On May 15, 2023, Stray Kids' Bang Chan went live on YouTube, rolling out his weekly show, Chan's Room. Among the several things that he discussed in the live stream, the idol also talked about a certain K-pop group and their lack of respect directed towards him.
While the idol never named who he was referring to, fans deduced that it might be a fourth-generation group. Speaking about the group's behavior, Chan hinted that the behavior might have something to do with group members not bowing when greeting someone, which is the accepted manner of greeting and according respect in South Korea. He said:
"I feel like it's come to point where greeting someone is not considered as basic manners. I'm not like cussing people out or anything. It's just that if you see someone walk by, you say hello. But then if they don't reply back, you'd be like what? Oh. Okay. This generation is allowed to do that? Just not care?"
While fans were unsure who the group could be, after much speculation and scrutiny of the words used by Stray Kids' Bang Chan, many deduced that this was most likely about IVE.
Intense social media debate ensues as fans speculate that Stray Kids' Bang Chan was talking about IVE
In episode 208 of Chan's Room, Stray Kids' Bang Chan recounted the incident where a fellow K-pop group, possibly younger, did not bow while greeting him. Though he didn't mention names, Chan admitted to wondering whether he was wrong in expecting respect. He said:
"Yes, there were a few scenarios where that would happen. At first I was like "Okay, what?" Okay this is...I was like...okay...But then the more I though about it, I was like maybe I'm just over exaggerating. Maybe just I'm thinking too much. But maybe I'm just a boomer. I'm here to have fun and greet the people I like and respect. I'm not gonna say names."
The conversation naturally intrigued fans who wondered which group the idol was referring to. Given that the last public interaction that Stray Kids had with other K-pop groups was the Music Bank Festival in Paris on April 8, 2023, several fans deduced that one of the participants from the same is who he was referring to.
Many were convinced that Bang Chan was referring to IVE and took to social media to argue both sides of the matter:
Given that Stray Kids' relationship with most artists like AB6IX, The Boyz, ENHYPEN, and NMIXX is evidently good, fans settled on their last-standing option, IVE, as the one possibly mentioned. Another artist who participated in the music festival was MAMAMOO, who didn't seem to fit the category of Bang Chan's description of "this generation," given that they are a third generation group.
This becomes especially true when one takes into account that Stray Kids' Bang Chan expressed that the said group's lack of respect could be because there's no connection between the two group:
"Everyone else I was close to, the people that I know, the people that I've shared times with, they're all fine. But I guess some people that I don't know, I guess were kinda like that. But maybe that could be the reason why. Because there's no connection."
Following the live stream and subsequent speculation about the group in question being IVE, fans of the latter came out in prompty support of the girls, with many pointing out that the allegations on the internet were baseless.
Fans continue to flood Twitter and other social media platforms with their reactions and opinions on the ongoing issue, going back on forth as they try to figure out which group Stray Kids' Bang Chan was talking about.