ZEROBASEONE fans voiced their anger on social media over the group’s ongoing fansign event, after member Zhang Hao withdrew due to Covid-19. However, they were not angry over Zhang Hao’s absence, but over the fact that WakeOne had decided to proceed with the event without him.
The situation began on Aug 25, 2023 with a statement released by the company. It explained that Zhang Hao was diagnosed with Covid-19 “… “after feeling unwell, including mild body aches and pains, and was proactively tested with a rapid antigen test.” It added that other members had also been tested and showed no signs of the virus.
Zhang Hao’s symptoms consisted of a mild sore throat, and he would undergo 5 days of quarantine. WakeOne said this new development would mean “unavoidable schedule changes”.
The group was due to hold a fansign event from Aug 25 to 28, with a video call event on Aug 26. WakeOne explained that with Zhang Hao’s diagnosis, the fansign events would continue with the remaining eight members. However, the video call event would be postponed to a later date.
Fans left angry
This did not satisfy fans who had purchased tickets to the fansign event. Many said they would rather the event be postponed until all nine members were able to attend. They took to social media to bring their opinion to WakeOne’s attention, with “POSTPONE THE FANSIGN” trending on X (formerly Twitter).
The situation got even more heated when fans heard that Zhang Hao would be signing 400 albums for fans while he under quarantine. Fans questioned why the company was making him perform the task instead of focusing on his recovery.
Comparisons to the treatment of other members
Others pointed out that WakeOne postponed an earlier fansign when other members tested positive for Covid-19. They asked why the same consideration could not be made for Zhang Hao with this current fansign.
One fan asked if the company actually cared about their members’ health condition. They pointed out WakeOne acted swiftly when member Gyu Vin was accused of posting controversial terms during conversations with fans.
Fans take action
Some fans decided to take action by hiring a broadcast truck to drive in front of WakeOne’s office. The van carried a sign urging them to respect the wishes of fans who were also consumers, and stated: “ZB1 is 9 (members)”. Another fan took a more direct approach, posting a photo of them aiming a slipper at the building.
The fansign goes on
ZEROBASEONE members carried on with the Aug 25 fansign event, posting a message thanking Zerose that came to see them. They also said that while it was sad that Zhang Hao couldn’t attend the fansign, “ZEROBASEONE will always be one”.
The group’s official account also shared a video of Zhang Hao, with a message from him. He said that he would do his best to stay healthy, and apologized for not being able to meet them. However, he promised to see fans “next week”, and urged them to smile.
The post did little to calm fans, who called it an attempt at “damage control” by the company. A later statement by WakeOne that they would issue refunds to fans disappointed by the absence of Zhang Hao also drew much anger. Fans continued to call for the company to postpone the fansign instead of trying to solve the issue with money.
We hope that WakeOne will take note of what ZEROBASEONE fans have to say. We also hope that a suitable solution can be found to make things right for fans who were looking forward to seeing Zhang Hao together with the other members at the fansign.