SM Entertainment recently revealed three new SM Rookies, the first three since WayV‘s YangYang, Hendery and Xiaojun were added to the line-up of NCT. One of the new rookies, Shohei, has allegedly been the subject of hate comments since his reveal, and netizens have strongly come to his defense.
Shohei’s name and face, as well as that of his fellow rookies Eunsok and Seunghan, were revealed in a social media update from the SM Rookies accounts. Fans were instantly theorizing about what the reveal could mean, seeing as it’s not yet clear whether the rookies will debut in NCT (perhaps in the new unit NCT Tokyo), or in SM Entertainment’s rumored new boy group.
The SR22B rookies had a noticeably elegant introduction. In fact, fans have pointed out that compared to previous sets of rookies, Shohei, Eunsok, and Seunghan look very sophisticated in their WWD Korea photoshoot!
sm rookies first introduction
2013 2022 pic.twitter.com/0VFgNTnYxP
— erni. (@_renjxn) July 1, 2022
Shohei, in particular, has a distinct vibe, as seen in the new SM Rookies teasers posted by SM Entertainment.
After all, he is reportedly older than the current standard debut age—while it has yet to be officially confirmed, Shohei was reportedly born in 1996.
Yet, while his age does not inherently mean anything in terms of his talent or his career, it has been one of the main subjects of hate comments that have been sent his way. This has led many fans online to express not only their support for him but also their strong disapproval of what is deemed as unnecessary age-based judging.
calling shohei old is weird, thats literally the age where people start working??? there's nothing weird about that 😭
— saf 🦦 (@taromarklee) July 2, 2022
Guys, stop complaining and badmouthing Shohei's age! if SM picks him, it's because he's talented, works hard, so age doesn't matter, and we still don't know if they will become part of SMNBG or NCT
— SHOHEILOOKS (@smrookiesshohei) July 2, 2022
so what, shohei's a 96 liner and yall expect him to never have worked in this life? in this economy? be serious
— ²⁹A.NEØ (@ANeoMulti) July 3, 2022
In fact, this has led some to point out that, rather than seeing his age as a negative thing, it’s actually important to note that having idols debut so young is even more of a concern, something that established idols such as BTS‘s Jin have made note of in the past.
Why are ppl being so weird about Shohei being 25/26. oh no a full grown adult with a fully developed brain is debuting instead of a 14 year old who had to drop out of middle school. Do you see how you sound? pic.twitter.com/i4FGYyMjz6
— ExTeenageRobot Redux (@girllwithluv) July 3, 2022
Yet, Shohei’s age is not the only thing he has been receiving hate for. Allegedly, he worked at McDonald‘s before he became a rookie, and while this has also yet to be confirmed, pictures of him were reportedly taken when he was working there. According to many supportive fans, Shohei has received undue hate simply for allegedly working part-time there.
making fun of someone who used to work at mcdonalds and now is part of a prestigious korean record label while you’re jobless and have no prospects is so crazy
— skai🍒💌 (@skaimusingss) July 3, 2022
How do ppl even have pictures of Shohei working at McDonald’s? he was literally just some dude back then. Also why should he be ashamed for having a part time job. Most y’all’s faves have never had a labor job in their lives.
— ExTeenageRobot Redux (@girllwithluv) July 3, 2022
As a matter of fact, they have pointed out that the fact that he had a difficult job makes his upcoming debut all the more impressive, as it really proves just how hard he has worked to accomplish it.
For this reason, fans also believe it is unfair that Shohei is also being judged for reportedly failing ten auditions for SM Entertainment. Not only is that not uncommon, but in fact, many idols have failed multiple auditions before going on to make it big, including megastars such as IU and Rain.
y r ppl making fun of him for this when there's multiple well known idols who failed auditions a number of times.. iu failed 20 auditions, choa failed 15, rain failed 18, even key got rejected a few times like i'm sorry but him failing auditions doesn't really mean anything 😭 https://t.co/94EeWrsRnW
— ｴﾘﾝ ʬʬʬ (@nyataeyong) July 3, 2022
The amount of hate Shohei is getting because he had to work harder than most to achieve his dream.
I thought you weirdos hated idols that had it "too easy" and didn't struggle enough for your liking?
— mila (@xiaoxiaodejun) July 3, 2022
While these facts about him have yet to be officially confirmed, they certainly say a lot about how hardworking and dedicated Shohei is, which only makes him more interesting!
Idk about you guys but finding out that shohei auditioned 10 times before getting into sm and working at McDonald's just instantly made him more likable to me. Everyone always wants kpop idols to be more "real" and I really don't know what could make an idol more real than this
— Zehra 🦋 (@xiaonyt) July 4, 2022
Now that Shohei has been introduced as a member of SM Rookies, we can look forward to learning more about him. He is certainly already making a splash as an extremely hardworking and deserving future idol. Congratulations to Shohei, as well as to Eunsok and Seunghan on their introduction!
You can watch Shohei’s teaser on the link below.