Shownu x Hyungwon
MONSTA X members Shownu and Hyungwon.


  • A photo of MONSTA X member Shownu holding a vape went viral online
  • Some fans defended Shownu, while others expressed disappointment
  • Shownu recently released a new album with his bandmate Hyungwon

MONSTA X member Shownu made rounds on the internet after a photo of him seemingly holding an electronic cigarette was accidentally uploaded on Twitter, prompting fans to share mixed reactions over the image.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old South Korean artist and his bandmate Hyungwon debuted as a unit on Mnet's "M Countdown." The duo performed the lead single of their mini-album, "Love Me A Little."

To excite fans — known as Monbebe — just before Shownu and Hyungwon hit the stage, "M Countdown" released waiting room "selcas" — or self-portrait photos taken by the artists themselves — of the pair, showing the members' stunning visuals and bejeweled stage outfits.

However, the staff from the broadcast channel accidentally uploaded a photo of Shownu holding an e-cigarette or "vape" while doing a peace sign. It was shared on Twitter but was immediately deleted, then replaced with a series of selfies without the vape.

Though the original photo was quickly taken down, a social media user managed to download a copy of it and shared it on a famous online forum site in South Korea.

The controversial photo sparked mixed reactions from the K-Pop community. While some defended Shownu, claiming that he was already of age and it wasn't illegal for him to smoke, others were disappointed that the MONSTA X leader publicly revealed his vice.

"We all knew they were smokers already, so nobody is shocked by that, the fact that he just took the picture like that and that it was released in their official account is what's shocking," one user wrote.

Another commented, "Is it a problem for a grown man in his 30s to smoke exclusively?"

"Celebrities, even the kids who don't seem to smoke, smoke behind them, they're human too, so what," a third user opined.

"But holding it so openly while completing his/her promotional activities...? That's what catches me off guard," a fourth user said, while another wrote, "Should've been more careful around cameras... It could've fit in [his] pocket."

"It would be nice if it wasn't smoked indoors. Be considerate of non-smokers," a sixth user stated.

"No, it's not a teenager, but a full-grown adult, so what's wrong with that?" a different user added.

Shownu and Hyungwon recently dropped their first mini-album as a unit, titled "The Unseen," which features a total of five songs: "Roll With Me," "Play Me," "Love Therapy," "Slow Dance," and the main track, "Love Me a Little."

The official music video of the lead single was released via Starship Entertainment's official YouTube channel Tuesday, and it has since accumulated about 4.8 million views on the platform.

While the duo is busy promoting new music, other MONSTA X members, Joohoney and Minhyuk, are completing their mandatory military service in South Korea.

MONSTA X members.