Hundreds of X1 fans staged a protest outside CJ ENM’s headquarters in western Seoul on Wednesday demanding the entertainment giant bring back the disbanded pop group.
“CJ ENM stop evading responsibility,” one placard read, while another said, “Create a new X1 group and fulfill your responsibility of compensation.”
On Twitter, hashtags like “#BringBackNewX1” and “#CJTakeTheResponsibility” trended worldwide as part of an organized effort to create a new group with a different name for the members of X1.
A bus covered with similar messages and photos of the group also pulled over near where the protest took place, taking aim at the company for “hiding behind the agencies.”
(Twitter user @X1_ALLIANCE)
Following the protest, CJ ENM told The Korea Herald that they feel a “great responsibility” and find it regretful about the disbandment of the group, as the company pledged support for the bandmates without revealing specific plans.
The protestors’ argument goes that the entertainment company has failed to live up to the promise it made at a press conference in December that it would help the boy band resume activities.
Earlier this month, the company announced the disbandment of the 11-piece group amid the vote-rigging scandal surrounding Mnet’s “Produce 101” K-pop competition series.
Several agencies managing the bandmates held an emergency meeting to decide on the group’s fate, but the talks fell through after they failed to find common ground.
One source close to the matter said some agencies opted out as they felt the scandal was far too much baggage to carry, given the length of their five-year contract.
Many X1 fans, however, want to see a new group created with some of the X1 members still on board.
Wednesday’s protest is the latest in a series of protests related to K-pop in Seoul in recent weeks. Last month, Blackpink fans arranged a truck outside YG Entertainment headquarters to protest the group’s lack of activities.
On Sunday, a small group of fans held a sitting protest outside SM Town Coex Artium, a complex run by S.M. Entertainment, demanding that EXO member Chen leave the group in the wake of his engagement announcement.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)