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HomeEntertainmentFan outcry over Ok-pop star's date highlights 'harsh' trade guidelines

Fan outcry over Ok-pop star's date highlights 'harsh' trade guidelines

Accused of “betraying” followers, topic to relentless on-line and real-world public abuse, Ok-pop star Karina not too long ago issued a grovelling, handwritten apology. Her crime? Dating a South Korean actor.

Her plight mirrors that of many Ok-pop stars earlier than her, specialists say, comparable to late singer Sulli, who’ve bemoaned strict behavioural controls and being held to impossibly excessive requirements, as document corporations search to promote followers the right idol.

Dating “ruined” her profession, Karina’s followers claimed, with one notably enraged admirer sending a truck with an digital billboard to her company that learn: “Do you not receive enough love from your fans?” and: “Apologize, or you’ll see album sales decline and empty concert seats.”

The assaults prompted Karina, a member of the group aespa, to submit a handwritten notice “to convey my sincere apologies to the fans.”

“An idol’s persona is expected to be romantically available,” stated Stephanie Choi, a Ok-pop professional with the University at Buffalo’s Asia Research Institute.

Especially for younger ladies, who usually begin within the enterprise as youngsters, there’s lots of “promotional emphasis on innocence and chastity”, and it’s exhausting for them to maneuver previous this, Choi informed AFP.

Western stars comparable to Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus have additionally skilled blowback as they flip from women to ladies within the public eye, however the enterprise mannequin of South Korean Ok-pop makes it notably intense for native idols.

Dedicated tremendous followers — epitomized by boyband BTS’ so-called ARMY of worldwide supporters — do large quantities of “crucial unpaid labour” selling music and voting in competitions, Keung Yoon Bae, a Korean research professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, informed AFP.

But in return, they might anticipate their idols to be held to “grueling professional standards” which lengthen into their private lives, with younger feminine stars notably susceptible, Bae stated.

“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,” she stated.

In the early 2000s, earlier than Ok-pop swept to world recognition, courting was basically banned for aspiring South Korean pop stars.

Park Joon-hyung, a member of widespread Ok-pop band god, famously gave a tearful press convention in 2001 when he was requested to go away the group by his company following stories he was in a relationship.

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

Expectations have regularly relaxed, and lots of widespread Ok-pop stars comparable to IU, SNSD’s Sooyoung, Jiyeon and BoA, have confirmed relationships to the press.

But being open about one’s relationship standing is a privilege reserved for established stars, whereas newcomers within the aggressive Ok-pop trade — like Karina — are discouraged from courting to keep away from jeopardizing their reputation.

“The idea of dating or the potential to date a K-pop star is definitely used as a business and marketing strategy,” Billboard’s Ok-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin informed AFP.

Part of what makes new idols marketable and worthwhile is permitting followers to entertain the notion that “maybe, one of the fans may date the idol themselves — as delusional of a thought as it may be,” he added.

Many Ok-pop idols begin coaching as youngsters, when they’re sometimes banned from courting, and not too long ago main celebrities have spoken about how lonely and repressive this methodology of minting stars might be.

“It’s really harsh,” megastar band BLACKPINK member Jennie stated in a Netflix documentary.

“We were not allowed to drink, or smoke or get a tattoo,” she stated of her coaching interval, and needed to endure “being told that I’m not good at stuff”.

Late star Sulli, who took her personal life in 2019 at age 25, additionally spent round 4 years as a Ok-pop trainee, earlier than making a debut as a member of widespread lady group f(x) at age 15.

In a biographical documentary launched posthumously final 12 months, she revealed that when she turned 20, there have been solely two issues she needed to do: “to get counseling from a psychiatrist and to date.”

Her relationship with Choiza, a rapper 14 years her senior, which grew to become public when she was 20, together with different strikes away from her erstwhile idol picture — like not carrying a bra in public — triggered relentless on-line bullying.

“When I started out in the entertainment business, there was one thing people wouldn’t stop telling me,” she stated within the movie. “You are a product. You need to exist as the finest, top-quality product to the public.”

© 2024 AFP