It’s heartbreaking to see the contrast between fans’ reactions to Chen (EXO) and idols who committed crimes.
In the early days of 2020, after the marriage news was announced too suddenly, Chen (EXO) posted a letter to EXO-Ls. In the letter, the male idol apologized to fans, admitting that he had hurt fans with that news.
Immediately after announcing the marriage and having a baby in mid-January, the EXO member kept silent for many days. During that time, he received a lot of criticism from the online community. Many fans turned their back on him. A part of fans did everything to force Chen to leave the group such as leaving malicious comments, organizing demonstrations, renting LED cars with negative messages for Chen, etc. Notably, all of these acts have come from fans who used to worship him. They believe that the male idol has harmed EXO’s image, betrayed the fandom, acted selfishly, and is only concerned with his personal happiness.
At that time, even the fansites – the strongest stronghold to protect an idol, did not care about the tragedy that the main vocalist of the group was suffering. They quietly announced the closure, some even left sarcastic goodbye messages at Chen’s good news.
Before that, Chen voluntarily confessed everything so that EXO-L wouldn’t have to receive news from the press and media. Witnessing the fans’ harsh reactions, the main vocal also apologized for disappointing fans. However, soon after, the hashtags “Just leave the group” and “Chen just leave the group” appeared on top trending on Twitter. It showed that fans still have not calmed down and will do everything to make him give the name EXO up after choosing to get married.
Moreover, fans also left harsh comments: “Leave the group, that’s all you need to do now, what’s the point of writing a long letter? EXO-L, be strong”; “I know why he did it. His collab didn’t make it to the top 100, his YouTube followers are also down. It has only just begun. I hope he realizes soon that he had nothing to attract fans, except for being EXO’s Chen. Now that he has chosen love, he should have to lose other things. I will carry the love that I gave him to the other members. Now leave the group!”; etc
In a topic about an idol’s worst scandal, many EXO-Ls agreed to mention Chen’s incident. They think that the group’s main vocalist’s announcement of getting married and having children is the most condemnable thing, even worse than hot issues such as school violence, drug use, etc.
Again, talking about the case of Seungri, who was prosecuted without detention on January 30 for tax evasion, illegal gambling and prostitution brokerage. During the Burning Sun scandal, the former BIGBANG member always received support from a large fan base. They tried to find convincing evidence, ignored the false information from the press and waited for the final conclusions. Not only defending, the V.I.P also collected signatures to keep him in the entertainment industry.
Or the case when police accused Yoochun of drug use in 2019. The police have found evidence, his hair follicle test results were positive for drugs. However, no protests demanding Yoochun’s retirement took place. There were not a bunch of fansites shutting down as EXO-Ls did with Chen. Recently, fans are also very supportive of Yoochun’s announcement of returning to showbiz. They even came to fan meetings to support the idol as well.
A fan once said, “If you leave Chen because he’s married and responsible for his actions, then you probably can’t understand how I feel. Every morning when I wake up, I see my idol as nothing more than a bunch of trash. I used to be a fan of Jung Joon Young.”
Thus, the public wonders if KPOP fans are always willing to protect male idols even if they break the law but never forgive them if they date or get married? And many people think that, if only Chen had had another scandal (but not a love scandal), perhaps fans would not have been so jealous and turned their backs on him like that.