ATEEZ recently had a comeback with their new album, The World EP.1: Movement, and its title track, “Guerrilla.” As part of their promotions, the group made an appearance on Weekly Idol with hosts Kwanghee and Super Junior‘s Eunhyuk.
The group was able to perform and show off the dance to their new song and attempt to win the “Random Play Dance” portion of the show, as well as play a few other games with the hosts.
In a segment of the show where fans sent in reasoning for why they would not want to go on vacation with a specific member, a viewer sent in a comment saying that they would not want Mingi because his English is “the worst.” The comment got a strong response from the hosts and ATEEZ, who began defending Mingi.
Fans immediately took to Mingi’s defense online, bringing up that Mingi previously clarified that the original instance where he made a joke about speaking English was just said to make the program funnier and that his English is actually not bad. The message read on Weekly Idol used the word 최악 (choi-ak) which is a harsh way of saying the worst, and many fans say this was not appropriate for the context of the conversation.
idk how much this needs to be said but the mingi english talk and jokes were supposed to be left behind us since WAY BACK. his english is just fine and he’s doing well and every time this gets brought up like this i just feels like it’s really disrespectful towards him honestly
— marian 🐺 민기 (@mingintro) August 3, 2022
this has been said before but i’ll say it again – mingi already expressed his feelings about this joke – he doesn’t like it and it’s not funny. that message was rude and completely unnecessary. have you seen him in video calls? his english is fine. now apologize to him!
— yungi’s hannah 🍭 GUERRILLA 2ND 🏆 (@fixsongyu) August 3, 2022
Many fans also believe that comments about K-Pop idols’ English should not be made at all. For many idols, including Mingi, English is a second or third language. They work hard to be multilingual in order to communicate with fans around the world. In addition to that, Mingi tries especially hard to communicate with international fans during video call events and remove the language barrier for non-Korean speakers.
you have the audacity to talk about mingi’s english, but what about your level of korean?
idols don’t have to know english, they just learn it because they want to.
if you really want to communicate with them because you can’t understand what they are saying then learn korean.
— ♡ (@atinycarespace) August 3, 2022
if you needed proof that mingi can carry a whole convo in English… like lol stop bringing up the stupid damn “I can’t English” thing – he even said he was told to say that 😭 https://t.co/nhSyldHE5D
— priy⩜⃝ LOVES CYBERPUNK (@soobmingkie) August 3, 2022
Stop making fun of people for the way they speak a foreign language! Mingi’s English is good as it is. Some of you should consider the impact of your words before participating in events like this one.
I hope that Mingi doesn’t get discouraged to speak to international Atiny… https://t.co/Ul7iYZi0Sw
— 👁🗨HALA_minkyw⩜⃝y🚫 (@hq_minkyway) August 3, 2022
As stated by host Kwanghee, the comment appears to have been from an international fan that used a translation app online. These apps are often incorrect and do not take context into account with translation. Fans fluent in Korean even began offering their assistance with translating comments for other ATINY in order to avoid another situation like this occurring.
can i just say, atinys, next time if you’re joining events like the ones they did in weekly idol, please dont use papago or google translate!! what you type is not guaranteed to come out the same, how can you guys submit that and let mg hear it?
— jase (@onlymingki) August 3, 2022