Since the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards, EXO hasn’t been to attended despite still being nominated.
And this is the reason.
Prominent EXO fan clubs have been telling EXO-Ls not to vote on Mnet awards since 2018 because they don’t support it. They claim it is because of evidence that it’s rigged and because of their alleged disrespectful practices towards certain artists, their fans, and especially EXO for 5 years in a row.
For veteran EXO-Ls it has been a fight for years, but newer EXO-Ls and non-EXO-Ls may not know about the struggles they have faced with MAMA and why it is still so relevant today. So, what exactly did they do?
2015: Deleting “Love Me Right”
EXO’s performance video of “Love Me Right” had over 700,000 views (nearing a million) before Mnet deleted it to “fix the quality”.
This completely erased all of the views that EXO worked hard to promote. They quickly re-uploaded it but could do nothing to gain the views back. Fans were truly upset because views are essential for awards and achievements. Not to mention, they did not do the same for some other groups’ videos.
2017: The Darkest Year of Award Shows for EXO
Instead of EXO or BTS, Wanna One won “the best male group” as a rookie. Instead of Chungha, PRISTIN won “best new female artist”. Instead of G-Dragon, the “best male artist” went to ZICO.
EXO was nominated in 19 fan-voted categories, was leading in 5, and yet won only 1 award.
Unclear if this next event was what SM Entertainment and MAMA planned, but EXO performed before rookie groups. MAMA is set up to have rookie groups perform first, and elder groups last. This year, EXO (who were in their 5th year at the time) performed before Wanna One (who only had 4 months) and some fans found it disrespectful.
EXO was distraught and was crying behind the scenes according to Song Joong Ki.
2019: Open Disrespect
Many K-Pop fans that watched the show were extremely shocked at the disrespectful acts towards EXO throughout the night.
The infamous “Tears of Joy” video that MAMA promoted was put out a video of moments throughout the years and called EXO’s tears from 2017 “Tears of Joy”. Fans were extremely upset as they believed they knew the true reason behind the tears: pain.
Fans went on to trend #MamaApologizetoEXO on Twitter.