Yunho of K-pop duo TVXQ has announced that he will no longer be part of the upcoming Mnet reality show, Kingdom: Legendary War.
The singer’s decision to step down from the forthcoming survival programme follows a controversy over his supposed violation of COVID-19 restrictions last month. Yunho and his friends had reportedly stayed in a Seoul establishment past the city’s 10pm curfew in February.
According to a statement by Mnet, the singer’s departure from the show was “voluntary”, in lieu of ongoing police investigations. His TVXQ bandmate Changmin will continue on, now as the show’s sole host, although the South Korean television network also seemed to imply that Yunho will not be edited out of the episodes that he has already shot.
“It was relayed to Mnet by SM Entertainment that Yunho voluntarily intends to not participate in recordings for Kingdom: Legendary War until his police investigation results are released,” the network said, per Soompi. “As a result, Mnet has decided that Changmin will be filming for the programme as the sole MC from now on. Regarding the parts that Yunho has already completed filming for, they will be edited with focus on his role as a host.”
Following news of Yunho’s violation of COVID-19 restrictions, the singer issued a personal apology on Instagram, saying that he was “very ashamed and angry” for his actions and that he felt “regretful and sorry” for the breach. Several of his sponsors, such as food-delivery app Yogiyo and food manufacturing company Ottogi, have also dropped the singer following the controversy.
The first episode of Kingdom: Legendary War is set to premiere on April 1. The series will feature boybands such as BtoB 4U, iKON, SF9, Stray Kids and ATEEZ, as well as THE BOYZ, who won the 2020 prequel series Road To Kingdom.