chinese idols such as aespa’s NingNing and Seventeen’s Jun and The8 refused to bow one after another. Last month, rookie EVERGLOW’s Wang Yi-ren was also criticized for refusing to bow at a fan signing event.
Netizens are strongly opposed to that refusal. The Korean online community criticized those idols, saying “How can you do your activities in Korea if you don’t like Korean New Year’s greetings,” “Refusing to bow is disrespecting our culture,” “Go to China,” and “Don’t make money in Korea.”
On the other hand, in Weibo, China, there are enthusiastic responses such as “Chinese do not kneel down in front of small countries,” “Proud idols that keep the Chinese tradition,” and “Wang Yi-ren did a good job.”
China’s state-run media network also defended the Chinese idol’s “big bow rejection,” saying, “Kneeling is a symbol of respect for the highest in traditional Chinese culture.”