SM Entertainment’s new boy group RIIZE recently changed their official fandom name from SUNZ to BRIIZE due to potential negative connotations.
Old fandom name: On Monday, RIIZE initially announced that SUNZ would be their fandom name.
This garnered mixed reactions as the combination of RIIZE and SUNZ sounds similar to “rising sun,” the name of a controversial flag associated with Japan’s colonial era. The flag holds negative connotations in Asia due to its ties to Japanese militarism and imperialism.
New fandom name: Two days later, the boy group decided on the new name BRIIZE, which they said “received the second most votes from fans.”
“While we initially announced the fan club name as ‘SUNZ,’ which received the most votes from fans, we have since learned that there were many concerns among fans that ‘SUNZ’ could be interpreted negatively, unintentionally distorting the positive meaning of ‘SUNZ,’ which was meant to represent the fans’ growth together with RIIZE,” SM Entertainment said in a statement,
according to Soompi
“Since the goal was to have a name that carries a positive meaning to call all the fans supporting RIIZE and a name that signifies [both RIIZE and the fans’] collective growth, we have decided to change the fan club name to the second most-voted option, ‘BRIIZE.’ We kindly request your understanding regarding this change.”
RIIZE’s official fan club service will open on Tuesday.
The seven-member group consists of Korean American member Anton, former NCT
U members Shotaro and Sungchan, SM Rookies Eunseok and Seunghan and newcomers Sohee and Wonbin. The name RIIZE is a fusion of “Rise” and “Realize.”