EXO fans are really tearing the place down. Like kicking up a hornet’s nest, EXO-Ls get extremely emotional over the apparent “mistake” committed with the recently broadcast preview of EXO’s upcoming stage comeback for one glaring reason: Lay was missing.
Aired on December 11, Music Bank’s EXO preview “minus Lay” earned the ire of netizens, with fans screaming bloody murder and citing “disrespect.” In what could be considered a monumental blunder—intentional or not—the preview showed only the eight members in the individual photos, with no immediate explanation about Lay’s exclusion. Even if the group photo that appeared in the same preview from EXO’s winter album jacket featured all the nine group members, it was not enough to appease fans.
Those who have been closely following the group since their launch in 2011 were the most vocal, flooding social media channels with outbursts of disappointment. Such a “small” thing mean the whole world for hardcore EXO-Ls, who have demonstrated their devotion online and at every EXO performance. This happening in the wake of the December 10 release of their second special winter album, Sing For You, only made the issue more touchy for the fans.
Chinese EXO member Lay has been perceived by fans who took offense at the broadcast as being “unfairly excluded,” fueling speculation that something unsavory might be happening backstage.
However, the issue has since been clarified with a video statement from Lay himself, where he tearfully expressed his apologies to his co-EXO members and fans alike for having not much time to spend with them. As it turned out, he had been busy with his various engagements in China, leaving him little to no time to participate in the group’s own activities. This also hints at the possibility that EXO’s winter promotional performances would mostly be without Lay.
In November, the collaboration between S.M. Entertainment and Walt Disney saw the group engaging in the advance promotion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in South Korea, culminating on the November 9 release of their single, “Lightsaber.”
Photo source: SBS