[Updated with Official SM Response] Rumors of Tao Leaving EXO Resurface After His Father Posts a Letter Online
[Updated with SM’s response below]
Controversy over EXO’s Tao leaving the group resurfaced again.
According to SINA on April 22, Tao’s father uploaded a long post requesting for Tao’s release from his management company, SM Entertainment.
After identifying himself as Huang Zitao’s father, he began, “I know that my decision can bring pain to a lot of people. It’s probably the same for my son.”
He continued, “If I have to choose between my son living as a star in Korea or his health and peace, I would choose his health with no hesitation.”
He also said, “After Tao was injured, I had to bring him to China for treatment. Tao’s injuries are serious and as his father, I have no other choice but to choose my son’s health.”
He concluded, “I’m sorry and thankful to the company and the EXO members. I’m also thankful to the company for taking care of Tao until now. At the same time, I’m also very sorry to Tao’s fans as well as EXO’s fans.”
Meanwhile, Tao was swept up in rumors that he was leaving EXO on April 16. A Chinese media outlet had said that Tao had communicated his will to cancel his contract with SM. To this, SM had responded, “The rumors have no basis in truth.”
An image of a fan translation can be found here.
SM Entertainment has released an official response to Tao’s Father’s letter and the rumors. A representative said to the press, “We are seeking a constructive direction with Tao’s side. We were recently in the process of meeting with Tao and Tao’s father in China about various activities, so we think it is unfortunate for a letter like this to be posted. Nevertheless, we will continue to meet with Tao’s father about finding a constructive direction.”