Lay announced that when his contract expired in April of this year, he was parting ways with SM Entertainment. He addressed fans in a letter where he made it clear that although he was leaving SM Entertainment, he would still be EXO‘s Lay whenever the group needed him.
Lay’s heartfelt letter to fans was accompanied by the caption, “This decade is one of the greatest gifts I could’ve ever received.”
After he departed from SM Entertainment, fans discovered in May that Lay was removed from EXO’s official profile on SM Entertainment’s website. They took to social media to express their concerns, wanting to know why Lay was removed.
While some fans pointed out it was most likely because Lay left the company, others noted that Girls’ Generation‘s Tiffany, Seohyun, and Sooyoung were all still named under Girls’ Generation’s profile despite leaving the company as well.
Fans wanted to know why Lay was being treated differently when he continuously showed support for EXO, despite circumstances surrounding Lay’s popularity in China and the delicate political relationship between China and South Korea that prevented him from regularly promoting with the group since 2017.
While SM Entertainment has not commented on the matter, they seem to have noticed the call to action from fans. Lay’s name and social media accounts reappeared under EXO’s official profile only days after fans began to question his removal.
Fans were hoping the removal of his name was just a mistake, and that they wouldn’t encounter it again in the future.
Nevertheless, they were happy to see the nine members listed together again.
Thank you for your effort, @SMTOWNGLOBAL , we hope there will be no 'mistakes' in the future.
— TEAM EXO || weareoneEXO (@TeamEXObase) May 22, 2022
— Oro💖 (@Karol57458818) May 23, 2022