Fans of ENHYPEN have been continually voicing their frustration with BELIFT LAB for not doing enough to protect Jake‘s privacy. First, fans were concerned about two older women’s treatment of the idol during KCON 2022‘s hi-touch event.
But fans grew more concerned as a rumor circulated about Jake allegedly approaching girls on the street, asking for a cigarette lighter.
In the now-deleted tweet, a Korean netizen tweeted pictures of a man in a plaid shirt talking to girls in the Itaewon area of Seoul. The netizen alleged that the man was Jake and that he was asking for a cigarette lighter as a way of “picking up girls.” Netizens scrutinized his alleged actions, believing that this sort of behavior is unacceptable from idols.
But other netizens immediately came to Jake’s defense, pointing out that the pictures appeared to be edited.
And others pointed out that it’s unlikely ENHYPEN’s managers would allow this type of behavior from their idols.
Regardless of the validity of the rumors, netizens were mainly concerned with the invasion of privacy and the lack of support from BELIFT LAB.
jke doesnt deserve this at all, belift protect your artist idk what the hell are you doing all the time.
— ًً (@0215jaeyun) August 22, 2022
Recently, to further disprove the rumors, Jake himself took to Weverse to talk to fans. First, the idol posted a heartfelt message to fans, expressing his gratitude for their support.
— ENHYPEN WEVERSE (@enhypenweverse) August 25, 2022
And then he commented on fans’ posts, including one about his alleged “Itaewon hunting.”
Fan: Jake is the Itaweon hunting for real?
Jake: No, it’s not. I hope you believe me.
Fans were impressed that Jake answered the question, clearing his own name even though his company hadn’t taken action yet.
jake alr cleared his name by his own, it must be hard for him to do that 🙁 belift should've done this, they should protect their artists. but this company is always nowhere to be found. we love you so much jake & we always trust you 🙁 you're so strong 🫂
— ً (@sjypouts) August 27, 2022
jake really had to step forward and found the need to clear up the issue for himself because his company, whose purpose is to protect their idols among other duties, is staying silent and letting ppl tarnish the name of their artist with false accusations. BELIFT DO BETTER
— takoniki 🐙 (@namaewariki) August 27, 2022
i feel like crying knowing that idols aren't even allowed to address serious issues just like what jake did. the bravery is understatement.
— ًyve (@snjkuniverse) August 27, 2022
Although shortly after, BELIFT LAB released a statement about protecting their artists against malicious rumors.
This is BELIFT LAB.
Our company has been taking stern measures and continuing legal proceedings against perpetrators of malicious activities and posts targeting ENHYPEN, including defamation through spreading groundless information, insults, sexual harassement, invasion of privacy and ill-intended criticism. We monitor and collect malicious activities, posts and comments 24/7/365 to submit them when filing criminal complaints, regardless of when the company notices on legal actions are posted or malicious posts and/or comments are written targeting the artists.
The malicious postings made up to now targeting ENHYPEN have been already under police investigation and those to file criminal complaints against are continuously being monitored.
We ask you to report any malicious posts and comments to the official BELIFT LAB email hotline for legal affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our company plans to continue to take strict legal actions against any malicious posts and comments, especially including spread of false information, that infringe upon the honor, dignity and all other legitimate rights of our artists. No settlements or leniency will be extended to the perpetrators of such actions. We ask you not to spread or circulate any false information and claims.
We will continue to work to ensure that the rights of our artists are fully protected.
— BELIFT LAB
Many fans were displeased with BELIFT LAB’s response, deeming it too late.
‘have ALREADY been under police investigation’ – then maybe you should’ve fucking said that instead of letting jake be slandered everywhere and letting random ppl think the allegations were true bc You – belift- wouldn’t speak tf up. pic.twitter.com/fElorm9qIv
— SLOW |Adri ☆○o。🦊 (@sunookitchenrag) August 27, 2022
While other fans pointed out that it’s good that Jake directly addressed the allegations since BELIFT LAB’s statement could have been misconstrued.
mind you this announcement wasn’t even specific to jake.. they’ve put NO effort into defending him and clearing his name. saying “legal action” is not enough https://t.co/81Sug2RIU9
— ᵕ̈ (@jkywrld) August 27, 2022
Regardless of the company’s actions, fans are glad that Jake could clear his name and are voicing their support of the idol.
I really admire how brave jake is. What he did is risky but he still did what he think is right. This is just one of the million reasons why we should always love and trust this man. I love you, always! 💕@ENHYPEN_members #ENHYPEN_JAKE #WeTrustJAKE
— ika (@ikaelalee) August 27, 2022
You can read more about the incident here.