When K-Pop idols debut it is usually a dream come true and the culmination of years of hard work. This can be seen in survival reality programs where dozens of trainees sometimes compete for a chance to debut, like the Produce series or the upcoming Boys Planet.
In 2016, a reality program called BOYS24 aired and featured 49 male trainees who competed for a chance to be in the Boys24 pre-debut group.
After narrowing down the pool to 24, the members of Boys24 would perform concerts each week, and after 260 concerts, eight members were selected to debut as a member of IN2IT officially.
During the Boys24 process, fans could meet with the group often and have fan meetings where they could hi-touch the members.
— krnfly (@krnfly) November 13, 2016
While this is often a fun experience for both idol and fan, one member of Boys24 was removed from the group because of what he said after one fan meeting.
Lee Hwayoung made headlines when he was exposed by someone who claimed to be his ex-girlfriend. In a recording shared online, the singer made extremely offensive comments about fans, mentioning that meeting so many fans made him “want to throw up.”
I like being called oppa, not when I hear it from fans though, I fucking hate that. Ya, Fuck. It’s so annoying when we do the Hi-Touch.
You know, the Hi-Touch? Like when you hold hands and greet fans after the concert is over. Everyday I go through like 700~800 people and I feel like I’m going to puke.
Their fucking breath smells like shit.
Not long after, CJ E&M released a statement saying that Hwayoung was removed from the group after being given chances to make up for his actions.
This is a note of apology from CJ E&M / LIVEWORKS COMPANY to the people who love BOYS24.
First, we sincerely apologize to everyone who was shocked and dismayed because of the news from the Internet last night.
Especially, we really do apologize to the fans who have loved and supported ‘BOYS24’ and its concert at ‘BOYS24 Hall’ since the <BOYS24> premiered last year.
All the while, we recognized the problem of Hwayoung and his privacy issue and we worried that this would heavily tarnish the image of BOYS24. So, we have repeatedly warned him and have tried to give him a chance to redeem himself.
But despite it all, Hwayoung, as written on the various social media outlets and Internet message board today, brought fans to grief and made them disappointed again.
Therefore, we understood the gravity of the situation and held an emergency meeting. And discussions about him and his issue are in progress.
We will state our official position on the issue next week, and I beg to inform you that Hwayoung will not appear on ‘BOYS24 LIVE Concert’ from Friday, February 10th.
Lastly, to all those who have believed in and supported BOYS24, we apologize again from the bottom of our heart for this problem. Thank you.
— CJ E&M
Since the show, Hwayoung has kept a relatively low profile. He is active on YouTube where he posts covers of songs and has around 1.56k followers.
He is also active on afreecaTV, where he live streams himself playing video games and talks to viewers.