If you haven’t heard, the Korean SNL is under fire by having female cast members greet B1A4 and Infinite by grabbing their crotches. If you’re wondering exactly how out of touch SNL staff have apparently become from reality, this became public because the show made it public–yeah, they apparently posted the molesting of B1A4 on their Facebook, and then someone else released the video with Infinite (who were on the show about a month ago).
And Korean netizens are claiming that this also happened when Block B was there last spring. From NetizenBuzz:
3. [+3,718, -143] It’s not just B1A4 that had this happen to them. INFINITE, Block B, Kim Min Suk, etc have all been sexually harassed but swept under the rug with an apology.
As bad as this all was before, if this is true (and of course that’s a big if) it makes things even worse, because while it looked like B1A4 and Infinite both kind of laughed it off (Idols must always be friendly and kind!!!!), I cannot imagine that Block B was just like, “Oh, gee, OK–I guess I’ll act like everything is fine to prove that I’m a good sport.” That just has not been their modus operandi–I’ve seen them kind of flip out after concerts when fans came on to them in ways that were much tamer than what the SNL staff did.
So if in fact this happened before to Block B, the SNL cast was most likely vigorously clued in to the fact that it was not acceptable behavior. And if these incidents were “swept under the rug with an apology”–well, those obviously weren’t public apologies. You know, generally speaking, when you apologize to someone for doing something like that, the expectation is not that you will turn right around and do it to a whole bunch of other people.
There is a public apology out now–to B1A4, along with a note that the show will make sure that this sort of thing never, ever happens again. This after the show insisted that the cast members hadn’t really touched B1A4 in the first place. Plus the apology would have more credibility in my eyes if it didn’t ignore the existence of a video proving that this happened at least once before.
This kind of reminds me of the whole Dani Mathers situation: I can sort of see how, if you’re in an environment where physical attractiveness is given so much importance, you might lose sight of what normal people consider basic decency. But on the other hand: It’s still basic decency. And what they did is still against the law.
ETA: Yup, it’s true! Doesn’t look like there was a lot in the way of dick-grabbing, though–that probably was a later modification.
EATA: So, now there’s a lot of “Block B went through the exact same thing as B1A4 and Infinite!” and I wanted to point out that, judging from what is visible in the videos, they did not.
For reasons I hope are obvious, I’m a fan of bright lines when it comes to defining sexual assault, and I think it’s really dangerous to call what happened to B1A4 or Infinite a prank or a hazing ritual, or to suggest that you can see all that was wrong with these incidents by watching what happened to Block B (because it’s all harassment).
Obviously calling something a prank or hazing doesn’t magically turn it into some kind of commendable activity–like, maybe don’t pretend to be a crazy mob around people who often have to cope with actual crazy mobs?–but what happened to Block B was just not on the same level of wrongness as what happened to the other groups.
This is from the Infinite clip.
That’s not hazing, and that’s not a prank: that’s sexual assault. If that happened to Block B, I sure couldn’t see it–and yes, where the hands go does make a difference, and rather a large one.
Block B may not have enjoyed what happened to them, but Infinite and B1A4 could press charges very easily.