Yu Jun-won, the trainee who ranked No. 1 on the survival show Fantasy Boys, posted a handwritten letter denying the allegations raised by PocketDol Studio. On August 23, a few hours after Funky Studio (the production company of PocketDol Studio) announced that the group would be debuting FANTASY BOYS with 11 members without Yu Jun-won.
The company alleged that the trainee and his parents demanded increased profits since he ranked first. They also claimed that they discussed the contract a dozen times. In response, Yu Jun-won posted a handwritten letter sharing his perspective. He mentioned that he repeatedly asked the company to modify "unreasonable contract clauses," but they forced him to agree to them.
The trainee shared that he "did not do anything" that would be shameful for fans but was looking forward to his debut after fans honored him with the first rank. He added that he felt "sorry and heartbroken" about the situation and affirmed that he had lost trust in the company.
Fantasy Boys’ Yu Jun-won posts a personal handwritten letter addressing the controversy behind not debuting with the group
On June 8, 2023, idol survival show Fantasy Boys announced the final debut lineup of the self-titled group, comprising Yu Jun-won, Kim Gyu-rae, Hong Sung-min, Oh Hyeon-tae, Lee Han-bin, Ling Qi, Kang Min-seo, Hikari, KSoul, Kim Woo-seok, Hikaru, and Kaedan. Yu Jun-won ranked No. 1 in the show and was also given the responsibility of being the leader of the soon-to-debut idol group.
However, fans’ expectations took a hit when Funky Studio announced on August 23 that the debut lineup would not consist of Yu Jun-won. They alleged that the trainee and his parents had demanded one-sided negotiations and left the team without permission. A few hours later, the Fantasy Boys No. 1 rank holder posted a letter denying the claims.
Yu Jun-won talked about his dreams and said that he never gave up on them, despite the "many difficulties. " He added that the "honorable 1st place" in Boys Fantasy helped him overcome the struggles thanks to fans' support, but it was "regrettable" that he couldn’t debut.
“There are several consultations, emails and phone calls to reach an agreement with the PocketDol idol. We asked them to modify the unreasonable contract clauses in the contract, but they did not, and we continued to ask for reasonable contract terms that we could understand, but the company forced us to agree by adding conditions that were out of common sense, and we were even told that we could leave if we did not agree, which was ridiculous.”
“The company's behavior caused us to lose trust, and we decided that we could not continue to work with them in the future.” (Translation via X user @iiwseok)
The Fantasy Boys’ trainee mentioned that it was "impossible to remain silent," as he felt devastated when thinking about the many fans who waited for him to debut.
“It is impossible to remain silent. I hope this will improve the unfair contract practice of unilaterally forcing the agency to sign a favorable contract by taking advantage of the desperate dream of debuting.” (sic) (Translation via X user @iiwseok)
Yu Jun-won ended the letter by asking fans to nevertheless support and cheer for FANTASY BOYS (the group) until the end. Additionally, he also posted a part of the contract to prove that the company's claims about him demanding increased profits were false.
Meanwhile, the now-11-member group FANTASY BOYS is scheduled to debut next month.