News / Buzz / Gossip

The Writing On The Wall & EXO Rumors - Will More Members Leave The Group?

By Staff Writer | December 11, 2014 04:02 PM EST

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EXO is one of the most popular boy bands in South Korea, with over two million fans registered in the EXO-L official fanclub. However, it's also been a group plagued by rumors.

For the third time since January, EXO finds itself embroiled in rumors about members leaving the group. This time, Chinese member Tao and a Korean member are rumored to be leaving SM Entertainment in 2015.

Following the previous two Chinese members leaving EXO, fans are obviously wondering how credible these rumors are and if there is a need to seriously worry about EXO's future.

The answer? Probably.

Rumors proved to be true the first time.

EXO's first hint of problems was when the leader of the EXO-M subgroup Kris was missing in action for an extended period of time in 2013. In May of that year, there were reports that a popular idol group's leader left the idol group, saying that he couldn't promote in a group any longer, but after some time was convinced to come back. EXO fans believed at the time that the rumors were about Kris, who was known to have returned to Canada before coming back.

SM Entertainment never confirmed that Kris had tried to leave EXO, but fans still were concerned about the fact that EXO's subgroup leader had left the group for an extended period of time.

A year later, after EXO had shot to stardom with hits like "Growl" and "Overdose," Kris filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment, saying that he had been mistreated by the company. Kris's lawsuit against SM to nullify his contract is still in the courts, but Kris has already started to promote in China as a solo singer, using his Chinese name Wu Yifan.

Rumors proved to be true the second time.

EXO's remaining 11 remembers and SM Entertainment assured fans that EXO would continue with eleven, but rumors started up once again several months after Kris left the group.

In September 2014, SM Entertainment announced that EXO-M member Luhan would be sitting out several of EXO's overseas concerts to recover from health issues. The next month, following an abundance of rumors and fans worrying,  Luhan filed a lawsuit to cancel his contract.

At the time, SM Entertainment announced that there were indications that outside parties were trying to convince the Chinese EXO members to leave the group.

Which means that there is a high probability rumors will be true to some degree the third time.

On December 9, Chinese news source Sina reported that verified entertainment critics posted on their Weibo pages (a Chinese website) that the youngest Chinese member Tao and a Korean member of EXO would be leaving the group. The rumors also said that EXO's disbandment will likely take place in 2015.

The rumors are still fresh, but after two departures and SM Entertainment's concerns about people trying to pull strings from behind the scenes to bring the Chinese members of EXO to China, fans are concerned and the rumors are worth giving some credence to.

While the rumors are likely about a Korean member of EXO-M, either Xiumin or Chen, there is also concern that a member of EXO-K, EXO's Korean language subgroup, is the anonymous member. There are concerns that Kai, one of EXO's most popular members, is suffering from a waist injury and rumors about that are also being propagated by fans.

This is the first time that a full disbandment of EXO is being discussed in rumors formally, but if more members of EXO leave it is unlikely that SM Entertainment will be able to sustain EXO as is.

Will the rumors really be true?

Perhaps, perhaps not.

Tao has publicly been very active on Instagram, trying to get closer to fans even by writing in English when his English skills are very limited. Less than twenty-four hours after international media started to report on the rumors, which were propagated by Chinese entertainment industry insiders, Tao posted a cute message to EXO's fanclub EXO-L. Tao's public personality has shown him to be dedicated and hardworking, which makes it difficult for many fans to believe that he would leave EXO. EXO's other Chinese member, Lay, also recently spoke at Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2014, where he hoped that 2015 would be a brighter year for EXO.

Other than the rumors, there is not much proof. However, SM Entertainment's claims that the Chinese members are essentially being poached and heading to China is something to take into account.

 China is a very tempting market, where celebrities can make much more money and have larger careers reaching billions of Chinese speakers around the world. If EXO-M's members get promised lucrative careers, even the most loyal member may be willing to leave.

 Both Kris and Luhan have received love calls in China, where they both have roles in movies and Kris has released several songs, despite both being embroiled in lawsuits against Korea's most prominent entertainment company. The situation that both are in may look very attractive to other EXO members.

Fans are hoping that the members are not true, and EXO just announced a 2015 comeback. Only time will tell whether rumors are correct the third time, but nothing at this point is certain about EXO's future.

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The ideas expressed above are those of the writer and do not reflect the opinions of KpopStarz.

Tagged :  EXO, Kris, Luhan, tao, Xiumin, Kai, lay, Chen, EXO-M, EXO-K, SM Entertainment

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