MASC's 26 Announces Departure From Group And Addresses Assault Incident Between ACE And Chibin

MASC’s 26 has announced that he has departed from the group.

On July 30, 26 took to his personal Instagram account to announce his departure and open up about the assault incident between ACE and Chibin. He began with, “Hello, this is 26. I thought long and hard about whether it’s right for me to bring this up in the current situation. I know some of you may be thinking, ‘Why now?’ ‘Why you, all of a sudden?’ However, the reason why I am breaking past my fears and speaking up is because I believe that staying silent any longer may bring bigger misunderstandings and is not respectful to the fans who have given MASC their great love and interest. I will be cautiously writing down my story with a heavy and apologetic heart.

“First of all, I want to address my position in the group that has been discussed since March. I needed to make a decision taking into account my military requirements, the aftereffects of the 2016 car accident I was involved in, and my desire to go down the career path of a director. MASC is everything for me, something that holds my precious childhood dreams. However, many situations, worries that the divide between reality and expectations may hurt others, and realizing that my direction and ideals do not align with the agency led me to the decision to leave the group rather than to just go on a break. It’s an unfortunate situation. However, it’s something I felt the need to go over. This was something I should have told you earlier, but I pushed it back because I felt so bad and now I am very late. I apologize for causing you concern and disappointment. I will be leaving MASC.

“And I want to let you know that this post is not related to the current situation surrounding some of the other members. Up to a certain point, this is just ‘my story.’ I am writing this post because I was worried that my silence would cause more misunderstandings and concerns, and I worried that if I waited, I would cause more controversies and confusion for MASC when what is needed is time to readjust.

“I am currently writing about the biggest and most precious thing to me. My trainee days that required a long time of waiting and effort. Beginning work as a video editor due to hardships in life, and though I was recognized for my work and became a director, I put down my megaphone because of my love for the stage. Feeling apologetic to the other members who waited for me as I recovered from a major car accident right before our debut. My family’s faith in me as they silently supported my work. The weight I felt when I made my debut as MASC was great. I wanted to do better. There are many times when I was disappointed because things didn’t go the way I’d planned. But I was able to be strong because I had our precious fans, who always believed in me and supported me.

“However, it was impossible for me to do everything just by myself. Our agency had their own stance and direction, and I couldn’t simply ask them to accept my own beliefs and personal matters because I existed in a group, not on my own. I know that some of you may be wondering whether me leaving the group has anything to do with the current situation. Of course, it would be a lie to say that the situation between members and the way the agency handled the situation did not affect my decision. However, the things surrounding my decision have existed since before the incident, and this is not a decision I made because I was swayed by emotions.

“Thanks to our fans, I was able to achieve my dreams as 26, and though this sounds a little corny, it was because of you that I was able to fly higher. Despite this, I hope you can understand that behind my statement of ‘I want to let go a little’ are many things and situations I can’t put down in words. This is a decision I made to minimize the waiting and damages, and I will return with news once I have a clearer idea of what I will do or after I have rested my mind and soul. Thank you for always supporting me.”

In a second post, he gave his account of the assault incident involving ACE and Chibin. On July 26, Chibin had stated that he had been physically assaulted by someone he knew. On July 28, ACE confirmed that he had been the assailant and had left the group. It was announced through an official statement from their agency on July 30 that Chibin had expressed that he found it difficult to continue as a member of MASC, and would be changing his career path to become an actor.

26 wrote, “The moments I’ve spent as MASC’s 26, which will now become a part of my past, have been so precious and I would never change them for anything. And I believe I have the responsibility to protect those precious moments. I believe that is the last thing I can do for myself and my loving fans. To end my post, I believe that is is necessary for me to talk about the situation rather than explaining what I’ve been up to. That will be the last thing I talk about before ending this post.

“I will not be expressing the stance of the agency, and I will not be siding with either of the two members in this situation. As someone who was there, I will just speak truthfully of what I saw. I don’t believe it is necessary to drag the fight out online anymore, and it is a fact that this only brings more damage to the members who are staying silent out of concern and anxiety. I feel sad about what has happened as a member of MASC, and I wonder how things might have gone if the agency had acted differently. I am very cautious of how this post will come across to many people. I can say that there was a definite cause behind the incident, and I believe there will be a responsibility to take accountability when the results come out. Nothing can ever justify physical assault. However, everything has a cause, and the involved parties must take responsibility for the results of those causes.

“If there is something I need to be punished for as 26 of MASC, then I will take it. However, I want to speak up because I am afraid that the things I want to protect will disappear because they get twisted. Above all, we were members of the same group and as we shared a lot of things, we also had differences in opinions and clashed because of it but we smiled and overcame many things together. I believe that the issue between the two members arose from many things they were disappointed in each other piling up. But in the process of untangling those many misunderstandings came a wrong way to express oneself.

“On that rainy day, as you all know, ACE hit Chibin with an umbrella. That is an indisputable fact, and something ACE was in the wrong for. However, there was no ‘stone wall’ there. It was just an alleyway. The current telling of the event is that Chibin was hit with an umbrella and the vinyl was ripped from the umbrella to create a skewer, but would the members next to them really have stood still if this had happened? Never. When the argument broke out, we kept watching over their conversation hoping they would talk things out as it was an issue between the two of them. In that process, voices were raised, and the members around ACE and Chibin were unable to manage the unexpected situation. What I can say for certain is that we held back both of them before things could break out into a fight. ACE is the one who started the physical assault, and he did hit Chibin with the umbrella, but there were many members next to them. We did not stand by. We held ‘both of them’ back in order to calm them down and not result in a big fight.

“If this had been a ‘one-sided assault situation,’ the members would have been holding back just ‘one’ of them, not ‘both.’ ‘Both’ of them were emotionally riled up and on the verge of getting into a physical fight, so we tried to defuse the situation and no fists were thrown. The argument led to agitation, and everyone was surprised and taken aback by Chibin’s injuries. Our leader arrived late to the situation and once he’d calmed things down, he took the injured member to the hospital, and as I am the same age as him, I stayed with ACE to get a handle over the situation as I wasn’t sure if the younger members would be able to.

“I will not write about what Chibin and ACE discussed or what they discussed with the agency as I was not there to hear it directly. This is what I saw as I stood next to them. My only wish is that MASC, MASC’s members, and the many fans who are worried about MASC will no longer be hurt by misunderstandings and distortions. This situation is an issue that must be resolved between the two members, MASC, and the agency.

“Once again, I ask that people stop posting meaningless posts, and if there truths to uncover, it is something the two of them need to settle on their own. If there are parts of the story that they want justified, it should be dealt with in the courts. I just don’t want MASC, which is so precious to me, to get hurt anymore. I will never forget the love our fans have given to MASC. Thank you.”

Chibin had originally commented on 26’s post but has since deleted his comment.

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