Ever since PNATION announced their debut lineup for their first boy group through the survival show LOUD, many netizens have been concerned about one of the boys set to join the team.
Tanaka Koki has been a topic of debate between many online for the past few weeks now that the show has ended. With him potentially debuting at only 12 years old (international age), fans are simply concerned about what effect this introduction to the public might have on the young boy in the future.
This conversation boiled over when PNATION posted a celebratory Chuseok holiday selfie to Twitter featuring him in a light-colored hanbok.
While on LOUD, the costume team often aged Koki up by dressing him in more dark, mature-looking clothing. However, once fans saw him in this seemingly ageless outfit doing innocent poses, many felt the need to comment.
The original tweet now has over 4k quote tweets, with many fans using the quotes to show genuine concern about the dangers of such a young boy joining the industry.
yes hes very talented yes he worked very hard, no one is denying that but hes a literal child if you cant see whats the problem with please fix your mindset https://t.co/xPslrVmOPP
— eli ☽︎ (@DI0RCHENLE) September 22, 2021
There was growing concern about the potential dangers of introducing him to social media as such a young idol.
If youre gonna debut children at least for gods sake keep them away from social media this is not a safe place for them especially if theyre an idol https://t.co/9sacEMeiLu
— Taeil pakistani fanbase hq (@lines4winwin) September 22, 2021
One Twitter user even pointed out that at this moment, Koki couldn’t technically have his own Twitter account as he falls below the age restriction.
Isn't twitter banned for people under 13… Someone please take care of this child as being an idol so young can be damaging… https://t.co/7GSeeTnbOr
— Just For Chen 🌼 ´-﹏-` (@justasoondingie) September 22, 2021
Multiple users who saw the tweet genuinely confused his selfies with the commonly used “baby filter” on Snapchat, which just bolstered their worries.
HELPSJD i’ve only just realised who it is from the qrts I literally thought it was some random idol but with the baby filter on 😭 https://t.co/vlZDyVfE6G
— sazan ✧.* (@minjitxpia) September 21, 2021
One user even shared their concern by comparing the situation to the well-known struggle of western media’s child stars.
Korea should learn from the mistake that was western child stars
It's not safe for kids to be in the public eye bc there's too many ppl trying to take advantage of them and it harms their mental health/stunts their development really badly
I hope this kid will be ok https://t.co/2hpPJd6hPP
— h⁷ | semi-ia (@somnimoo) September 21, 2021
While at first glance, the quote tweets may have seemed aimed negatively toward Koki himself, one netizen summed it up best by breaking down the situation.
This kid? Cute.
The people who refuse to see exactly what's wrong with him being allowed to debut with much older boys at a very young age? Not cute. https://t.co/JEWMrJpROQ
— Pinkgirl234 🎠 Stream BEcause by Dreamcatcher! 🎠 (@MissPinkgirl234) September 21, 2021
What are your thoughts on Koki’s debut? Do you think that it’s too early to have members of the 2009-line? Let us know, and to read more about the members chosen for PNATION from LOUD, check out the article below: