SM Entertainment has announced the indefinite suspension of RIIZE member Seunghan from group activities. This decision comes in response to recent controversy surrounding leaked photos and videos, including images of him smoking in Japan and engaging in video calls with other singers.
In a statement, SM Entertainment said: “Seunghan is sincerely sorry and reflects on the disappointment and confusion caused to the team and members as well as the fans due to issues related to his personal life. Seunghan felt a burden and responsibility and after deep consideration, made the best choice for the team.”
The company also expressed regret for not managing their artists more effectively before their debut. They acknowledged the disappointment and confusion caused to RIIZE’s team, members, and fans due to issues related to Seunghan’s personal life.
What now for RIIZE?
For now, RIIZE will continue their activities with the remaining six members. SM Entertainment also announced plans to take legal action against the unauthorized distribution of Seunghan’s private media.
They emphasized that the leaked videos and photos have been edited to cause misunderstanding and have collected significant evidence against the person responsible for the leaks.
A recap of Seunghan’s scandals
Seunghan’s first scandal took place in August days before RIIZE’s debut. Several photos were leaked that showed him kissing an unnamed girl, said to be his ex-girlfriend. Seunghan eventually issued an apology to fans, and promised that he would focus on RIIZE in the future. RIIZE debuted on September 4, 2023 with Get A Guitar.
In October, a screenshot of an Instagram Live session was leaked. The poster claimed that Seunghan was secretly chatting with his girlfriend instead of focusing on his career.
Last week, there were several more leaks. An Instagram Live session between Seunghan and TXT’s Soobin surfaced, followed by a video of him smoking. Korean fans called for his exit from RIIZE, while international fans continued to support him.
This situation underscores the challenges faced by idols in the public eye, where personal conduct can significantly impact their career and the perception of their group. The decision to suspend Seunghan’s activities reflects the delicate balance between personal privacy and public image in the idol industry.