K-pop boy band Ateez hit with homophobic, racist Instagram comments after baseball game appearance

Ateez K-pop boy band

The members of Ateez, a South Korean boy band, have recently been inundated with racist and homophobic comments on Instagram.

Following successful Coachella performances and an invitation to attend a game at Dodgers Stadium, the official Instagram page of the K-pop group posted photos of four of its members – Yunho, Yeosang, Wooyoung, and Jongho – at the baseball game, only to be met with horrendous remarks.

Several comments underneath the posts included racist and homophobic language towards the members, calling them “gay”, derogatorily referring to them as “ladies” – despite the fact they’re cisgender men – and commenting on how they look similar as well as calling them “Chinese” even though they are South Korean.

Many of Ateez’s fans tried to combat the hate and negativity by writing positive and supportive comments underneath the images, as did others who weren’t familiar with the band, but were shocked by the response.

One person wrote: “I don’t know this K-pop boy band, but the racism in the comment section shows the ignorance and insecurity of ppl hiding behind (keyboards).”

Ateez have often been supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. One member of the group, Wooyoung, once told a male fan that he shouldn’t give up on his male crush while another member, Yunho, told a fan that “love is love” and that it “does not matter with who it is with”.

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Another member once spoke at a fan event saying that Ateez’s LGBTQ+ fans are his “inspiration” after one such fan said that they “feel safe, inspired, and valid while listening to your music”.

On social media, the members regularly use rainbow emojis and have posted photos with rainbow makeup and hair colours during Pride month.

While none of the members have ever explicitly opened up about LGBTQ+ rights in South Korea, where same-sex marriage is not legal, there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships and same-sex couples have no legal right to adopt children – it does seem that Ateez are strongly in support of their LGBTQ+ fans and offer them support and validation.

Ateez, who have been active since 2018, have released ten EPs, two studio albums, and one single album in Korean as well as two single albums, three EPs, and two studio albums in Japanese.