In November 2023, SM Entertainment announced that RIIZE‘s Seunghan would be going on an “indefinite hiatus” from activities.
안녕하세요. SM엔터테인먼트입니다. pic.twitter.com/Cwn4ig8o1g
— RIIZE (@RIIZE_official) November 22, 2023
Hello, this is SM Entertainment. We would like to inform you regarding RIIZE’s Seunghan.
Seunghan is reflecting on the disappointment and confusion he has caused, in relation to his private matters that were recently leaked and distributed through online channels. He apologizes to not only the group and his group members but also the fans.
Seunghan has been feeling responsible for what has happened, as well as mental burden. After serious consideration, he has expressed his desire to halt all activities for the sake of the group.
We have also decided that it was unreasonable for him to continue his activities under these circumstances. And so Seunghan’s activities will be indefinitely suspended with respect to his opinion that he did not want to cause any more damage to the team and the members.
Starting today (November 22), RIIZE will be active as six members, excluding Seunghan.
We understand that this is a sudden change, but it was decided after careful discussion with the artist himself. Hence, we ask for your kind understanding. We, too, feel a great sense of responsibility for the neglect on our part in terms of artist management, even if the issue at hand had occurred before debut. Once again, we sincerely apologize to the fans.
The photos and videos that are being leaked and distributed without permission are from private moments pre-debut, when Seunghan was a trainee. They were edited several times to intentionally cause misunderstandings.
In addition, the individual who leaked and distributed the videos and photos in question has committed serious defamation against the artist by spreading fabricated and false information that is different from the truth. They have used non-existent messenger conversations and other malicious methods to create and spread groundless information.
As soon as we became aware of this, we began gathering information and monitoring the situation to collect evidence and identify the source of the unauthorized leaks. We plan to file a report with the police this afternoon.
In addition, we are considering additional legal measures against the specific individuals for matters such as defamation of our artists through the unauthorized leak and dissemination of the the content and other illegal acts such as cyber-bullying and blackmailing.
We will not tolerate any secondary acts of harm, such as creating, spreading, and reproducing rumors related to our artists through additional posts. For the sake of the artists and the fans who love them, we will practice no leniency.
We will continue to do our best to protect our artists. Thank you.
— SM Entertainment
This announcement came after a series of cyber attacks against Seunghan, including leaked content from the artist’s private life, such as alleged smoking, dating, private Instagram live broadcasts, etc. Yet, SM Entertainment also confirmed posts had been maliciously edited and fabricated in order to “create and spread malicious rumors.”
Hello, this is Seunghan.
First of all, I would like to say that I am very sorry.
I know very well that my careless actions from the past are now hurting many people. I am sincerely reflecting on myself.
I want to apologize to the fans who have supported me and the RIIZE members.
I am deeply reflecting on myself and the fact that I have caused so much damage at a time when I should have been working harder than ever and focusing on what I need to do. I will continue to reflect and look deeper into myself so that I can become a better person.
Once again, I apologize to the members, fans, and staff.
— RIIZE’s Seunghan
So, fans protested when Seunghan appeared to be punished anyway. Netizens also noticed a difference in his fellow members’ disposition without him.
never seen a single member of riize look mad until today and now it’s a full house like pic.twitter.com/vJXbLOTUIa
— stephanie (olive fan) (@paintmeonce) November 24, 2023
Finally, after not seeing Seunghan for nearly two whole months, BRIIZE (RIIZE’s fandom) got to see him again.
Multiple OT7 videos of RIIZE have suddenly been released, delighting fans. One was featured in Japan’s NHK program this week. BRIIZE was excited to see Seunghan with his members after so long.
being fed again w an ot7 content and seeing a moving seunghan feels so surreal , my heart swells w happiness again pic.twitter.com/sGh3pcZXGX
— hilly (@crlwbin) January 11, 2024
MBC NEWS: “RIIZE ‘Love 119’ hits music charts around the world”
and they used an ot7 video 😽🧡 pic.twitter.com/woj4hDphWn
— Rima 🐈⬛ (@riizeandshiine7) January 8, 2024
riize on nhk hangul! navigation as ot7 🧡😭
— riize folder (@riizefolder) January 11, 2024
Naturally, this made fans hopeful. Based on all the members’ hairstyles, the video could have been pre-recorded months ago. Still, Seunghan was not edited out, which is a good sign. Other idols have been edited out of old content after their departure from a group.
I mean they would NEVER allow this content to air if they really plan on cutting SEUNGHAN off the team. This is THE transition phase. They’ll slowly let people (general audience & antis) to get used to RIIZE being 7 again so it won’t be awkward (except for ot7 supporters)
— nuh012 (@nah012_emz) January 12, 2024
another video that’s suddenly posted today (230111) without cutting seunghan out~
— oya 𖤐 (@memorieswb) January 11, 2024
2023 멜론 라이즈 매니아 감사 인사 영상 #RIIZE #라이즈 #앤톤 #ANTON #アントン pic.twitter.com/Q7x0QF5rQ0
— 🥛 (@yantong321) January 11, 2024
Seunghan, along with “Seunghan comeback soon,” soon became a trending topic as a result. Netizens are anticipating his comeback.
📈 “SEUNGHAN” Is currently Trending on Japan [🇯🇵 ] following his new video drop with nhk japan riize !! pic.twitter.com/Qt0g7yRvlR
— 승한 라이즈✷Sakshi (@SEUNGHANTL) January 11, 2024
📈 “Seunghan & Seunghan Comeback Soon” is currently trending over 40k tweets following his highly anticipated Comeback to RIIZE & new smiling pic drop from nhk japan on X!! pic.twitter.com/CIXatNqxfF
— 승한 라이즈✷Sakshi (@SEUNGHANTL) January 11, 2024
In December 2023, RIIZE gave fans hope that Seunghan might soon return. Read more below.
Eagle-Eyed Fans Believe RIIZE Hinted At Seunghan’s Return In Their “2023 Melon Music Awards” Performance
Netizens Spot RIIZE Eunseok’s Reference To Seunghan In Recent Video