Monsta X members Wonho and Minhyuk suddenly found themselves in hot water recently over actions from a fansign in March. Recently an account uploaded a video and called out the members allegedly using the #MeToo movement as a punchline.
Korean fans (and non-fans) were upset by this and the clip went viral, but international fans defended the exchange as misinterpreted.
In that specific fansign minhyuk made reference to that meme that k-mbb made during the world tour .— مرامي ?? (@171114_) October 25, 2019
Minhyuk : Mr.nipple please talk
Wonho : me too me too ( means : i want to talk too )
Wonho was raising his hand like he was asking for permission to talk pic.twitter.com/S9brAkIloe
So one side was saying #MeToo was the punchline, while the other was essentially claiming that he was just saying “me too” as a phrase as he wanted to speak for himself and not his body part.
Starship Entertainment released an apology that seemed to back the assertion that things were misinterpreted.
Hello, this is Starship Entertainment. While there were absolutely no negative intentions at MONSTA X’s fan sign event earlier this year, nor during the promotions at the time, we would like to sincerely apologize to everyone and all the fans who felt uncomfortable at the behavior and comments that left a lot of room for misunderstanding. Starship and the MONSTA X members have recognized the issues that were brought up to us since then and we have continuously discussed the matter together. Through this incident, we are all deeply reflecting on the careless words and actions of the past and would like to once again apologize to everyone and the fans who were hurt. In future, Starship and MONSTA X will work harder to listen to suggestions made by fans and society and overcome the areas in which we are lacking. Thank you.
But that didn’t solve much as people demanded Wonho and Minhyuk themselves address it. Eventually they did just that in apologies of their own.
Hello, this is MONSTA X’s Wonho. I would liketo sincerely apologize to the fans and everyone who may have been hurt during my thoughtless comments at the March fan sign event. I did not think about whether what I said could do harm to the Me Too movement and cause even more suffering to the victims and I disappointed and hurt many people due to my careless words and actions. When I think about it now, I don’t know how I could have said something so ignorant. I am deeply reflecting on this. It hurts to think that I could have disappointed my fans, who have always been my source of strength, with my behavior. Through this incident, I realized that I could cause harm to many people due to careless actions or words. I will look back and reflect upon the past and will be careful with my words and actions in the future. I will learn more about the areas in which I am lacking, correct my values, and show a more mature side of myself. I will become a hardworking Wonho. Once again, I’m sincerely sorry.
Hello, this is MONSTA X’s Minhyuk. I would like to apologize to the fans and everyone who was hurt by my careless thoughts and actions. Through this incident, I learned that I could cause harm and discomfort to others through my careless comments and behavior, and have reflected on my past actions. I should have been careful in all my words and behavior, but there were many times when I did not think deeply before acting. This is late but I am sincerely sorry about my mistake and will do my best not to repeat these mistakes in future. I am sorry for disappointing the fans. In future, I will think and work hard to become a more mature Minhyuk. Once again, I am sorry for causing concern. I’m sorry.
I kinda wish everybody involved was more direct about the issue as a detailed explanation of what was meant would do a great deal in solving arguments. Like people are still debating whether they are just apologizing for the way people interpreted things or if they were mocking the movement. This still appears to be the biggest area of contention.
The way I see it, I doubt either of them meant it maliciously insofar as trying to demean the movement. Rather he drew from a trending phrase at the time, connected that to being reduced to fans/members talking to just his body parts, and made the ill-advised quip before they and everybody else seemingly moved on. Thoughtless would probably sum that up more than anything, and that explanation tackles both it being misinterpreted yet also something worthy of apologizing for as well. That said, I’m open to changing my mind if others have differing thoughts, since it’s not explicitly clear to me.
As far as the fallout from this, it’s really just up to the individual. Whether you think it was malicious or the apology was sincere is up to you, but if things went as I assume then I think they were appropriately remorseful about it hurting people and that their response should provide a way to move forward and past this, though that doesn’t mean it has to come immediately for everybody either.