RDS 181219 NCT
NCT ,performing During the SMTOWN Live World Tour VI at the Autism Rock Stage, Dubai Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News archives

  • #GetWellSoonHaechan trends after 18-year-old K-Pop star Haechan injured himself during a practice session.
  • The K-Pop industry is known for its extreme level of control over its members.

Dubai: Twitter worldwide saw a massive outpouring of support today for 18-year-old K-Pop star Haechan from fans of the idol, with #GetWellSoonHaechan

The young star was admitted to hospital on account of a tibia fracture, essentially his shin. The injury was the result of the star twisting his leg during a practice session.

Haechan fondly known by his fans as “full sun” (official name Lee Dong-hyuk) is a member of the K-Pop group NCT (expanded as Neo Culture Technology).

With multiple units based in different cities, the group is a massive enterprise under SM Management – also famous for managing groups such as EXO and Girls Generation.

Twitter user @hyuckalmighty said that “Haechan has had 7 comebacks this year, most of which were consecutive. He’s barely 18 but he’s worked so hard in two units and now his health took a toll on him. The boy never complains but his body can only take so much. I can only hope for his safe recovery. #GetWellSoonHaechan”

Fan @nctfullsun tweeted: “Donghyuk, after receiving a kick on his face, was still continuing the performance and smiling at fans. Donghyuk never shows sign of fatigue and tiredness even when he’s overworked. He’s too professional and he never whines. I hope he’ll recover soon... #GetWellSoonHaechan”

The incident of kicking referenced was an accident by an NCT group member during a stunt-heavy performance last year.

@lqmoontae tweeted: “Sending all my love and support to our full sun who needs it right now. you’ve been working non-stop for a long time please take care and come back healthier than ever. we will wait for you. we love you SO much #GetWellSoonHaechan”

Tweep @_MarkLee99_ added:“NCT had really done so much for us. And they deserve all the rest mostly Mark and our one and only fullsun Donghyuck. You’ve already done much for us so what we want right now is for you to heal. Don’t pressure yourself too much. We love you very much.”

Many more tweets, along the same lines, by fans seem to indicate that the star might have been facing excessive pressure and expectations.

SM entertainment responded through Twitter posts that the star will take a break to recuperate. They posted (translated): “Hello, this is SM Entertainment. To all fans, Member Haechan has recently visited the hospital after having sprained his right leg while preparing for a concert. He was diagnosed with a fractured shinbone and is currently resting at the moment. This will result in him being absent from his upcoming schedules, including those for the year-end shows. He will be focusing on recovery for the time being. We seek your deep understanding. Thank you.”

Despite their response and promise of the young star being given a break, several online news reports about overwork and unhealthy levels of control by management in the Korean idol industry continue to plague it.

RDS 181219 NCT00
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9919288k) NCT 127 - Taeyong, Jaehyun, Winwin, Doyoung and John Seo 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' TV show, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Oct 2018 Image Credit: REX/Shutterstock

December 2017 saw the suicide of Kim Jong-hyun, lead singer of the band SHINee, with a suicide note talking about his depression, loneliness and hopes that his work had been enough. This was, however, not the first case of suicide among members of the industry.

RDS 181219 NCT8787
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9919288j) NCT 127 - Taeyong, Jaehyun, Winwin, Doyoung and John Seo 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' TV show, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Oct 2018 Image Credit: REX/Shutterstock

The K-Pop industry is known for its extreme level of control over its members, putting them through several levels of eliminations and camps to make it to the groups. And once part of a group, members are required to sign contracts, which subject them to measures such as monitoring of their phones, their personal lives, and include numerous tour and appearance schedules.