Desi K-poppers Iyagi: Wonho’s Return & MONSTA X

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It’s been a while since we had an Iyagi session and starting off the series again with this topic is indeed a perfect idea! “Life is unpredictable,” is never an understatement as we individuals always get to experience various unexpected situations in our lives. The tag line can very well go with our K-pop life, especially in the lives of Monbebes(MONSTA X fans), as the fandom was put to multiple tests last year.

In 2019, MONSTA X had to face unfortunate accusations right after their comeback on 28th October with their mini-album, Follow: Find You. Just after two days of promotion, the singer and song writer, Wonho officially declared his departure from the septet. Lee Ho-seok a.k. Wonho has always been one of the beloved members of the group and is known for his warmth and kindness towards his fans. Fondly known as the bunny of the group, the 27 year old singer has been gratifying his audience both as an artist and a human being.  But the harmonious ride did not last longer as not only monbebes but the entire industry was shaken by the continuous blame and hate.

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Credits to Highline Entertainment

After the member’s official statement Monbebes decided to voice out their opinion through SNS platforms by trending various hashtags in support of Wonho every day. “#FightForWonho” campaign spread across nations, as international fans in particular circulated schedules to keep the tweets trending. The fandom’s dedication combined forces in bringing the entire k-pop fan community to rise against miscellaneous violence and unauthorized abuse against their favourite artists. After months of trending and protest monbebes’ undefeatable faith on the idol won the battle, as the singer was finally freed of all charges by Seoul Metropolitan Station on March 14.

Joining hands with international monbebes Indian monbebe fanclub also had its major role in the online protest. While the good news was being spread, we decided to talk to a few of our desi monbebes who kept their spirits high for their idols since the day one. With much happiness overwhelming, the fans decided to share their experience of finishing the battle with victory!

The discussion began with the question, Wonho has been recently cleared of all charges. What are your thoughts about the whole situation? What are your predictions on MONSTA X‘s future line-up and plans?”

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Credits to Starship Entertainment

The conversation was initiated by one of the active admins of the Indian Monbebe fandom, Sohini from Kolkata. “I have been into k-pop for 6 years now. First of all, hearing that Wonho from Monsta X has been cleared of all charges was a huge relief for everyone I guess. We could predict that the charges were all false anyway because of time and again Wonho had proved to be a wonderful human being with a beautiful heart. He is one of the most hardworking idols out there, who strives to be perfect in every way. I know about his dark past and everybody knows because he never hid it from us. His struggles make it more real and I believe that he has absolutely changed from his past self because he understands the value of good friends, family and leading a good honest life now. He worked his hardest to overcome all obstacles to reach where he is today only to be shunned by his past. That was devastating. He never deserved that. Instead he should be treated truly as an idol as he is what everyone should look up to and strive to be. I know he is cleared now but he is still getting hate for his past which is absolutely wrong. For the future, this man deserves everything he wants. He has immense talent so I think it won’t be a problem for him to choose a career in music even if he doesn’t rejoin Monsta X.  But he should be reinstated because he did nothing wrong after all. It all depends on him and I will accept whatever decision he takes and support him in whatever he does. Monsta X is getting huge and will get bigger in the future because the bond they have created with monbebe will not break and monbebe will keep on supporting Monsta X in every way possible. I wish for them to have the brightest future ahead hopefully as 7.”

“Hi, I am Abani. I’m a proud monbebe. I never believed in these accusations. The people who accused him didn’t have any proof and some details they provided contradicted with each other. Also because of their reputation in the k-pop community, they are known to accuse idols of such things to create scandals. Another reason I trusted Wonho and not them is because Wonho never hides anything from his past because he never ran from it, he changed his past and became a successful idol that he is now, inspiring many people including myself. He has been open about it all. Recently an interview with Dispatch shared his story, this shows how transparent he is, before making any other decision about his career, he thought it was important to share his truth first and honestly that’s why monbebes were fighting for him, to get his truth out, to prove that he was innocent. I couldn’t be happier that he is now free of all charges and many huge Korean media companies like SBS are covering this fact. It is yet to be announced whether he’ll go solo or come back to Monsta x, I will support him in any direction he goes, though I would like him to be back in Monsta X because he helped build that group with his six brothers. He deserves every bit of it and more.”

Deeksheetha from Chennai also joined our conversation as she stated, “My thoughts when I heard Wonho has been cleared and proven innocent were beyond ecstatic. In my heart I always knew and believed that he was innocent from the alleged charges from the very start. He changed himself for the better, pushed himself beyond the breaking point as a trainee to debut and as a member of Monsta X. He deserves to be in Monsta X. And I wish he’s happy after that.”

Adding up to Deeksheetha’s points Preity from Delhi being one of the most vibrant members of the fanclub and fan projects continued, “Since October the only news that made me incredibly happy was Wonho has been cleared of all charges. It’s safe to say we already knew he wasn’t guilty of most of the charges. Starting from ‘me Too’ thing, the person who points out this video themselves agreed they did this with ulterior motive. Wonho is definitely cyber bullied over the internet. His decision to leave MonstaX and apologizing to monebebe(us)  again shows how much he cares about people related to him. Since his departure it’s been hard for us to fight daily for what’s right. I still remember the day Monbebe decides to protest in front of starship and everybody is helping in passing on our message to Wonho. That’s the kind of person Wonho is to us. Not just an Idol but he’s like a Family Member to us. Even his childhood was not easy. He was bullied there for being poor that’s how he became friends with few people he shouldn’t be with. We all had been in these kind of situations somehow when we were young. How we are right now is what matters the most. Even though he didn’t do drugs still he said he wanted to apologise for all misunderstanding when his innocence is proven. We are still not sure if he is ready to comeback so we can’t force him to. We are waiting for his decision. We are happy his name is cleared now. Our main motive to start daily hashtag is to spread the message and keep his name clear. I can definitely say as a k-pop fan I never felt this devoted to any group except MonstaX. These 7 boys are truly like my Family Members. I want them to be happy wherever they are, whatever they are do. All I want is to protect them from all bad people. For the future of MonstaX, it is just a beginning. They got a long journey for their musical career.”

{kpop-india}Desi K-poppers Iyagi: Wonho’s Return & MONSTA XMONSTA X Is Back With    FOLLOW FIND YOU    Comeback Review
Credits to Starship Ent

“I’ll start with saying that I was always of the belief that the charges and accusations on him were false as things were not adding up. I was more worried about how long it would take for the investigation to be over and if it was even taking place as there was no concrete information out in the social media regarding this. While we couldn’t directly play a role in the investigation, I’d like to think our support played a huge part in their lives while dealing with this mess created deliberately to drag them down. It makes me happy that he is finally in a good position in his investigation and case. As far as the Monsta X lineup is concerned, while I do want him back, it depends on how comfortable he’d feel in the public eye again and how much time it might take. Currently the lineup is 6 members and while I will always root for 7. I’ll definitely keep supporting the six for their immense strength and hard work. I hope that not only Starship adds him back to Monsta X (if he wants to), but also they be willing to take care of the hate he might get from antis and ot6 stans. The final result is something only time will tell but whether he is back in Monsta X or not, I will keep showing love to all 7 of them with the whole of my heart,” answers Priyanka.

The participants love and passion towards the group were very well seen as they actively commented about their feelings towards this matter. Continuing with the discussion the fans also spoke about their experience and views on online mass protest.

“When fans decided to fight together what were the mediums you used to raise your voice? And on the other hand, according to you, what were the consequences faced my both the group members and fans?”

Sohini opened up her thoughts saying, “Okay so first of all we, the fans, instinctively joined the fight when we heard about this. Without a shred of doubt we knew that we would give everything to fight for Wonho. Fans from all over the world got together to fight for him and I am so proud to say that not just Monsta X fans but fans from all fandoms joined us on our fight. This just proves how much Wonho is trusted and loved by everyone when we stood together to fight for him in a way never done before. To fight for Wonho we made social media our main medium. We had to consider a lot of things while fighting for him because we didn’t want to do anything that would hurt the the rest of the members. So we mainly kept our protests to Social media. We trended hashtags regularly, signed mass petitions and even recorded all the harmful tweets and articles and sent them to starship by mail. Korean monbebes daily informed us about the situation in South Korea but our hands were tied. We couldn’t do anything in there so we raised funds for billboard ads, ads all over korea and we decided to show how much we love Wonho by celebrating his birthday everywhere in India. I am sure the group members noticed all our efforts and were silently supporting us because they were legally bound to keep quiet. Our bond now has become stronger than ever but as a negative effect, there is always a fear working within us. The members suffered a huge deal from this which is evident from Shownu’s drastic weight loss to Jooheon’s panic disorder and them being quiet for some time. We know how their bond is so this was obviously disastrous for them. Now it’s good to see that they are collecting themselves back to their old self. Honestly seeing the 7 of them laughing and having a meal together was a huge relief to us. I hope to see them together soon again and we are all hoping that Wonho will return back to us soon.”

Deeksheetha continued, “The news was shocking when it came on Oct 31st the Thursday. We tried our very best to protest against Wonho leaving Monsta X by trending on twitter for almost 30 days. We cannot forget the time square ad which was wonho’s long long dream. A lot of fans adopted animals and names stars using Monsta X members’ names. Most of the times until the verdict it felt so surreal. Like I used to think is this real is this really happening? When Wonho left it was really hard personally for me. I didn’t know what to do. I kind of shut myself down for a month. I really wish he comes back.

The mass protest also involved great media personalities as they also expressed their desire to have the singer back with his team. One among such people were the Billboard K-Pop writer, Jeff Benjamin and Preity mentions about it clearer, “It’s is so true not only Monbebe but whole industry was shaken. Billboard Writer, Jeff Benjamin, also took this whole situation to twitter and explained he can’t talk much about it but it’s shocking. Starting from protest in front of Starship which was arranged by many K-mbb and i-mbb, we sent our message for wonho through twitter as we can’t go there. Immediately we started trending hashtag worldwide twice a day asking for justice which was supported by many other fandom too. We donated in Wonho’s name for Billboard ad. We also held a gathering with banners in Delhi and Mumbai for supporting Wonho. They were many people who starting bullying them online so we started all the reporting work in teams. Seeing all Monbebe coming together to show support and love for Wonho makes me feel so proud. Then we took part in charting Wonho’s song on Itune and Google Play. Although we Indian Monbebe are not really huge in numbers but we got tremendous support all over India. Also we held Wonho Birthday celebration in over 10 cities in India including an Ad in aizwal. This whole situation did affect MX and MBB mentallyt. Yet, MX is regularly kept posting for us to cheer us up. Though we are not seeing all 7 of them together but deep down we know they can’t let go of each other. We saw them having dinner few days back. We will surely see more of them together soon when they all are ready. Monbebe definitely don’t want to pressurise them or ask wonho to come back. We want them happy and we believe them so we are waiting for their decision.”

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Credits to Highline Ent

While our discussion was about to conclude, we were swept away with one of the best news as Wonho decided to return to the industry as a solo artist. On April 10, an official statement was released on the singer being signed under Highline Entertainment, a subsidiary associated with Starship Entertainment. As soon as we got the news, the discussion continued on monbebes’ thoughts on Wonho’s return and his appearance as a solo artist.

“I woke up to the news of Wonho signing up as a solo artist into a different company. I was both happy for him and shocked initially. I had always expected him to return to Monsta X but him signing up as a solo artist was something that made me sad to think that Monsta X will not be 7 anymore. Then I gradually learned that Highline entertainment is a subsidiary of starship entertainment and that all his staff will remain the same even Eshy Gazit will manage his international prospects. I realized that it was like him being in Monsta X but just not in public eyes. They would be in the same building, they would be together, have opportunities to work together.  Wonho has started communicating with us again through fancafe and that makes me so happy to see that he is back with us. I expect amazing music from him as always and I expect for him to collaborations with his brothers and write songs for them. Somewhere in my mind I also expect them to get together again as 7 but I don’t know how or when. For now, I just want them all to be together and happy. Meanwhile Monsta X just announced a new mini album Fantasia X and the whole fandom went crazy with joy. I am very excited for this album and look forward to the boys snatching wins. I will work hard to support all 7 of them in all their ventures simultaneously,” responds the admin as she couldn’t contain the happiness to herself.

Deeksheetha also shared her views saying, “I was really happy with the news of course but I was just a little bit sad. Because I always thought if Wonho came back to making music and to the industry he would be by his brothers’ sides. I am elated as well as sad at the same time. I’m happy for them. But I just wish Wonho would come back to Monsta X and continue to produce solo music too. If I could wave my magic wand and recite some magic words I would make Wonho come back to MX and make everything how it was before, just a wishful thinking.

{kpop-india}Desi K-poppers Iyagi: Wonho’s Return & MONSTA XEWwpjzw X0 AYl DM7
Credits to Highline Ent

As we finally got to conclude the discussion, we all did agree to the point where we need the singer to get back with his teammates and with much hope, we still believe that day is not too far. It is indeed usual for artists to go through rough time and this in particular was more shaking to the industry. But, thanks to monbebes who got Wonho’s back. As one among the enthusiastic fans, I can’t wait for much greater things to happen. All we have is time!

Make sure to support the group on their up-coming release!

{kpop-india}Desi K-poppers Iyagi: Wonho’s Return & MONSTA XMonsta X members look breathtaking in new concept photos for Fantasia X 1
Recent Comeback Teaser Image

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{Note: On behalf of DKPOP, we would like to thank all the members of the discussion for their active participation and contribution. Are you interested to take part in our next Desi K-poppers Iyagi series? Contact us Now!}


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