R1SE member, Ren Hao (任豪), became a trending topic on the Weibo hot search when he made a post regarding Japan’s Decision to Dump Radioactive Water into the Ocean.
The singer has only recently been embroiled in a scandal where his ex-girlfriend ousted him for allegedly two-timing her. He took a short period of hiatus as part of the ‘disciplinary action’ taken by his management for his misconduct. The idol did not partake in any public event appearances.
But right as he emerged from the shadow of his previous, his recent Weibo post once again thrusted him in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Recently, the Japanese government announced that it planned to release more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water into the sea from a nuclear power plant crippled by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. This would take effect in about two years after filtering it to remove harmful isotopes.
The Chinese foreign ministry condemned the actions of the Japanese government, as such a planned release of “treated” radioactive water would cause serious damage to the environment. South Korean officials and the Moon government have also strongly condemned the action.
Ren Hao then took to social media to call on China to “help” Japan deal with the wastewater issue. He claimed that by extending aid to Japan, China can showcase its strength and might.
The full post is as follows
“Regarding the Japanese Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, if we can use a bigger cover to seal off and cordorn off the area as a nuclear waste water treatment facility, if our motherland is willing to help them, then the whole world would understand the power of China and the manufacturing ability of China.
We will never forget the war, but this is this blue planet is the earth that we all live in.
(The thinking is simple, you win if you take initiative)”
The idol then proceeded to attach photos in a bid to educate the public about his proposed idea.
Although the news was taken down as soon as it was posted, many netizens took screenshots of the post and left critical comments. His post even trended in first place on the Weibo hot search.
It is not the norm for idols to discuss politics so openly on Weibo, much less propose a solution that ran counter to the Chinese foreign policy stance.
Top comments from his fans and followers include:
“Take responsibility please, Ren Hao?”
“[Dog emoji] [Dog emoji] [Dog emoji]”
“Why not just change your passport?”
“If Ren Hao doesn’t get elected as the next Prime Minister of Japan I’ll be the first to feel unconvinced.”
After receiving censure for his words, Ren Hao swiftly deleted the Weibo post after. However, he was not sincere about his apology and emphasized that it was not deleted by him personally.
“[The Weibo Post] was not deleted by me. If your jeers and ridicule can encourage more people to take this issue seriously, let us call upon [everyone] to protect and prevent destruction of the oceans on this earth. I think that even after getting criticised by netizens, I still feel pretty happy. I am not a scientist, but I am just like you, a dust particle on this earth. Thank you for seeing this.”
His second post drew further ire from netizens, as they were enraged that the idol did not recognise where he went wrong. It was strange that he spoke with incredible confidence about such a serious issue.
Chinese netizens also circulated screenshots of Japanese netizens commenting on how “simple minded” Ren Hao was, and that he was a celebrity who “speaks before he thinks.”
Many felt that the radioactive wastewater dumping issue was not a problem that was so straightforward to resolve. The issue lied in whether the “treated” nuclear wastewater would still contain radioactive substances, which would affect the well-being of anyone who consumes fishes from the ocean.
Though Ren Hao’s friend from Produce Camp 2019, Wang Zhiwen came out to speak up for him, he too received backlash from netizens. Wang Zhiwen’s argument was that Ren Hao came from a place of “good intentions” an that Japan was “waiting for add all this time” since they have long discussed intentions to release the radioactive nuclear waste water for “a long time” but have not done so.
After a fresh wave of criticism, Ren Hao issued a genuine apology, this time coming to terms with his mistake.
“I am Ren Hao. I express my deepest apologies for the improper speech I made on social media. I am now deeply aware of my ignorance and personally feel the civic responsibility that I bear. I am grateful for the supervision and guidance from all walks of life. I will listen to the criticisms carefully and bear it in my heart. I will seriously listen to everything carefully in the future and to remember it by rote.
From today onwards, I will learn better. I will work hard to be a more appropriate literary worker, and once again I sincerely apologize to everyone, I was wrong!”
Some fans left kind messages saying “It’s okay, you can correct it if you know your mistakes.” “As a public figure, I hope you can be cautious in your words and actions in the future, keeping in mind that the country is supreme! Think twice before acting!”
Others remained unconvinced, commenting “Please go back to school” and even called onto Wajijiwa Entertainment to give their idols more behavioural training.
While idols have are expected to be good at singing and dancing, netizens are beginning to think that they should also receive a baseline level of education first. This would make them better suited to be role models for the youths.
What do you think about this situation? Share your thoughts and comments with us below!
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