Well, this is skeevy

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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.

Ugh.

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-10-07-04-am screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-10-07-03-am-1 screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-10-07-03-am

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.

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15 responses »

  1. It was late last night when I saw a blurb on allkpop w/SNL’s half assed apology to B1A4 but not Infinite or anyone else – ?! And the disclaimer that it was some sort of good luck ceremony – wut ? Lucky for Who ?? I recoiled seeing the woman in the blue plaid shirt lunging at them, she looks like she’s aiming to hurt them physically. Gross. I’m hoping that w/things like #SNL_sexualharrassment trending that there will be enough outrage to make this Stop. Thank you for posting the video of BB, I was shriveling up inside imagining what may have happened. It looks like they defended themselves pretty well but no guest on any show should be thinking ahead of time : I’d better wear my codpiece & brush up on self defense for my appearance tonight…I’m wondering if SNL was more cautious w/BB since they have a reputation for sticking up for themselves ? Any idea how powerful SNL & the station are there since this was stated : “and no celebrities talked about it or complained in fear that they would suffer from the broadcast station.” How far a reach into the industry do they have ?

    In happier news Bermuda Triangle is one of the most beautifully shot mv’s I’ve seen in a while & yeah – I’m liking those 3 together !

    • My feeling about it is that it started out as a more normal prank–“Let’s pretend to be crazy fan girls!” It’s not just that Block B defended themselves–people are touching their hair or their upper bodies, not making a dive for the groin. At some point between March and October, though 1. the number of people involved in this prank went waaay down, and 2. the inappropriateness of the touching went waaaaaaaaaaay up. So I’m not sure what happened there, but it wasn’t healthy.

      Saying that people didn’t complain because SNL has this massive power–eh, I don’t buy that, especially because SNL made the B1A4 video public in the first place, so they clearly weren’t trying to cover things up. I don’t think it was so much a cover-up as that what was happening initially simply wasn’t that outrageous, so there was no real reason to complain. As for Infinite, unfortunately I think they’re pretty desensitized to being groped, given their whole “accessible idol” shtick, and there is always pressure to get along with everyone when you’re filming something.

      “Bermuda Triangle” is on FIRE, oh my God. I find it kind of hilarious that Zico managed an all-kill with both “Flower Road” and “Bermuda Triangle” when those two songs could not be more different!

  2. Lots of rumors overnight, Lee Se Young is leaving SNL,then it was retracted. Now she seems set up to take the bullet for the whole debacle but that’s just utter bs because she’s not the only one involved & surely there is a producer or something that signed off on this. I think this would be like if One Direction came on the US SNL & Tina Fey & Amy Poehler were grabbing them, it boggles the mind…It’s a bit more difficult to see what’s happening in the BB video although Zico does a Stop,Drop & Roll pretty fast, maybe BB just have faster reactions, ha..A lot of people are wondering how long this has been going on & I wonder if Block B could possibly have been the first incident then things escalated & got out of hand w/other groups ? Guess we won’t know unless more video evidence comes to light or there’s a real heartfelt confession from the perpetrators. I haven’t noticed a single statement being made by either BB or Infinite’s camps. B1A4 was asked about it directly & made this response : Jinyoung answered for the group and said, “It was something that happened really suddenly, so we couldn’t really get a bearing on the situation. We saw the video again and realized the fans would be really worried. We’re planning on working as hard as much as the fans worried.” So, deflection I guess. I think it’s laudable that elders are respected in SK but not in a case like this which looks like a real case of abuse of power. SNL’s production company is CJ E & M but I don’t know what that means as far as control over TVn or SNL means.

    I Love how Zico can go from one style to another w/out missing a beat ! I don’t think he’ll ever get stuck in a rut, you never know what to expect from him next. It’s like watching him write w/his right hand then pick up a pen & draw w/his left. Oh & did you notice Taewoon sitting at the table !? I just love it !

    • Yeah, she clearly did it at least twice, and everyone acted like it was funny, and then they made it public, so…. She certainly had implicit permission. And that statement, barf. “We’ll work hard! We just don’t want our fans to worry!”

  3. Interesting, I personally not make such a difference between going for the groin or for touching without permission to label it like sexual harassment, but yes I see you point that Block B didn’t had it as bad as others,. I still think that, just that, is too much for someone like Ukwon that is really shy with unknown people and doesn’t like to be touched that much (he’s like freezed in the middle while all is happening). Personally I think it’s some ritual by SNL mean it to relax the group so they will not be that tense thinking too much about the matter that the show is live. The show is pretty straightforward (for Korea as least) about all kind of contacts between the actors, so I think the ritual go out of hand maybe for that reason (like just the momentum? it’s the way the act with each other so the treat the guest the same without really thinking?, don’t know how to explain it better sorry XD). And Zico’s new song is perfect and with the mindblowing opening that are usual in him and Poptime (I missed that so much in last Bastarz’s songs).

    • …I guess you’ve never had someone touch your genitals without your permission then? Lucky you. Legally there’s an enormous difference, otherwise the police would get involved every time people bump into each other on the street.

      • Mmm I think you didn’t understand my point? what I saying it’s that I have the “line” for what it’s or not sexual harassment lower than you, I didn’t degrade the seriousness of “touching the genitals” or diluted it’s gravity just because I put more things inside the label… I can see that’s absolutely not the same for you, not trying to convinced you or anything, I just give my opinion about the matter.

        • I don’t attempt to draw any kind of line around sexual harassment–re-read the post, it’s not even mentioned. (In the States, sexual harassment doesn’t have to include any touching whatsoever.) My point is that Block B did not undergo the same kind of sexual assault that Infinite and B1A4 did.

          • (You don’t have to answer me because I really not trying to prolong endessly this or something)

            Quoting your post:
            “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.”
            Then what are you exactly saying here?

            You (actually) tried to make a line, then you said that you think is wrong to compare Block B with the other incidents in base of that is all harassment and later said that even if acting like a crazy mob is bad, is not the same as what happened to B1A4.

            I understand from here that you consider that B1A4 incident = true harassment, Block B incident = not true harassment. So I gave my opinion that I understand that B1A4’s incident was worse but Bock B’s incident is still harassment. That’s all.

            • No, I consider what happened to B1A4 and Infinite to be exactly what I keep calling it: SEXUAL ASSAULT.

              I think an English lesson is needed: There is no “true harassment” or “not true harassment” because “harassment” is a term that describes a wide range of behavior, ranging from the obnoxious (Zico harasses Taeil quite a bit) to the criminal. All the groups were harassed–but that doesn’t mean anything, because harassment can be harmless or harmful. Harassment is not the same thing as sexual harassment; sexual harassment is not the same thing as sexual assault. These are all discrete terms that mean different things.

              • Ok, now that we defined exactly the terms (I actually understand it but is always helpful) like I said many times already, I consider what happened to Block B between the range of sexual harassment, because for some people it could be, and I consider that sexual harassment and sexual assault, even if they don’t have the same level of harm or have the same level of law penalty, they should be called of at the same level. You not think the same? ok! perfect!

                • Yes, of course you totally understood everything all along, which is why you made (and continue to make) so many errors of usage and comprehension. Obviously I don’t mind when people of limited English proficiency visit the blog, but nobody has time for this bullshit. Bye.

  4. In the video with Infinite you can see the guy in the blue jumper get’s angry at the last woman touching them, the one who clearly went for crotch, I think I just got out of hand as the time passed and the more time they did it the more aggresive and shameless they were, just horrible. I can’t imagine that’s something to be proud of… yeah I touched an idols groin wooh! Weird.
    There were girls groups there as well, I wonder if the men did that to them… or it’s just boy group initiation?

    • Yeah, I think that’s probably what happened–it got more and more aggressive over time. But how do they lose sight of the fact that these are strangers? Who are not expecting it? And are not in on the joke? I mean, boundary-pushing is part of comedy, but if something would just get a person straight-up arrested out in the real world…shouldn’t that give them pause?

      • Well, one would’ve thought… I guess none of idols complain afterwards (they were too shocked, I imagine) so the cast were like ‘yeah it’s quite nice, we can do it again, and again…’

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