Obsessed Fans Raise $25,000 to Stop Wonho From Leaving Monsta X

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Photo Credit: Annariel 85 / CC by 4.0

K-pop fans have started a petition to get Wonho to re-join Monsta X. So far, the petition for an ad in Times Square has raised $25,000.

The K-pop world was shocked when Starship Entertainment announced that Wonho would leave Monsta X. Both the company and Wonho released statements about his decision to depart, hoping to settle the matter.  But fans weren’t happy with that, asking for the singer-songwriter to be reinstated in Monsta X.

Fans surrounded the Starship Entertainment headquarters in Seoul on October 31st.  They put post-it notes on the building filled with messages to Monsta X and Wonho.  Many of the notes asked for Wonho to return to the popular group.

An online petition has garnered over 300,000 signatures in support of Wonho and Monsta X. One super fan who calls herself Monbebe says the faithful will do everything they can to get Wonho back into the group.

Monbebe has raised over $25,000 to rent a billboard in New York’s Times Square. The funding effort surpassed the $10,000 goal in less than 40 minutes of the GoFundMe going live. Over 1,000 fans donated to the effort in the span of an hour.

“We are going to make a graphic and display it in Times Square, where it will be on a board for 21 hours, a 15-second spot, 30 times per hour.”

Several fans are working hard to get hashtags about the singer to trend on Twitter. Hashtags like #FightForWonho, #ShineForMonstaX, and #FightForMonstaX7 trended amid the coverage of the petition.

Wonho left the group after allegations and rumors about his behavior before he joined Monsta X. Fans say they don’t care about the rumors or allegations and want the group to stay together.

Monsta X released their first single in 2015 and have gone on to become one of the most popular K-pop acts. They signed with Epic Records earlier this year and released their new single, “Follow.”

45 Responses

  1. K

    Obsessed fans? This is not an obsession. This is about bringing justice to the people who are conspiring to bring him and the group down. This is about finding a platform, a way to encourage people in the narrow-minded industry that people CAN and DO change, and deserve second chances for a mistake they made many years ago. And this is about encouraging a person who just lost his career and his dream – hoping he can see it and know that people haven’t given up on him.

    But I see you’ve left out all those details as to why those fans are so eager to use such an enormous platform. That’s a shame.

    • K.O

      true true true 100% couldn’t have said it better … seriously …

    • B

      This is clearly a clickbait article to ride on the wave of supporters for Monsta X so that they’ll get all that extra traffic on their site. Not surprised, I’ve seen other articles do the same. Don’t lose heart though, there are plenty of reputable places reporting on everything that’s going on.

  2. Anonymous

    We are not obsessed.Its a shame you don’t even know the details

  3. JLee

    A poor and offensive choice of words to describe backers as ‘obsessed fans’. I wonder if the author/ ‘journalist’ (and I use the term journalist very loosely here) carried out any background research before writing the article, as it seems like they haven’t.

  4. Paul Resnikoff

    I added ‘obsessed’… I don’t see that as a negative really.

    • Lynn

      Obsessed has always had a negative connotation to it. Too bad you didn’t think to use dedicated or loyal. Thank goodness the article wasn’t as negative as your use of “obsessed”.

    • James

      You did your writer a big disservice by adding that word to the title of her article. You could have gotten her in all kinds of a mess because people would think she was coming at them. Thank God you admitted to being the one that put that word in the title instead of leaving her left out there to dry and face backlash alone.

  5. kara

    Definitely not “obsessed” fans, but more like people that understood the situation to be absolute slander of this person in an attempt to ruin his career and reputation. It’s not only fans of Monsta X backing this considering this is much bigger than one person. It’s trying to change how situations like this are handled because it’s not the first time a person like this was thrown under the bus due to rumors/slander. I wouldn’t say we are obsessed, only human beings that are angry at the attack multiple members of this group are currently facing.

  6. “Obsessed” fan

    Being a fan includes supporting the artists, hence the fundraiser. It has nothing to do with being obsessed, so shame on whoever decided on the title, because raising money for an artist you’re a fan on doesn’t mean you’re obsessed. How can someone become a journalist and not know the meaning of words?

  7. “Obsessed” Monbebe with Opinions

    This is an offensive article. “Obsessed”? We’re fans. We’re invested. Simple. We’re supporting people (including all 7 members of Monsta X) whose work is important to each of us.

    “Both the company and Wonho released statements about his decision to depart, hoping to settle the matter. But fans weren’t happy with that, asking for the singer-songwriter to be reinstated in Monsta X.” It is not as simple as fans failing to accept the mutual decision of Wonho and Starship. This is a decision that has been reached on the basis of an assumption that in order for any of the members to be valuable to the group and to fans they must be perfect (since birth).

    If you had researched the situation then you would understand that the Korean Entertainment Industry holds its stars to unreasonable and unattainable expectations and then blames them when they cannot achieve the impossible. You would understand that many fandoms within the industry have come out in support of Wonho. It is my view that this is because fans are sick of being told that they must dehumanise the stars; their idols, artists, musicians, actors, entertainers etc. Fans are sick of holding these people to these standards.

    This article would have your readers believe that we are nothing more than hysterical children having a fit because a situation did not go our way. On the contrary, this response is evidence of a growing maturity, not only a willingness to accept our idols warts and all, but to demand that we not be patronised into dehumanising them.

    While there is an issue in demanding Wonho return without fully considering that it might not be the right decision for his wellbeing at the current moment, the current situation and the response by fans is one which recognises and celebrates the humanity in each of the members of Monsta X and of all the other stars and idols in this Industry.

    As for the “super fan who calls herself Monbebe”. Let’s be clear because this is either a sign of extremely poor written communication or a lack of research. The Monsta X fandom is called Monbebe. It is not that this one fan has called themselves Monbebe, that is our collective name, as fans.

    I appreciate that this might be unfamiliar territory for you, but empathising with the people you’re writing about wouldn’t be too difficult. Also, doing some basic research on the topic wouldn’t go amiss either.

  8. sarah

    I take offense to your article calling the fans obsessed. We are not obsessed we are angry. We are tired of our artists being thrown aside for past mistakes and we are tired of having to worry about them committing suicide because the pressure to be perfect was too much or because people spew hate at them without any thought of the consequences. We are sick of companies only thinking about money and not their artists health and well-being. So no good ma’am we are not obsessed, we just want our artist back. Just because it is k-pop does not give you the right to look down on people who want a change to happen in a problematic industry.

  9. This is bad journalism

    You don’t have to be “obsessed” to support someone through ups and downs. You don’t have to be “obsessed” to forgive someone for their past mistakes. You don’t have to be “obsessed” to fight for someone that you believe in after seeing their contributions all these years, regardless of what they’ve done years ago in their teenage year. I hope one day you will understand that.

  10. Clarification

    Considering that this is a very misleading article, I would like to clarify the situation for those who read this article that may not know the details.

    “Both the company and Wonho released statements about his decision to depart, hoping to settle the matter. But fans weren’t happy with that, asking for the singer-songwriter to be reinstated in Monsta X.”

    To those who aren’t aware of the situation, the previous excerpt holds the implication that fans were upset simply at his departure. However, this is not the case. While it is true that fans are upset at his departure, there are valid reasons behind it.

    Wonho left the group due to the surfacing of scandals from his past, from before he debut. In his letter, he had admitted to making mistakes in his past. However, he also mentioned that after becoming a trainee and debuting he had been working hard to become the best version of himself. This is evident from the fact that various staff members and individuals who have interacted with him are awaiting his return. This is not simply a situation where an individual leaves a group because they want to; Wonho was essentially forced out of the group.

    “Fans say they don’t care about the rumors or allegations and want the group to stay together.”

    This is misleading as well, considering that fans aren’t blindly supporting. The rumours and allegations are insignificant because they are from the past that Wonho had proved himself to have moved on from.

    Fans are fighting for a cause. That is, for people to accept others for who they are not who they were. As well, fans are fighting for a system where idols can have flaws. Idols are supposed to represent an ideal. Something like a perfect human who can’t have flaws. People have been frequently voicing their concerns regarding this system, especially with incidents that occurred in the recent years.

    This change has been slow, and it certainly did not begin with Monbebes. However, I believe we are speeding up that process a little.

    This is not about being an obsessed fan, this is about human rights.

  11. Miss V

    It’s not “Obsession”. It’s very offensive to call Monbebes ‘obsessed fans’. It’s called being human bruh, it’s Monbebes understanding what it takes to be a Kpop idol, and showing empathy towards these artists that are experiencing hardships due to rumors that are very petty. As a journalist, I think you should resign or at least widen your vocabulary for God’s sake. And as a human, I think you should practice empathy, you’re one of the reasons this world is sick. Bad journalism at its worst.

  12. Not obsessed but fighting for justice

    This is not a protest of obsessed fangirls who want their oppa back. This is about standing up for decent, hard working people who don’t deserve to be slandered by false rumors. This is about demanding that things change in the kpop industry. Over the past years we’ve lost too many good people to burn out, cyber bullying, stupid scandals and rumors such as these surrounding Monsta X right now. It is time to put an end to all this pain. So Monbebes (yes, that is the name of the whole fandom, not just a single person) are standing united together with fans of other groups to fight for justice and to protect those who deserve to be saved.

  13. Obsessed Fan

    Wow that’s a harsh. You could of chosen your words more wisely. If you didn’t want to write the article next time hand it to someone who has more compassion. Sincerely- One Obsessed Fan!

  14. Shannon

    To think all it took you to report on this was the ad in NY Times Square. If you had been following the events for the last week or did more then copy and paste other articles, put your own “spin” on it by calling us obsessed which implies no thought or reason behind it (IMO). This is a demonstration on ethics, on judging and labeling someone based on their past. If there were valid reasons perhaps Monbebe’s (that’s the name of their fandom not a single person) wouldn’t have fought and rallied as much as they did. If your going to do a story you might want to actually talk to some of us and not ass.u.me.

  15. Plantmealemontree

    Not even my thing, but you might reconsider your word usage. Obsessed? How about dedicated instead? Obsessed has a negative connotation which I don’t believe was your overall intention with the article. Let the readers decide what to think about the fans. Remember, you are a writer, your words will influence those who come across this article that might not be familiar with Kpop or this particular family of fans.

  16. Resign Please

    ‘Obsessed fans’? I am not a huge fan of MonstaX, but I find this extremely offensive. I wonder how on Earth you are able to keep your job, as you seem to be way out of your depth, with a disrespectful demeanour and a poor work ethic. Maybe you are just an accurate representation of your company’s ‘values’. Deplorable and disgusting.

    • Happy Lil’ Monbebe

      Monbebe here. Let’s not go overboard. No one needs to resign. The title is a poor choice of words and the article itself is not very well researched at all.

      But it’s just a case of improving research and written communication. Let’s not go overboard. Demanding she resign (for a title I gather is not her own) is a bit much and only really confirms the article’s message.

      I think you’ve made some unrelated assertions of the journalist’s character and skills. Your comment is unreasonable.

      This is an offensive article, I agree. But your comment is far worse and totally unwarranted.

      • kisa

        I agree that we shouldn’t be blinding just telling someone they should loose their job, but maybe this author could do with some constructive criticism. Such as maybe do more research if you are not familiar with a topic (culture) and pick more appropriate word choices (obsessed not the best maybe). Also more in depth of why this is an issue, there is more than just crazed fans missing a member.

  17. Paul

    Hey guys. I wrote the title to this piece (Ashley wrote the article)

    ‘Obsessed’ doesn’t always have a negative connotation. Here’s one definition I plucked out (from Wordnik):

    adj. influenced or controlled by a powerful force such as a strong emotion.

    Maybe you guys are overreacting.

    • Milo

      Are you actually trying to argue that “obsession” doesn’t have negative associations with it? I might understand if English is not your first language…

      First, don’t pick the one definition that suits your tastes only, here’s another from Wordnik, if you like that site: “having or showing excessive or compulsive concern with something” and here’s another: “Intensely preoccupied with or by a given topic or emotion; driven by a specified obsession”.

      And what is “obssesion”? “A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion”
      All definitions on Wordnik, you can check if you didn’t see them the first time :-). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why are these fans feeling bad with you using this word.

    • JLee

      As others have pointed out, the term ‘Obsessed’ is seldom used to describe something in a positive manner. Virtually every comment posted here has questioned your use of the word, I have yet to see a single comment defend your use of it, so no it isn’t an overreaction, if anything, it’s an editor/ author unwilling to take constructive criticism.

    • Happy Lil’ Monbebe

      Paul, Paul, Paul. *shakes head, slightly patronisingly* Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that ‘obsessed’ has positive connotations. It generally refers to something unhealthy and all-consuming and generally relates to a lack of self-control.

      The choice of this word demonstrates poor empathy and probably a poor grasp of the meaning of the word ‘obsessed’ given your attempt to defend it.

      It’s an insult to the community of fans, Paul, so no I think the offence felt is much of an overreaction. Although calls to resign are a bit much I agree.

      Monbebe is vulnerable and on edge at the moment, though, because we care and we want to help Monsta X. I’m not sure you comprehend this though, so meh.

      Have a nice day Paul. 🙂 I had a bald uncle called Paul who lived in Australia and ate banana skins. That’s how I picture you, just so you know. 😉 (True story)

    • k

      adj. influenced or controlled by a powerful force such as a strong emotion.

      Correction, Monbebes are not controlled. “Obsessed” is still a poor word choice, when you could have gone with something like “supportive”. We are not controlled by our emotions. We choose to do something nice for people because we care about them. “Care” and “Obsessed” really aren’t the same thing, and you won’t find one tagged in a thesaurus with the other one.

      The fandom isn’t overreacting over your clickbait title, but I think comments like these are to be anticipated with such a title so I’m sure you were bound to at least expect them. At least we now know who the author of the title is so we can address you rather than her. Hopefully the future titles you write will accurately reflect the information on situations.

    • Kayleesi

      You could have used to the term dedicated, obsessed is generally used negatively. If you don’t think so then perhaps you are out of touch with readers?

      Instead of researching and looking more deeply into the issue, it’s a skimmed article with no actual research done and quite a few mistakes e.g. Mon Bebe are the group of fans not just one person.

      You could have done so much with this article… Shame, it’s bigger than just “Wonho resigning”

      Maybe you should look into some edits?

  18. wonho is pathetic

    what a loser
    breaking up monstaX
    can’t handle fame and $ – not my problem

    • k

      Hiding behind a computer screen and typing up useless things… not your problem but maybe meanness is one?


    • Melissa

      You are ignorant. Maybe you need to do your research on K-Pop culture as well.

    • naeema


  19. Yvonne White

    By the way the check NY Time Square. It is already up since last night and I could not be more proud. The message is loud and clear from Monbebes to MonstaX and all you HATERS can go home. Done.

  20. Y'all Suck As "Journalists"

    The absolutely HORRIBLE title to this article aside, the article itself is haphazardly thrown together without any actual research, knowledge or information as to the true reasoning and nuances about what Monbebe are actually doing. Please, if you’re going to attempt any type of “journalism”, actually TRY to get your facts and don’t pick out buzz words you obviously don’t understand.

    (Hint: Monbebe is the name of the actual fandom for Monsta X, not a person’s nickname. A 2 second Google search could have filled you in on that *eyeroll*)

    This is a pathetic article with a clickbait, over-“hyped” and completely insulting Headline

  21. Melissa

    My first question to you would be this, is your bio correct? If it is, I am wondering how a person who has no experience in journalism or the K-Pop industry is writing such an article? You madam insult the fandoms, Monbebe’s, intelligence by writing that we put the billboard to get Wonho back. We are not naive. We know that a billboard, petition, etc.. will not bring him back but what it does do is let Monsta X, Wonho, K-Pop industry, Starship Entertainment and the public that we do love him and that we want him back in the group. I am rather offended that you did not do your research on what a Monbebe is and what our goal is. Next time you want to do an article on a K-Pop artist/group, do your bloody research!

  22. naeema

    obsessed fans????? who are you to call us obsessed, we will do what is right and standing beside someone,fighting for someone,giving second chances to someone who wants to be a better person and lead a better life unlike you who just know how to bash someone,so yes i proudly say i am an obsessed fan of monsta x wonho and entire monsta x OK,if you can not write so do something else stop telling us what to do we will do what we want right OK,STOP TAKING INTEREST IN US OK DO SOMETHING ELSE LET US LIVE OK PLEASE

  23. Kisa

    I love Monsta X, it gave me and my teenage daughter to really connect over. What I think the author of this article failed to grasp is its more than just a member leaving the band, its a loss in faith in humanity, that someone can be casually bullied like this with no repercussions.

    These 7 boys worked VERY hard, meet with many drawbacks to finally get where they are and 2 clout chasing women (maybe 1 guy) come in and ruin it just like that. Us here in the west are told its just like that in Korea, this girl comes from powerful parents so the Koreans just accept this, WHY? Why allow this type of bullying to go on? Not to mention why are there people still so closed minded that they don’t realize idols are humans too with a past so why should this even been an issue that they can use to blackmail in the first place?

    The link in Teenagers brain between the emotional and logical isn’t fully formed so they tend to make more emotional decisions, I know I did, and I did some really stupid things but I grew up and moved on. Wonho grew up, we all knew since No Mercy that Wonho didn’t have the greatest past so why is it an issue now? Because that girl has parents in power? Did they learn nothing from Sulli or Jonghyun?

    The really sad thing is that most likely, this mean girl will win because this isn’t a movie, this is life and mean people win.

  24. Aj

    Good to know what kind of person you are. You didn’t even bother to come to speak to one of us to get the full story. Just pulled this article out of your ass…Obsessed? Sorry, we’re trying to bring light to disgusting behavior and mistreatment OF HUMAN BEINGS that has been IGNORED and pushed aside for years to the DETRIMENT of some artists LIVES.

    In case you live under a rock. An artist named Sulli just killed herself because of horrific cyber bullying and harassment that had been going on for YEARS and was ignored.

    Congratulations on making yourself and the person who wrote this article look like giant douchebags.

  25. Lila

    It’s not even a problem of not knowing kpop at this point. This is a problem of being a bad journalist. No researches, just a bunch of prejudice, opinions absolutely not needed as a journalists and even fake informations.
    I hope the author didn’t actually graduate from a school, or otherwise shame on them to give a diploma to someone like that.

  26. Nicole

    You have done almost no background research for this article. Monbebe is what Monsta X’s fandom is called. I don’t know what gives you the right to say “obsessed fans” if all you know is the Times Square ad. We are defending someone who has worked incredibly hard to get to where they are in their career. We are defending someone that has been accused of something from before debuting that hasn’t even been confirmed. Monbebe posted notes to show support and love for him. The hashtags are to give attention to an injustice that you seem to overlook. The allegations haven’t been proven. Monbebe supports Wonho because he is a different person than who he was before debut. He works so hard to make beautiful music and have a close relationship with fans.
    Present some information that is accurate please.

  27. Another OBSESSED FAN

    Um obsessed? Loool don’t make me chuckle at how ignorant you really are
    Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to write a story on something you don’t even know or understand?
    This is someone’s whole life and career on the line her and we’re trying to take a stand against bullying amongst other things going on and yet you
    have the mind to call us obsessed?
    Please just do research before you write any other thing
    Like EVER
    Ughhh this article just stinks ewww

  28. wonho luvr

    this title is ugly, yall should know better. shameful