Fans have leveled accusations of homophobia towards WAKEONE over its treatment of ZEROBASEONE members, specifically Zhang Hao and Sung Hanbin.
Viewers of Boys Planet are familiar with the close friendship between Zhang Hao and Hanbin. During the show’s finale, the two went viral for their interactions as they placed first and second.
CONGRATULATIONS OUR P01 ZHANG HAO AND P02 SUNG HANBIN pic.twitter.com/1zr0za9B23
— yena (@HA0BIN) April 20, 2023
Since then, fans have enjoyed seeing how close the two are, including hearing stories from each man about the other.
Unfortunately, fans have been given reason to believe WAKEONE has taken homophobic steps against the pair’s close relationship.
Recently, Forbes Korea ran a poll on the Idol Champion app, asking fans to vote for the idol pair with the most chemistry. The winners of the poll were to receive a one-page ad as well as a news PR story in the magazine’s October edition.
Zhang Hao and Hanbin won the poll with over 60% of the votes, leaving fans excited about the special feature of their friendship. When the edition preview was shared, fans were surprised to see that instead of a photo of the two, a picture of ZEROBASEONE was included.
After fans’ initial complaints, Idol Champ apologized, stating that the photo was used because there were no “official images” of Zhang Hao and Hanbin.
The app also printed Zhang Hao and Hanbin’s names on the back of the ad to make up for the issue.
While Idol Champ admitted their fault, many fans feel WAKEONE still has some responsibility, pointing out how there are official images of the two idols together that the company could have provided.
Are you kidding me? If these pictures are not double pictures, can't the magazine ask wk1 to take a haobin double photograph? If it is stated from the beginning that there is no double photograph, then don't let fans vote! https://t.co/vRPcxdXdWC pic.twitter.com/4WOIu79MUv
— 과자장🐬 (@haobinzzang) September 27, 2023
This, combined with allegations that WAKEONE has attempted to keep Zhang Hao and Hanbin separated due to their closeness, has led fans to believe that the company has homophobic intentions.
Without speculating about their sexualities, this sort of behavior, if true, could be considered homophobia.
what are the odds that hao is the only member that doesn’t have a picture posted with hanbin from their london trip? and they won “duo with the best chemistry” forbes korea yet their image together won’t even be shown on the cover. at this point idk what to do this erasure hurts.
— tori 🐬 (@sunghaobin) September 26, 2023
I have honestly reached my limit but I'm holding on for the boys. Everyday @wakeone_offcl is leading the group to its downfall. The mistreatment, homophobia, xenophobia, lack of promotion, restrictions, management, overwork etc is obvious. And we can't even do anything to help 🙁
— ananyathedreamer☘️🎻(AOTY NEW DNA by XG out now) (@multi_for_life) September 26, 2023
haobin is the #1 moneymaker rn and they cant even use them for that? fuck wakeone FUCK HOMOPHOBESSSSSS https://t.co/l8DqJoBIWi
— statye (@3kimandimdead) September 26, 2023