K-pop fans are trending on Twitter again, this time calling for boy band GOT7’s upcoming concerts in Hong Kong to be cancelled over fears for the safety of their pop idols, particularly Hong Kong-born Jackson Wang.
Ahgases, the band’s fan base, went online on Wednesday to urge GOT7’s management company JYP Entertainment to cancel the concerts on August 31 and September 1. The Twitter hashtag started trending worldwide, with an estimated 300,000 tweets.
The #JYPE_CancelGOT7HKConcerts movement started in response to animosity from some Hongkongers towards Wang following a post on Weibo in which he said he regarded himself as a guardian of the Chinese flag.
He also joined ‘The Five-Star Red Flag has 1.4 billion guardians’ campaign started by CCTV after Hong Kong protesters threw the Chinese flag into the sea during ongoing anti-government protests. It is supported by Hong Kong-born celebrities such as Jackie Chan, Jane Zhang, Angelababy, Luhan, Jordan Chan and Kris Wu.
Some social media users were outraged, believing he had turned away from his roots.
One Twitter user shared several screenshots of Hong Kong activists posting details of Wang’s address in Korea and his flight number and arrival time, with the words “go and find him”.
A 30-year-old Hong Kong fan, who preferred to remain anonymous, said there are real fears that protesters may target the star. “We’re just hoping JYPE will cancel it. Because it seems too dangerous to continue. Local fans are angry at Jackson lately.”
Despite the online campaign, it appears that the concerts will go ahead as planned. HK Ticketing said in a reply to an enquiry that the promoter is aware of the fans’ concerns, but that the concerts will still be held on the designated dates.
In response to this, several Korean fan groups around the world, such as BTS Army, EXO EXOls, MonstaX Monbebe, Blackpink Blinks, NCT Nctzen and Seventeen Carats, united to spread the hashtag.
One tweet states: “No matter what fandom you are from if you see this tweet you are obliged to reply with #JYPE_CancelGOT7HKConcerts”.
Mainland fans have also voiced their concerns for Wang’s safety, sharing a letter to JYP Entertainment which states that “some crazy protesters claim that they are going to besiege and attack Jackson, when they arrive in Hong Kong or when the concert is ongoing, as Jackson has shown his love and support for the Chinese government”.
The concerts in Hong Kong form part of GOT7’s “Keep Spinning” world tour, and will be held at Asia World-Expo, near the airport. The airport has recently been a scene of protests, and fans are concerned that the concert venue may also be targeted.
Tickets for the concerts range from HK$588 to HK$2,388.
GOT7 previously performed at the venue in August last year as part of their “Eyes On You” world tour, which attracted an estimated 175,000 concertgoers around the world.