ZEROBASEONE’s Gyuvin is accused of making a joke with a homophobic undertone
During a live broadcast of rookie boy group ZEROBASEONE members earlier this month, when Gyuvin talked about how he’s always thinking of the fans, fellow member Taerae playfully asked, “What about me?” to which Gyuvin responded “The company said to not do coming out like that” before laughing.
Although what Gyuvin said seems harmless, some LGBT fans have criticized Gyuvin for using the phrase “coming out” in a joke context. As Korea is a country where deeply ingrained prejudices against the LGBT community persist, making such a joke and laughing about it can be considered insensitive. A Korean fan also pointed out that homophobic men from male communities in Korea often use “coming out” in wrong contexts to mock LGBT people, thus called out Gyuvin for making a distasteful joke.
Aside from criticism, many fans have jumped to Gyuvin’s defense, saying that it was clear that Gyuvin did not harbor any malicious intent with what he said. Fans believe he was even exposing the company for not allowing idols to talk about “coming out”, and that he could be an LGBT ally or a member of the community himself.
This isn’t the first time Gyuvin has found himself embroiled in a controversy. Previously, he was criticized for unknowingly using phrases with origins from misogynistic Korean male communities while chatting with fans. The male idol previously issued an apology for this.