With “Itaewon Idols” unveiled as 97 crew – BTS’s Jungkook, ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo, NCT’s Jaehyun, and SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu – aftermath continues despite their official apologies. From the demand to leave the show to the national petition, angry voices continue for the four idols, who visited an Itaewon restaurant and two entertainment facilities during the holiday.
After the facts were made public, each agency issued an official position with an apology and explanation regarding their Itaewon visit. After announcing that all four idols had been tested negative after voluntarily receiving COVID-19 tests, all four agencies apologized. They wrote, “Artists should have been instructed and managed to keep thorough social distance even at their personal time, but we deeply apologized that we failed to do so.” Since then, both NCT’s Jaehyun and ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo have expressed their apology directly through self-written apology letters.
Suspicions about “Itaewon Idols” began on May 13. SNS and onlimasterne communities flooded with eyewitness accounts that they saw two idols from different groups visited a bar in Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, on April 25.
According to witnesses, the two visited a bar near the Itaewon club. In addition, they said that one of them decided to busk in an alley near the bar with a mask on, Another testimony followed that he left after eating pizza with his friends.
At the time, the two idols and their agencies gave ambiguous answers, saying, “It is difficult to confirm because it is part of the artist’s private life.” However, only after their real names were revealed, they admitted to the fact and apologized, enraging the public. Above all, the agencies’ complacent responses caused more anger.
Anger brought about the aftermath. Some people started demanding Cha Eunwoo and Jaehyun to drop out of SBS’s entertainment show Master in the House and SBS’s music show Inkigayo. Also, a national petition demanding to “retrieve the Order of Cultural Merit from Jeon Jung Kook of BTS” started. As of 7:00 a.m. on May 19, more than 3,700 people agreed to the petition, but it has been deleted.
Jaehyun, who is just a day ahead of his comeback, faces the most trouble. Jaehyun’s team, NCT 127, is scheduled to release their second full-length repackage album NCT #127 Neo Zone: The Final Round on May 19 and embark on their full-scale activities starting with KBS2’s Music Bank on May 22. Now, attention is paid on whether Jaehyun will be able to go on stage with the rest of the members and engage in full-fledged activities.
Jungkook is set to hold an online concert of BTS. BTS will host the paid online concert “BANG BANG CON The Live” on June 14 through the fan community platform Weverse. Will the controversy over the “Itaewon Idols” subside before the event? Attention is being focused.