In the past, the members of WINNER have always been praised for their more relaxed attitude when it comes to talking about the K-Pop industry. After debuting in 2013, the members have so much experience in the industry and have shared some TMI that netizens have loved.
However, the members have recently come under fire after “disrespectful” comments regarding idols doing TikTok challenges.
TikTok challenges have become well-loved by netizens as it is the chance for idols to interact with each other in a more relaxed environment. In particular, challenges with female and male idols have particularly gained attention as the groups have been able to interact without worrying about “rumors.”
Yet, comments made by the members of WINNER have raised anger amongst netizens after they insinuated that there are sometimes ulterior motives.
Some of the members recently appeared on the drinking program Iseul Live 2. During the episode, Yoon explained that idols had become “slaves” to TikTok challenges.
Honestly, though. We’re all slaves to those “challenges” at music shows. We’re enslaved to challenges. At every music program that we show up for—
Although many netizens and idols might understand the comments as it seems every music show becomes the time to make TikToks, Hoony’s next comment raised anger. Hoony explained that he believes an ulterior motive exists when idols do challenges.
Actually, in my opinion, these challenges serve very well to cover up the sparks [of chemistry] that happen.
After Yoon agreed that it could happen, Hoony’s comments once again raised concerns as many believed he seemed to insinuate that it was something he had experienced.
Hoony: In fact, I’ve felt such sparks.
Mino: With who? Who sent you sparks?
Hoony: I honestly think I’ve had some sent my way.
After the comments, it wasn’t surprising that the members wanted to know which idols Hoony was talking about. After being grilled, Hoony seemed to backtrack, adding, “But then I could be wrong. Maybe I’m imagining it” and sharing that they were just his thoughts.
I’m just saying, I feel like there were instances of some sparks with a few people.
Netizens shared that the only person that seemed to be aware of the sensitivity of the issue was Jinu, who quickly tried to defuse the situation by adding, “Were they male [idols]?”
When the videos were shared, Korean netizens shared their concerns about the comments made. It angered many fans who believed that male and female idols might feel uncomfortable doing challenges together. They also pointed out that many female idols are much younger than WINNER and how they might feel after hearing the comments.
- “I’m sure most idols take on these challenge videos without any ulterior motives. Thanks for basically ending coed challenges, though.”
- “I’m sorry, but female idols are HELLA young these days. Some of them are minors in middle school. These beauties in their late teens to early 20s would NEVER send sparks or whatever to ahjussis in their 30s.”
- “What’s wrong with them? How would this look for the female idols who agreed to do their challenge videos?”
In particular, many netizens raised concerns about the comments as the members have recently participated in TikTok challenges with female idols, including aespa‘s NingNing and Sunmi.
In the forums, netizens also pointed out double standards in K-Pop, sharing that there would be outrage if female idols ever brought up the topic but how shameless WINNER seemed to be.
- “This is disrespectful to all the idols who ever took part in a challenge video. Because of what Hoony said, people will assume rude things about idols doing challenge videos.”
- “Can you imagine a female idol saying something like this? It would not have been okay.”
- “SIGH… What is this nonsense? Even if there’s some truth to it… It’s thoughtless for him to be saying it on camera.”
- “These drunk jokes are SO OLD. Stop talking about young female idol hoobaes for fun. Stop imagining things about sparks of chemistry and stop causing unnecessary controversy for the other idols.”
In recent years, netizens have raised concerns that female and male idols, especially those newly debuted, have been afraid to interact for fear of sparking rumors. The TikTok challenges were a comfortable way for idols to meet, yet many netizens are concerned that the comments from WINNER might impact that.