On August 23, 2019, boy group ONF‘s agency WM Entertainment announced member Laun‘s decision to leave the group and “halt all promotions in the entertainment industry”. While the agency stated his departure is “due to personal reasons”, fans are confused by the sudden decision and are concerned for Laun and the other members.
The agency statement read, “While we have been preparing for ONF’s return, we have had to terminate the contract with member Laun (Kim Minseok). He has been released him from the boy group on August 23, 2019, after discussing a personal matter. He and the agency agreed he will no longer be promoting in the entertainment business.”
Fans immediately became confused by the statement because neither ONF as a group nor Laun as an individual member hinted any signs of the sudden contract termination and departure from the group. In fact, netizens pointed out, Laun has been quite active in his schedule as part of ONF, which included shooting a web-drama, Chubby Romance Season 2…
… and participating in group activities, like taking part in the recent 2019 Chuseok ISAC shoot…
… as well as communicating openly and freely with the fans on the group’s social media account up until August 19, 2019.
— 온앤오프 (ONF) (@WM_ONOFF) August 19, 2019
ONF’s fans also found it strange that the agency shared ONF’s comeback teasers only a day before such an impacting announcement…
… and more shockingly that until an hour before the agency’s statement was released, Laun’s fellow teammates were live on broadcasts – and didn’t mention anything about Laun’s departure.
The members even celebrated Laun’s birthday on August 11, 2019 by tweeting celebratory messages and pictures, boasting their teamwork and brotherhood.
— 온앤오프 (ONF) (@WM_ONOFF) August 11, 2019
My smiling angel Laun! Happy birthday. Thank you for always being positive and trying your best. Let’s have the time of our lives today!
In fact, shortly after the announcement, ONF’s leader J-Us shared a statement which sounded like the teammates had no idea Laun was leaving the group.
We’re also surprised by the sudden departure of Laun. We don’t understand what we should be doing, but we did realize our fans must be more shocked and worried. So we decided to write this. As a team, we have been striving to repay our fans who have been so patient with us. But we know today’s news broke the fans’ hearts. As a leader, I feel responsible. More than half of ONF members have trained for such a long time to accomplish our dreams of debuting as idols. We thought once we make our dream come true, there will be only good and happy times. But sometimes it was hard and exhausting. Today, we learn again that life can’t always go the way we want it to.
With that, confusion grows and ONF fans are demanding to know more details regarding Laun’s departure from the group.
The agency is yet to respond or disclose any more information regarding Laun, despite the fans’ requests.