While international fans have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind K-pop boy band EXO member Chanyeol in light of a post by a woman claiming to be his former girlfriend, a Korean fan community has issued a statement calling for his withdrawal from the idol group.
Chanyeol became the No. 1 most searched term on Oct. 29 on the Korean portal Naver after the woman alleged that he cheated on her during their three-year relationship.
When asked to comment, SM Entertainment told Korean media that it has “no official position” on the issue about Chanyeol.
In her post, the woman claimed that "around late October 2017, you said he got my phone number from an acquaintance and contacted me first. We flirted like any other couples and kept in touch. Then you confessed and we started to date seriously. Until recently, when our three-year anniversary was nearing, I found out some shocking facts," according to MyDaily.
The woman also claimed that she heard that Chanyeol had other women while they were dating including a K-pop girl group member, YouTuber, a broadcast jockey, dancer and flight attendant.
The EXO Gallery on the Korean website DC Inside has issued its official position on Oct. 29 and they want Chanyeol to quit EXO.
In their statement calling for withdrawal, the Korean fans said SM Entertainment’s “no official position” stance on Chanyeol means that the agency has shown poor management and failed to take care of its artists.
They said Chanyeol is not releasing any personal comments about this controversy, either, so they have decided to exclude him as a member of EXO. The members of the EXO Gallery added that they are never willing to accept such a behavior as it is not really moral and it made someone hurt her feelings.
“We strongly urge SM Entertainment to exclude him from EXO,” the fans said.
However, given SM Entertainment’s previous decision to keep member Chen in the group, the agency may opt to let Chanyeol continue to be a member of EXO.
Last January, Chen announced that he was getting married and that his girlfriend was pregnant. This caused an uproar with a group of Korean fans demanding that he should leave EXO.
"I have a girlfriend, who I want to share the rest of my life with. While I was discussing with other EXO members and company officials about delivering the news (on my girlfriend,) a blessing came to us,” he wrote in a letter, reported the Korea Times.
SM Entertainment announced its position in February to say that Chen will be staying on as a member of the group even after he got married, a decision that other EXO members supported.
“Before officially announcing Chen's marriage, we carefully discussed with the other members. Because EXO had to suffer from the members' departure, they expressed their wish to stay together in the future without any changes. We also respect their opinions and would like to inform you that there is no change in EXO's current lineup,” the agency said, according to Osen.
Chen became a father on April 29 this year when his wife gave birth to a daughter. He enlisted in the military on Oct. 26 to serve as an active duty soldier.
Amid the current controversy, the hashtag #EXOLProtectChanyeol trended on Twitter as fans shielded Chanyeol from the controversy, in addition to #EXOleaveSM.
Chanyeol’s last post on Instagram on Oct. 22 has garnered more than 170,000 comments, with many supporting him.
“Oppa, stay strong….it's nothing…we believe you & we believe in you,” one fan commented on his post.
Another fan wrote, “I trust Chanyeol because I know he was raised and surrounded by amazing women who taught him how to love and respect people.”
Korean netizens gave their two cents on the issue with one commenting on a news article about Chanyeol, “How is it that SM never gets a quiet day with a new scandal exploding every week.”
“Why hate on the woman? I don't get it. If you want to support him, fine, support him, but don't attack the victim in all of this,” another wrote, according to Netizen Buzz.