Apparently Hyunseung (formerly of Beast) has been getting hassled by haters, so fans of his have filed a criminal complaint. What was interesting (although not at this point surprising) to me was their explanation of how a relatively small group of people have had this outsized impact on his career, including getting negative stories written up about him in the media (which of course is easy enough to do, because K-Pop journalism is pretty much an oxymoron).
I think this underscores that, while haters don’t often represent the majority of the public or even of fans, they can have this sizable impact in K-Pop–if their target is vulnerable. Hyunseung quit Beast, and he did not take the trouble to file this complaint himself: I don’t know if he’s actually depressed or if he seriously just does not care, but he obviously has not been defending himself with any vigor (and his label has done absolutely nothing). This has left the field open for bullies to do what they do when you don’t.
In K-Pop decisions can get made by people fairly high up that encourage the bullying. For example, I feel pretty certain that the recent stupid complaints about that kid from the rookie group NCT U have been so loud because equally stupid complaints got another kid ousted from the rookie group Day6. This is what happens when you feed trolls–they just want more.
(And hey, isn’t it remarkable how, as Monsta X has gotten more popular and less vulnerable to trolling, That Jooheon Kid’s imitation of and disrespect for Zico has gotten so much less problematic? It’s really amazing, because it’s exactly like how as Block B has gotten more popular and less vulnerable to trolling, Zico’s imitation of and disrespect for G-Dragon gotten so much less problematic as well! It’s almost like those people were pulling all that dumb shit right out of their asses, and never gave a fuck about any of the entertainers involved in the first place!)
In case you are wondering just how bad (and how highly-placed) the gatekeepers can be, I will point out that I still haven’t seen anything to indicate that the KCSC had anything say about the Korean SNL skit where Jackson kissed a man. Now, I certainly don’t think that they should–if the KCSC could just fuck off with their stupid homophobia, I’d be really happy about that–but I want to emphasize that this is a government entity whose regulatory decisions are apparently being manipulated by…a passel of K-Pop haters.
Tax dollars at work!
Anyway, some people complain that Seven Seasons is constantly threatening legal action, but I think you can see why–if you don’t slap these people down, you end up in a situation like Hyunseung’s, where one or two fanatics are single-handedly crafting your public narrative.
ETA: Oooh, another case of a relatively small group of anti-fans coordinating a hate campaign. Again, it’s not that difficult to do because the Korean entertainment media will pretty much print anything.