Local pop culture critics explain that Korean social values, and the rise of reality TV shows and social media, lead to close scrutiny from fans making K-pop idols value go up and also cause sudden downfall in a second. For K-pop idols, connecting with their fans is important and it’s a way for them to build a relationship with their fans and thank them for their support.
Some fans personalize these Idols. These abscessed fans start stalking to get closer to their idols. EXO’s Baekhyun, Tao, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, and BigBang’s T.O.P have all experienced the ‘obsessed’ fan treatment. In a recent message posted on the LYSN app, Baekhyun of EXO pleaded with his fans to respect his privacy after he came home and found two fans waiting in front of his apartment.
Rising stars Jo Byeong-gyu, Park Hye-soo and Kim Ji-soo, aka Jisoo, faced bullying accusations that forced them to forfeit upcoming or ongoing projects.
Bullying was not the only accusation fans stormed these Idols. Actress Seo Ye-ji has been stormed for allegedly controlling her ex boyfriend, as well as other issues such as rude behavior to support staff, and making advertisers to walk away.
Song Jae-ryong, a sociology professor at Kyung Hee University, reasoned “Because Koreans value social and ethical norms before privacy, we tend to prioritize the social impact of a person’s actions,” he said.
“Also, Korea has a centralized media structure – although it is changing with the emergence of social media and digital media outlets – so if the issues are raised by a few media outlets, they spread quickly and have a huge impact.”
Simple mistakes like forgetting to say “thank you” can make huge uproar in social media. Compared to Hollywood star scandals’, these are miner. But in Korea it is a big issue. These allegations can destroy the carrier of a star. Weather all social media postings are true or not is also a fact to discuss. But before truth being surfaced, one night downfall can happen.
We live in the modern world, where we must be open minded and freedom of expression and speech must be encouraged. We must be able to forgive and say “it’s okay, but don’t do it again”. We are all human and we are not perfect. That must be understood. Say hello to humanity.
Source of information from Korea times.