A screenshot from an episode of the first season of Produce 101 is now serving as “proof” for some Korean netizens who want to claim that some of the contestants smoked.
This snip from one of the episodes shows a sign on the door of the women’s restroom that reads “No Smoking (Vaping) in the Restroom!!!”
These netizens argued, as it is uncommon to have “No Smoking” signs on women’s restrooms, the fact that there is a sign up must indicate that the program had trouble with female smokers in the bathrooms.
Because female smokers are often frowned upon in Korea, women tend not to smoke in public. This leads the smoking women to smoke in secrecy, like in the restrooms.
Many Korean women consider it embarrassing or shameful if they become exposed as smokers. So it would naturally be a big deal, or a “hot issue”, for some female K-Pop idol trainee to be a smoker, which is why some Koreans initially obsessed over the sign on the restroom door.
To this controversial accusation, Koreans reacted in various ways. A group of netizens accepted the fact that there are women who smoke, including female idol trainees.
“There were a hundred girls. I’m sure some of them smoked.”
“I’m sure with their stress levels, they have to smoke.”
“A lot of students on the entertainment industry track start smoking at a young age. I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Others argued that while such an assumption is not reasonable, whether the trainees smoked or not is frankly none of their businesses.
“Isn’t that the bathroom at the performance center, not the trainees’ dorms?”
“Anyone could have smoked. It could have been the staff members.”
“Why does it matter if they smoke or not? As long as they were legal…”
“Most of them were legal in age. Stop shaming women who smoke.”
“Let’s leave smoking up to their choices.”
Some simply stated the “No Smoking” sign is actually common on all public restroom doors and walls, regardless of sex, and so the accusation is meaningless.
- “That sign is not all that uncommon. It’s on most public restroom doors.”