Korean boy band EXO member Baekhyun has issued a statement to apologize for the remarks he made about depression during a fan signing event on December 30 which were deemed as insensitive in light of the recent death of SHINee member Jonghyun.
At the fan signing, Baekhyun told fans, "We've talked a lot, right? A lot of people say they're depressed. To be honest, if I'm speaking my thoughts, I don't know why people get depressed or have insomnia. I'm not criticizing it. I know you can't force yourself to only think good thoughts, but there are good people around you. You have friends, and you have me and the members."
Netizens criticized him for this, accusing him of dismissing depression, which was the reason why Jonghyun took his own life on December 18.
After receiving backlash for the remarks, he posted a message on his Instagram account to say that "I'd like to personally apologize for the statement I made at the fan signing on December 30."
"To be honest, I've been afraid of depression lately, and I was in a hypersensitive state. Then at the fan signing event, I talked a lot with that fan, and I was worried. I suddenly became afraid. I'm supposed to make this fan happy at a fan signing event that's supposed to be filled with happiness, and I suddenly felt the weight of what they told me," he added.
Baekhyun explained that "I think my heart was hasty at the thought that after my fan left that spot, I might not be able to speak with them again. I wanted to comfort them with at least one more word, so in that moment, I wanted to quickly say something because I felt like my words would be of help as they said they liked me."
"I think I was lost in that thought from after I stopped talking with that fan until the end of the fan signing. There were aspects where I spoke hastily because in that situation I wanted to let fans know that even if they're going through a depression or rough time, EXO and the people beside them were there for them," he said.
Also read: SHINee's Jonghyun found dead in Seoul
He ended the letter by saying, "Still, I wanted to sincerely apologize. I apologize to that fan, and I wanted to say I'm sorry to everyone who was hurt because of this incident. I'll become Baekhyun who speaks and acts more carefully in the future."