Editor’s Note: This is an OP-ED by Top Star News
Not long after videos of JYJ‘s Yoochun using violence against a fan were leaked online, several internet media sources reported articles and provided audio sources of the members using profanity as well as physical violence when dealing with the ‘Sasaeng’ fans. In response to these reports, netizens and fans alike began voicing their opinions which said, “No matter how severe the situation, it is wrong to swear at and physically hit a fan,” while others argued
, “How much did they endure to react like they did?”
The JYJ members are constantly thanking their fans during interviews and through their own respective Twitter pages, so why did the JYJ members use physical violence and curse at these girls that claim to be their fans
Those of you reading this article, imagine that you’re a member of one of today’s hottest K-pop idol groups, not only in Korea, but you are also receiving extreme popularity overseas. Since your debut, you have consistently maintained your elite status as a top idol star, and the more famous you become, the more the media reports rumors in attempts to slander you. The moment you step out of your home, there are long lines of cabs who follow your every move. They follow you 24 hours a day to your hair salon, your way to work, and follow closely behind you when you crawl home after a long and exhausting day. Your overseas activities have never been publicly reported, but a throng of fans are awaiting you at the airport
, overwhelming you with cameras and flashes, but that part isn’t so bad.
Imagine you receive incessant texts and phone calls from unknown numbers late at night, preventing you from getting the few valuable hours of sleep you need because of your hectic schedule. You decide to change your number, but when you do that, you immediately get a text message: “Why did you change your number? Did you not think I would find out?”
If this were happening to you, how long would you have been able to put up with it before exploding? Some would of gone as far as most likely paying the fines and breaching the contract with their label, no matter how much the agency demanded.
The above situations may seem fabricated, but for JYJ, it’s actually a reality. After JYJ debuted as part of TVXQ in 2003, they immediately rose to fame not only in Korea but all of Asia as well. The members featured on a few television programs and talked about these Sasaeng fans in the past. But back then, no one truly understood what they were dealing with, nor did anyone really care. Though they asked the fans to respect their personal lives, their request merely echoed back to them without much response.
The Sasaeng fans who closely follow JYJ are fans who want to be well-known amongst the celebrities. They want the stars to specifically remember them, and they want to be a little closer to them than the other fans. On their blogs, they report on a daily basis what the stars were wearing, where they were going, and what they were driving.
These then become the most-searched items on Korean portal sites late at night.
The series of events that have recently surrounded JYJ show how much these Sasaeng fans have harassed the members, and how much the members were forced to grow accustomed to these fans. The number of these kinds of fans do not shrink in number but only grow with time, including not only fans from Korea but also from Japan, China, and beyond. In order to imprint their identity, the fans have done things like intentionally cause car accidents, and send their under garments stained with menstrual blood as ‘gifts’ to JYJ. What’s more, the fans have also broken into the members’ dorms to take pictures of themselves and sent them to the members.
Over time, the more these sorts of situations arose, the more aggressive the members had to become in order to maintain their space. They used profanity against the fans not because they have ill intent, but in order to protect themselves from them. JYJ has done everything in their power to try and keep the fans at a safe distance, but because they can’t, the members have now actually grown afraid of these Sasaengs.
There have been a few times where the news reported stories of celebrities being stalked by fans. But when it comes to idol celebrities, the situation is completely different. Because the fans’ of idol groups are generally young minors, no legal action is taken against them, and are just let off with a warning. But it seems as though these measures only fuel the Sasaeng fans to chase the celebrities even more closely.
On an older current affairs program, a reporter once remarked, “It’s a relief that the TVXQ members have not gone insane
It’s true, it’s a relief that these celebrities are able to maintain mental stability and still stand and perform before the public.
From here on out, the public needs to understand Sasaeng fan activity as a type of evil in society. All reporters and media outlets who receive tips and information from these Sasaeng fans and write articles with ill-intent in order to slander the images of these celebrities who are working non-stop to promote K-pop globally, need to remember their real duty and responsibility.