Fans upset over NCT 127 teaser images showing Taeil leg injury

In the dynamic realm of K-pop, a single teaser image can ignite intense debate. This is evident with NCT 127’s upcoming album, Fact Check … A photo featuring Taeil with his leg injury has sparked ethical concerns about artist management.

The Controversy Unveiled

As fans eagerly awaited the release of NCT 127’s upcoming 5th album, Fact Check, set to drop on October 6, 2023, a teaser image featuring member Taeil has sparked a significant controversy.

The original photo showed signs of a leg injury, which was later cropped out by SM Entertainment. This has led to an uproar among fans, who accuse the company of making Taeil work while still recovering from a motorcycle accident he had in August.

NCT 127 Fact Check
Concept photos for NCT 127’s album Fact Check. –

A Brief History: Taeil’s Motorcycle Accident

To provide context, Taeil suffered a leg injury from a motorcycle accident in early August, leading to a hiatus from group activities. SM Entertainment released a statement mentioning that Taeil would be taking a break to focus on his recovery, which involved surgery for a fracture in his right thigh. However, the recent teaser images have reignited concerns over his well-being, with fans questioning the ethics behind making him work during this period.

NCT 127 Taeil's controversial leg injury in Fact Check album teaser
Taeil’s latest individual concept photo for ‘Fact Check’ (left); and the original (right).

The Ethical Implications

The incident has raised serious ethical questions about the well-being of artists under SM Entertainment. Fans are demanding transparency and questioning the moral obligations of the company towards its artists.

Some fans have taken to social media to express their concerns, stating that the agency should prioritize the health of their artists above all else.

The Silence from SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment logo, the company under scrutiny for ethical concerns
SM Entertainment has yet to comment on the controversy.

As of the writing of this article, neither NCT 127 nor SM Entertainment has issued an official statement regarding the controversy. This lack of communication has only fueled the fans’ anger and concerns, intensifying their demands for transparency from the company.

Fan Reactions and Social Media Outcry

The fans have not held back their disappointment and anger towards SM Entertainment. Hashtags demanding justice for Taeil and calling out the company for alleged negligence flooded social media platforms.

This collective voice adds another layer to the unfolding drama and shows the power fans have in shaping public opinion.

Fan tweet expressing concern over NCT 127 Taeil's leg injury

Among the comments left online:

  • “Making Taeil clock into work and do photoshoots with such a leg injury??? YOU ARE SICK.”
  • “If there was ever a good reason to send trucks to protest outside of SM Entertainment then THIS!! is a valid situation… poor Taeil, man.”

A Balanced Perspective

While fans are rightfully concerned, it’s essential to note that there has been no official statement confirming that Taeil was made to work against his will with a leg injury. Until such information is made public, the situation remains complex, and the ethical considerations continue to be a topic of debate.

However, other fans felt that there was another explanation for the photographs. Some felt that Taeil had recovered from his injury, and willingly returned to work. The photograph may have been replaced so as not to cause fans to worry about Taeil’s accident.

Others felt that highlighting the injury was going against Taeil’s wishes, and asked for fans to delete the original image. Comments included:

  • “SM [has] deleted the pic, so please take down this post. Let’s cheer Taeil up instead of focusing on complaining about SM. I know SM should be more careful, but let’s give Taeil good words for his hard work.”
  • “Instead of making statement like this, can we appreciate all of Taeil’s hard work and effort? we don’t know the situation behind the scene at all. all we can do is trust him. we also haven’t received any official statement regarding the continuation of the case.”

One fan suggested that the ‘bruise’ may have actually been part of the concept for the Fact Check photoshoot. They pointed out other images showing NCT 127 members Haechan and Taeyong with ‘injuries’ on their cheek and knee respectively.

Fans upset over NCT 127 teaser images showing Taeil leg injury
‘Fact Check’ concept photos for Haechan (left) and Taeyong.

Broader Impact on the K-Pop Industry

This incident is not isolated but reflects broader issues in the K-Pop industry concerning artist well-being and ethical management. The lack of an official statement and the ethical questions raised have implications. Not just for NCT 127 but for the industry as a whole.

Expert Opinions and Industry Insights

While the fans have been vocal, industry experts also weigh in on the matter. Music producers and idols have hinted that artist well-being is crucial, bolstering the concerns raised.


The controversy surrounding Taeil’s teaser images for NCT 127’s upcoming album Fact Check has opened up several discussions ranging from ethical management in the K-pop industry to the responsibilities of entertainment companies towards their artists. As fans await an official statement, the issue remains a hot topic, reflecting broader concerns that extend beyond just one incident.

At the time of writing, neither NCT 127 nor SM Entertainment had addressed the situation. Until an official statement is made, let’s cheer on Taeil and NCT 127 as they prepare to release Fact Check.

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