Lalisa Manoban, known by her fans only as Lisa, is a Thai K-pop idol who premiered in the group BLACKPINK in 2016. The South Korean group has broken several records and made international waves, becoming one of the highest-charting K-pop female groups and the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella.
22-year-old Lisa, the most-followed K-pop star on Instagram, is well-loved by her loyal fanbase. Luckily, Lisa’s devoted followers had her back when she was recently allegedly sexually harassed and nearly exploited by the owner of a popular Bangkok cafe.
After the BLACKPINK star’s photo shoot at the retro-styled MQQN Cafe in Thailand, the cafe owner made explicit comments about the rapper/singer/dancer on social media. Shockingly, he even tried to sell the items she’d used at the cafe, spurring widespread support for Lisa on Twitter and Instagram.
A Bangkok cafe owner tried to sell Lisa’s unwashed utensils after her photo shoot
Early in Jan. 2020, Lisa posted a series of stylish, retro-glam photos of herself at the MQQN Cafe in Bangkok, a 1950s-style, vintage-themed diner, on Instagram. The record-breaking K-pop performer posed next to an RV in the parking lot and on the tinsel-lined, neon-yellow booths inside.
The shoot could have been a great promotion for the eatery, especially due to Lisa’s nearly 30 million Instagram followers. Instead, the owner took to his company Facebook change to offer the chair, unwashed utensils, napkin, and even toilet seat the BLACKPINK star used while she was there. He entertained disturbing sexual comments from commenters who said they wanted to “sniff” the chair Lisa used, bantering back and forth with them.
The owner also tried to up the price repeatedly, claiming he had been offered around the equivalent of $3,000 USD for the chair Lisa sat on for part of the photo shoot.
Fans flocked to support the K-pop star
Fans immediately noticed how inappropriate the cafe owner’s behavior was and called him out for online harassment. The hashtag #LowlyMQQNCafe trended on Twitter in protest of his attempts to capitalize on the BLACKPINK star’s objectification.
According to the South China Morning Post, one supporter wrote on Twitter, “Lisa does not deserve the disrespect and violation of what this owner has done. You have crossed the line in a disgusting way. Instead of being proud and humble that Lisa went to your cafe; you offer a bidding.” Fans also flooded the MQQN Cafe’s official Facebook page with negative reviews and critical comments.
Another BLACKPINK fan spoke out against the cafe owner’s treatment of Lisa, writing, “The owner of the MQQN cafe in which lisa had her photoshoot sexually objectified her on facebook. This is beyond unacceptable and that pervert must be punished.”
The same Twitter user added later in her thread, “Lisa promoted your restaurant but instead of being grateful you chose to sexualize her. Your whole business will go downhill now mf take the taste of your own medicine.”
The cafe now appears to be closed indefinitely
After intense backlash from fans of BLACKPINK and Lisa, the MQQN Cafe owner posted a brief apology on Facebook. Still, fans weren’t satisfied, as they believed the owner only apologized because he was ashamed he was caught.
BLACKPINK followers reported on social media that the cafe now seemed to be closed indefinitely due to the backlash. The retro diner’s Instagram page is now private, so it could be that they’re just laying low until fans’ outrage and promises to boycott blow over. But with Lisa’s devoted fanbase, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.