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On the ‘Lucas Out’ issue: Is it ‘innocent until proven guilty’ or vice versa?

K-Pop stans should really know how to set their boundaries when it comes to adoring and protecting their favorite idol’s name  especially at times when they get embroiled in false rumors and scandals. 

This week on “what’s trending on Twitter under K-Pop”, the hashtags “#lucas_out” and “#ProtectLucas” have been going around and for the same reason: K-Pop stans discussing about the dating scandal and sexual assault allegations against NCT and WayV’s Lucas. 

For context: the NCT and WayV rapper and center has been under fire for being involved in alleged gaslighting and sexual assault allegations since August. Four anonymous users revealed that they had dated the idol, where he supposedly cheated, gaslit, and took advantage of them, even reaching a point where he was “leeching” money from them. After the news blew up, SM Entertainment and Lucas each released statements, apologizing for their actions, and for causing an uproar. 

Lucas, also known as Wong Yuk-hei, has been on hiatus since then, with SM Entertainment excluding him from NCT’s third full group comeback titled, “NCT 2021 Universe”. 

This scandal has divided fans on social media, hence the creation of the two hashtags, “lucas_out” and “ProtectLucas”. Fans created a Twitter space last November 22, 2021, where they talked about Lucas’ situation and the circumstances surrounding it—including the ambiguity of the apology letter written by Lucas himself. 

In the Twitter space, fans were holding discussions on how fans defend their idols who have been accused of sexual assault, the boundaries that fans should have when it comes to being fans and having morals, as well as how fans should remember that they are just fans and nothing more. 

Contrary to the Twitter space created for the hashtag “#lucas_out”, some fans are still defending Lucas under the hashtag “ProtectLucas”, while referring to the cyber investigation done by fans which found proof that some of the “evidence” brought up by the victims were manipulated and that their posts had loopholes. Some also used the hashtag to share their sentiments about fans trying to defend their faves “as if their lives depended on it”. 

Others choose to stay neutral regarding the issue, citing the vagueness of Lucas’ apology letter, the lack of facts, and the “innocent until proven guilty” clause. 

Personally speaking, one thing should be evidently clear: we don’t know how our idols are like in real life. Like everyone else, they may show different sides to the people around them and will most definitely show an idealized version of themselves to their fans. Therefore we should hold our favorite idols accountable when they are being accused of something as serious as sexual assault. It is also our moral duty to always believe victims first. It takes a lot of courage to come out with their traumatic experiences, even more so if it had greatly affected their daily life. We are humans first, fans after. 

So, in short, in cases like this, we should always think “guilty until proven innocent”. The other way around just gives the accused the power to possibly manipulate and fabricate evidence to use against the defendant. 

Protect the victims and hold the accused accountable for all of their misbehavior. That’s part of our duties as fans, got it?


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