Resurfaced comment from K-pop idol Haruto sparks homophobia accusations

Resurfaced comment from K-pop idol Haruto sparks homophobia accusations
via Weverse
Bryan Ke
April 12, 2023
Several K-pop fans have accused Treasure member Haruto of homophobia after a video in which he says a relationship between two men is “weird” resurfaced on social media.
Haruto, whose full name is Watanabe Haruto, made the controversial comment during Treasure’s anniversary celebration at a Weverse Live appearance in August 2022.
As part of the livestream, the group was asked about the type of film they would like to star in, with Haruto, 19, choosing a romantic comedy.
Someone onstage mentioned “BL” (Boys’ Love), prompting Haruto to say that BL “isn’t bad.” He then references the 2021 BL web drama in which Treasure starred, titled “It’s Okay, That’s Friendship,” and asks if it is considered a romantic comedy.
He then says, “Between a man and man is weird,” prompting loud reactions from his group members.
Recently, several K-pop fans re-shared short clips of his August comments on social media, with one tweet calling Haruto “homophobic” garnering 34.9 million views.
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Rallying to his defense, one Treasure fan shared a longer clip in which Haruto tries to explain his previous comment.
I don’t mean it like that. As long as you don’t cross the line. I think that will be a great plot?” he says in the clip. “It was great. I didn’t say I didn’t like it.”
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The official replay of the Weverse Live was also re-uploaded to the online platform.
Some commenters noted that the part where Haruto made the controversial remark appears to have been removed, which is noticeable at the 59:13 mark.
Many K-pop fans called out both Haruto and Treasure fans, known as Teume, for not holding their idol accountable.
The fact that I don’t see at least one Teume holding Haruto accountable in the qrts,” one Twitter user wrote. “There’s only two kinds of teumes in the qrts lmao, one is defending that homophobic Haruto as if their lives depends on it and the other one dragging other groups issues to divert the hate.”
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If you defend Treasure Haruto, please don’t make friends with me,” another Twitter user wrote. “It’s sad that lots of gay people are struggling for living, even receiving death threats, and his fans still defend him while knowing that he publicly gave a homophobic statement.”
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Despite the backlash, several fans have remained supportive of the K-pop star, dismissing the allegations and stating that the comment was his opinion.
He was talking about himself, with man. He was a minor back then and fans were shipping him with other members that he considered friends, it was uncomfortable for him,” one Teume tweeted.
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This is what we all noticed….if someone dares to say i have a different opinion abt lgbtq you go and bully him,” another fan tweeted in defense. “Keep it up that way coz ppl will know that you are weak thats why you suppress the other side of the truth….if u are sure u are right u would accept him.”
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