South Korean netizens who have spread private images of RIIZE member Seunghan kissing a girl recently made statements apologizing for their actions. At least one netizen also apologized for spreading unsubstantiated rumors that the girl was underaged. The ‘kissing scandal’ led to much criticism of Seunghan and his commitment towards RIIZE.
One X (formerly Twitter) account which posted the underaged claims has since gone private, but a screenshot of their apology was shared online. According to them, they first saw the images online, with a caption that said the girl was born in 2005. They later shared the images to their own account on X, along with the claim.
In their statement they said they later heard that the underage claims were false, and apologized for posting the images and spreading misinformation. They added they were aware of the gravity of their mistake, and would delete their post and reflect upon their actions.
The apologies come days after SM Entertainment promised legal action against those who had spread the photos of Seunghan. The RIIZE member made a public apology on Aug 30 for “damaging the team with a personal matter”. Seunghan also promised to be “more cautious” in the future, and to make RIIZE his priority.
Challenging moment for Seunghan and RIIZE
The ‘kissing scandal’ came at a sensitive time for both RIIZE and Seunghan. The group will release their debut single album Get A Guitar on Sept 4, and were in the midst of pre-recording activities when the photos were leaked. Fans had mixed reactions to the situation. International fans of RIIZE appeared more sympathetic towards Seunghan, while Korean fans voiced their disappointment over his behavior. There were even calls for him to be dismissed from the group.
During a pre-recording session for the M! Countdown show on Aug 31, Seunghan appeared to break down while attempting to speak to the audience.
We hope that the recent apologies by netizens who spread the photos will bring closure for Seunghan and his group mates. We also hope they can focus on their upcoming debut, and as their group name suggests, ‘rise’ above their troubles.