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Fan outcry over K-pop star's date highlights 'harsh' industry rules

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By Claire LEE

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Just about the only beneficial use I could see for AI as a "human replacement" in the arts and entertainment would be to replace these already artificial and bogus idol personas.

Anyway dudes, you should get a real imperfect girlfriend and enjoy starting a natural family or Korea's population will drop to zero.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This is the absolute height of social stupidity. Think about how this panders to, and is controlled by patriarchal societal standards that creates fantasies for entitled and mal adjusted men who don't want their 'Idols' to be real people with real lives, but a type of performing doll.

The girls must be paid a lot of money to endure this nonsense.

Korea needs to be take control of this, it's a joke.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

This sort of thing probably sheds a lot of light on why the birthrate in that country has fallen off a cliff.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I don't think the female Kpop performers make enough money for this. They are always working for the image of their group and management company. They are famous and might be lucky to get some endorsements but much of the public events they do are probably outside of their contract

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Not only are the girls marketed to male social inadequates, they provide the role models for thousands of young girls. It's like a conveyor belt for creating a nerd fantasy. If I may say so, I think Japan is even worse for this since the outcome is rarely anything but an adolescent puppet.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Mike Donovan

Today 10:34 am JST

I don't think the female Kpop performers make enough money for this. They are always working for the image of their group and management company. They are famous and might be lucky to get some endorsements but much of the public events they do are probably outside of their contract

What do you mean "the female"?

If you read the article you would notice it is not only the "female" ones.

Do you think those like the boys in BTS, etc...have it any different?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Tamarama Today  07:46 am JST

This is the absolute height of social stupidity. Think about how this panders to, and is controlled by patriarchal societal standards that creates fantasies for entitled and mal adjusted men who don't want their 'Idols' to be real people with real lives, but a type of performing doll.

The girls must be paid a lot of money to endure this nonsense.

Did you read the whole article?

These over-the-top rules apply to MALE pop stars in Korea too.

Scroll back and read the article again:

*Park Joon-hyung, a member of popular K-pop band god, famously gave a tearful press conference in 2001 when he was asked to leave the group by his agency following reports he was in a relationship.*

"If I'm guilty of one thing, it's that I met someone I love," he said. "I am 32, okay? I, Park Joon-hyung, am 32 years old and I have a girlfriend," he added, tearing up.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Moonraker

Today 11:02 am JST

Not only are the girls marketed to male social inadequates, they provide the role models for thousands of young girls. It's like a conveyor belt for creating a nerd fantasy. If I may say so, I think Japan is even worse for this since the outcome is rarely a

Another one that didn't read the article!

The most popular K-pop group in the world is BTS all boys and the exact same standards are placed on them including the makeup, often the cosmetic surgeries, the fan obsession, etc...

Why do people come and try and make this and gender when in the article it gives the example:

Park Joon-hyung, a member of popular K-pop band god, famously gave a tearful press conference in 2001 when he was asked to leave the group by his agency following reports he was in a relationship.

And that is just one of many male and female!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Mike Donovan Today  10:34 am JST

I don't think the female Kpop performers make enough money for this.

Another one who apparently didn't read the whole article.

See my first comment above.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Moonraker Today  11:02 am JST

Not only are the girls marketed to male social inadequates, they provide the role models for thousands of young girls. It's like a conveyor belt for creating a nerd fantasy. If I may say so, I think Japan is even worse for this since the outcome is rarely anything but an adolescent puppet.

And yet another who didn't read the whole article.

See my first comment above.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Just so pathetic...End of........I follow female K.Pop now and then, but have no favourite band, but I never listen to the male bands. Given that these girls go through many yrs of gruelling training, I think they should be allowed to do what they want, and I do not really care if what ever girl is going out with a man or male pop star, that should be their choice, and not some grissled old man running the company. These girls are exploited from day 1 and these same old men want to retain their sordid power over them, which is sick in so many ways.....I will not list what they do with this power but you can guess. As for their millions of followers, GROW UP and get a life.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think these dating rules are over the top too, be they in Korea or in Japan.

But everyone knows these rules are in play before they become K-pop or J-pop stars.

All the more reason why it's a good idea to not become a K/J-pop star.

All the more reason not to enter that superficial, phoney-baloney world in the first place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

opheliajadefeldt

Today 11:32 am JST

Just so pathetic...End of........I follow female K.Pop now and then, but have no favourite band, but I never listen to the male bands. Given that these girls go through many yrs of gruelling training, I think they should be allowed to do what they want, and I do not really care if what ever girl is going out with a man or male pop star, that should be their choice, and not some grissled old man running the company. These girls are exploited from day 1 and these same old men want to retain their sordid power over them, which is sick in so many ways.....I will not list what they do with this power but you can guess. As for their millions of followers, GROW UP and get a life.

Why doesn't anyone read the article?

If you had you would know this is not just about girls but applies to the boys/men equally!

And by applies equally, that includes years of training, cosmetic surgeries, starting at very young ages!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It is by far a majority of women or female groups that the article talks about. Check for yourselves. And the "purity and 'girliness' are not the ideals for BTS or Park Joon-hyung.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tamarama

Today 07:46 am JST

This is the absolute height of social stupidity. Think about how this panders to, and is controlled by patriarchal societal standards that creates fantasies for entitled and mal adjusted men who don't want their 'Idols' to be real people with real lives, but a type of performing doll.

> The girls must be paid a lot of money to endure this nonsense.

> Korea needs to be take control of this, it's a joke.

Controlled by the patriarchal societal standards that creates fantasies for entitled and mal adjusted men !

Really then explain the part in the article where the male had to quit his group?

Have you seen K-pop male groups?

Have you seen BTS ?

This attempt to make this about the patriarchy and women being used is getting boring!

Everyone knows this all applies to male and female in Korea, and the article even gave examples!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Fans need to get a life and give the people back their lives. This is one of the reasons the birthrates in these countries is in the tank; people live a fantasy life through these stars. I know one woman who is totally obsessed with a guy in a J-pop group. She spends almost all of her disposable income on anything he does and travels to his concerts all over the country. She's a sucker but doesn't think so nor care.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Moonraker

Today 11:41 am JST

It is by far a majority of women or female groups that the article talks about. Check for yourselves. And the "purity and 'girliness' are not the ideals for BTS or Park Joon-hyung

And if you did a single search before commenting you would know the same applies to the boys/men.

The article clearly says:

Many K-pop idols start training as teenagers, when they are typically banned from dating, and recently major celebrities have spoken about how lonely and repressive this method of minting stars can be.

It doesn't say "K-pop girl idols " and the reason for that is because it applies to both males and females!

But you can ignore the facts if you want if you think it furthers your agenda that only females are the victims in this industry!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Those going on about it being only about the females!

Do a little search on the subject before making comments!

Do you think it is any different for the members of groups like BTS?

Do you think their female fans are any less obsessed and demanding as the male fans that follow the girl groups.

If you think it is any different then I suggest you look things up, do some checking and then come back and let us know with facts please.

Just to get you started:

When BTS debuted they were between 15 and 20 years old!

Which means they started training and preparing years earlier.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"When I started out in the entertainment business, there was one thing people wouldn't stop telling me," she said in the film. "You are a product. You need to exist as the finest, top-quality product to the public."

I'm guessing the people who are saying this are the ones making the serious money off the image of their "product", while the singers are given tight contracts and small percentages.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Antiquesaving.

Yes, I am aware that there is much pressure on the males. And you are quite welcome to present the ideals to which these men might have to aspire. But that doesn't deny my case that the ideals presented for women are for a certain type of inadequate male fantasy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is a very strange article. There is no rule against public dating for idols in Korea unlike in Japan. In fact, general public is happy for Karina and there are paparazzies covering her love life everyday.

Sure there are a handful of hardcore fringe fans making a scene, but not general public.

Think about it, most of Twice members already have publicly disclosed boyfriends, where is the supposed public outrage? There is none.

Sulli analogy is wrong, people were outraged because her boyfriend was 14 years her senior, clearly an inappropriate matching.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@Quo Primum

I think these dating rules are over the top too

Korea has no rule against dating.

@Mike Donovan

I don't think the female Kpop performers make enough money for this.

Miyawaki Sakura said she made her first year in Korea 10 times what she made in Japan at the peak of her AKB era. And this was before the start of world tours, etc.

Who knows how much she's making now.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Quo Primum

Today 11:33 am JST

I think these dating rules are over the top too, be they in Korea or in Japan.

> But everyone knows these rules are in play before they become K-pop or J-pop stars.

> All the more reason why it's a good idea to not become a K/J-pop star.

> All the more reason not to enter that superficial, phoney-baloney world in the first place.

This is the most realistic and valid comment!

My son is in the Japanese entertainment business, he is an actor and doing well with a reasonable agency.

Yes as a very young boy he was constantly recruited by these j-pop/Idol agencies!

My ex-wife was pushing for him to join.

But I as his father with custody, I saw the negative side and he was not interested in signing and dancing.

But had his mother had custody he would have been more likely forced into it!

And here is where child welfare needs to be more proactive!

Having a son (now in his mid 20s) that entered the entertainment business (actor and producer) I made sure he first got an education (university in business) before letting him join an agency and I verified the contract carefully with him.

If you saw the contract my ex wanted to sign him up to when he was in primary school, your minds would melt, parents are literally handing over all rights to these agencies, it was shocking!

And when I pointed it out the reply from my ex was " this is normal in Japan".

I imagine Korea is even worse!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Samit Basu

There is no rule against public dating for idols in Korea 

Incorrect. As the article states:

"K-pop idols.....are typically banned from dating.....

Specifically:

K-pop agencies, including the agency behind Twice and Got7, are famous for maintaining a strict no dating rule. Korean agencies also check idol weights every week – and publicly display the figures on the wall.

It is so stressful that some band members cut their nails short, go to the bathroom repeatedly, and spit out saliva to reduce their weight even by the slightest amount.

K-pop trainees invariably live under a strict diet plan 24/7. There’s even a famous list circulating online detailing the high-calorie foods that trainees are forbidden to eat – including tteok-bokkijajangmyeon, ice cream, hamburgers – and several K-pop idols have later shared tragicomic stories of trying to sneak food into their dorms. Called the “black bean noodle incident”, this February on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , BTS recalled the moment during their training years when RM said he’d go to the toilet but in fact went to a nearby restaurant and gobbled up a serving of jajangmyeon within four minutes.

And in the third episode of the original BTS: Burn the Stage YouTube series, RM said that he and V once shoved ice cream into their pockets. “V and I were walking down the street eating ice cream and then we noticed a black van following us,” he said. “I got scared thinking it might be someone from the agency. So we shoved the ice cream into our pockets to pretend like we weren’t having ice cream.”

The scariest part? He was right. It was someone from the agency, and the bandmates casually said they were returning to their dorm … but with ice cream all over them.

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3110355/k-pop-trainee-rules-no-dating-no-phones-weekly-weight

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TamaramaToday  07:46 am JST

This is the absolute height of social stupidity. Think about how this panders to, and is controlled by patriarchal societal standards that creates fantasies for entitled and mal adjusted men who don't want their 'Idols' to be real people with real lives, but a type of performing doll.

The girls must be paid a lot of money to endure this nonsense.

Korea needs to be take control of this, it's a joke.

The situation isn't all that better in Japan. J-pop idols often are under the same draconian rules. Japan also needs to take control, it's a joke too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@asdfgtr

As the article states:

The article is wrong. There is no ban. 

K-pop agencies, including the agency behind Twice and Got7, are famous for maintaining a strict no dating rule.

https://www.koreaboo.com/news/korean-netizens-compare-twice-jihyo-alleged-boyfriend-yun-sung-bin-ex-kang-daniel/

Korean Netizens Compare TWICE Jihyo’s Alleged Boyfriend Yun Sung Bin To Her Ex

She used to date Kang Daniel.

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2020/01/02/etc/Kim-Heechul-and-Momo-confirm-dating-rumors/3072150.html

Kim Hee-chul and Momo confirm dating rumors

published: 02 Jan. 2020, 10:59

Kim Hee-chul of boy band Super Junior, left, and Momo of girl group Twice are in love, their agencies confirmed on Thursday.

https://damiagulzaib97.medium.com/twice-sana-announced-relationship-with-taehung-at-backstage-party-taehyung-held-hands-openly-a0ae4ba37c87

TWICE Sana “Announced Relationship” with Taehung at BACKSTAGE PARTY! Taehyung held hands openly??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

They sign contracts before they are ever promoted. They know exactly what the rules of the game are.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

onedragonToday  02:55 pm JST

They sign contracts before they are ever promoted. They know exactly what the rules of the game are.

As they’re almost always legally minors when scouted, it’s their parents who sign the (preposterously inequitable) contract. Which is even worse.

I have several Japanese acquaintances who, since their teens, have worked as contracted performers in the J-entertainment industry. Some of them still do. Others managed to jump ship, eventually.

They are/were all extremely unhappy, criminally overworked, risibly underpaid, and, I would wager, made mentally unwell as a result.

Talk about a Faustian pact… It’s abuse. Pure and simple. (Happens in other countries too. Happened in the U.K. and the USA in the sixties and seventies…).

TT

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How sad that these 'fans' actually believe that they will steal these idols' hearts one day and live happily ever after with them. If not, why would they be so upset that she had a date or two? The corporate control over these young women's lives so that they can milk their rubes even more is equally reprehensible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An entertainment industry, a culture that accepts/condone employment contracts, you know, if not please allow me the remind you an agreement between employee and employer setting out implied and explicit terms and conditions.

Can you even imagine the world of woe, the HR hell on earth if I would create, insisted....Terms and Conditions.. that reflected

Our women office staff were required to portray, enthuse "Purity and 'girliness' have remained important images, and unfortunately this can really backfire on the idols when they are discovered to be dating, drinking and smoking,"

Or such employment would validate such behaviour.....

One particularly enraged admirer sending a truck with an electronic billboard to her agency that read: "Do you not receive enough love from your fans?" and: "Apologize, or you'll see album sales decline and empty concert seats."

Trust me I would have this twisted creepy crawly this unpleasant miserable toerag backside in a court and sued until his pips squeaked.

*
1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where to start.....

Gender Equality

https://www.un.org/en/global-issues/gender-equality

In September 2013, Prime Minister Abe, in his address to the General Assembly of the United Nations, expressed his intention to create “a society in which women shine,” and stated that Japan respects the activities of UN Women and intends to become one of its leading contributors, and thus, an exemplary country in the area.

https://www.unic.or.jp/info/un_agencies_japan/unwomen/?lang=en

This whole idol culture not only undermines basic women/girls human rights, but also promotes encourages discriminatory labour practices.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The music/entertainment industry is a fantasy world, the concerts, I have seen Perfume, Scandal, with my nephews and nieces, it a fun days out escapism.

There are a few uncle crazies at the front, however harmless.

It is the unnatural need to fulfil or replace the need to build healthy relationships, with strange obsessions of how women , young girls should behave.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@onedragon

They sign contracts before they are ever promoted. 

In Korea, idol contracts(The first one) are standardized by government, so it's pretty much the same for all, whether you signed with HIVE(BTS and Justin Bieber agency) or some 3rd rate agency. Agencies only have the option of reducing the length of contract from 7 to something shorter(This benefits idols as they become free agents sooner), but that's about it.

Nowhere in the government drafted contract text says one cannot date or marry.

Agencies can draft custom contracts AFTER the 1st contract is over for 2nd and 3rd contracts, but then the idols have all the leverage this time.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This whole idol culture not only undermines basic women/girls human rights, but also promotes encourages discriminatory labour practices.

And

It is the unnatural need to fulfil or replace the need to build healthy relationships, with strange obsessions of how women , young girls should behave.

Another person that didn't read the article in full or just read what they wanted to see and believe!

This sort of idol attitude and the contracts applies both to male and female equally as the article points out with example!

And Japan is no different than south Korean!

And if people don't believe this or don't believe it is the same for the males, I say where have you been during the past year with johnny's entertainment scandal?

Do you think this is an isolated case?

In Korea both the males and females are subject to diets, cosmetic surgery, control of their dating, etc...

This has nothing to do with equality or them being female, again clearly pointed out in the article, the boys/men are subject to the same conditions.

Please stop trying to make this into something it isn't!

It isn't about gender equality or that the women are held to different standards, it is about the entire industry involving both males and females and the abuse perpetrated by these agencies on both !

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's weird, but...

the fact is that many fans lose interest in an idol who is dating someone. They give up on the dream that "it could happen" and now that the idol is dating someone, that dream is gone, so they move on.

Keep your love life secret and all will be good!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Only solution is regulation, the companies running it aren't going to regulate themselves. The companies have all the leverage, "this" is basically what the idols offer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tamarama: "Korea needs to be take control of this, it's a joke."

It's not much different in Japan, as you may have forgotten. Johnny's basically had a dating ban on idols until they reached their 30s, and women in particular have had to apologize and even quit the bands if they were caught dating.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Amazing. Stranger than fiction.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They wear ultra sexy outfits, strike sultry poses, gyrate their hips until the cartilage wears out and ….they can’t have any nookie?

What a crap life….

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

...one particularly enraged admirer sending a truck with an electronic billboard to her agency that read: "Do you not receive enough love from your fans?" and: "Apologize, or you'll see album sales decline and empty concert seats."

Mentally deranged psycho.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Isn't it exactly the same for J-pop too?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should we care? Its a very plastic product from a corrupt and obfuscating industry.

Those who enter that sordid world knowingly take on its acoutrements and sell it to the ignorant public.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TobleroneToday  09:57 am JST

Should we care? Its a very plastic product from a corrupt and obfuscating industry.

Those who enter that sordid world knowingly take on its acoutrements and sell it to the ignorant public.

Why should it matter and why should anyone even care. Stars have their own lives, or at least they should. They have the same rights as everyone else.

They don't owe anybody anything, it's just supposed to entertainment for Pete's sake.

"to convey my sincere apologies to the fans."

Fans? Fanatics. These stars deserve a life and these fanatical devotees should get one.

It's unrealistic to expect these idols to revolve around everybody else, esp. to an extreme 'fanbase'. There is a word to describe these fanatical boobs (with the first syllable being 'STAR') that I won't repeat here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their “wardrobes” are always the same, their moves are standardized, the music is forgettable. An afternoon in a korean cafe watching the tv screens and youve seen it all.

They - or their mommies - know exactly what theyre getting into.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is missing?

The abuses the open blatant sexual misconduct, we have witnessed the depravity.

However without an independent media broadcast ombudsman, able to define a code of practice, a clear contractual separation between artistic freedom, the means for an artist to have confidence that his or her interest will not be at the sole whim and greed of these so called talent idol agencies, then these scandals.

The blatant abuse for the need to pursue a private life, to date, to marry, to seek the joy fun of a relationship, a human right, will continue to be contractually withheld. It is an outrage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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