K-Pop is a concoction of ingredients and elements, a brew that once finished, would be loved by many. So get your kitchen utensils ready and pitchfork is not allowed because we will make ourselves a proper K-Pop World. Abracadabra! Poof!
Here are the ingredients:
3⁄4 cup of finely chopped fandoms
2 1⁄2 tablespoons of flops and bops
1 Koreaboo, lightly beaten (more if you like)
3 drops of tears for empty purse
3 drops of sweats for raising keyboard voices when your butt gets sore
8 ounces of Korean news sites
4 cups of cold international K-Pop sites, grains separated (preferably small grains)
There is one more ingredient but I can’t seem to recall it. I’ll get back it later at the end of this post
By using the same cooking instructions as a Chinese Fried Rice recipe, you will get yourself a good and an ideal K-Pop, the way we love and adore it. Is that all to it? A big NOPE! In reality, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There’s an Yin and Yang in everything. In physics (gasp), for every matter particle we’ve found, there also exists a corresponding antimatter particle. In K-Pop (puff), for every colorful light-stick, there’ll be Black Ocean awaiting. There are many villainous sides that have been displayed, or may be on display, but not necessarily for theatrical endeavor; just simply ill-will. NASTY! So as for the first run, we will go through one of the most sinister trends in K-Pop that not even those dancing pretty girls and pretty boys (No, JYP, you’re not included. Let’s be real here) can change the overall look of this particular horrendously ugly side of the entertainment industry: WITCH-HUNTING
It has been awhile since we last saw a major witch-hunt, but most recently, this awful behavior from the netizens was shown during Girl’s Day Conundrum and clearly, in logical sense, wasn’t it just an overblown scandal? The moment this controversy flooded K-Pop forums and sites, did it ring your bell?
To further our understanding on witch hunting within K-Pop, we will look into one of the most famous witch-hunt in K-Pop history, a nationwide attempt that brought down one of the biggest and most successful act in Korean entertainment industry, T-ara.
Ruthless, inhumane, and hypocritical; three words are not enough to describe T-ara’s Bullying Scandal. It’s a scandal of titanic scale. All news about the Olympics were buried. They were very popular, and still are, but not necessarily in a good way. They went from hero to zero in a just a blink. I still find it fairly amazing. Don’t you think?
Everything that happened feels like a dream, a bad dream. There’s drama within drama, and in that drama, there are flashbacks within flashbacks. GASP! The Budokan Concert incident, the beauty salon, the SNS wars, the thrown eggs, the broken umbrellas, the rice cakes, the Kim Kwang Soo, basically everything! Everyone was witch-hunting, and those who were not were trying to prove facts and eradicate fictions. During this scandal, the witch-hunting mob was at its nastiest. Netizens, oh netizens.
Witch-hunting, in terms of the entertainment industry, is the act of unfairly (debatable) accusing and defaming an artist for conducting bad behavior or activity, OR, fabricating given facts to make them seen in a more negative way, as in trying to bring them down.
Technically speaking, it’s a crime. It’s illegal, immoral, and may ruin someone’s life, regardless of the validity of the statements made concerning the scandal. Since it’s mostly done via Internet, people are not scared to join the masses and spend some of their time jumping into these public discussions. Their intention isn’t to support, but to spew hatred and ill-will. It’s a negative trend– hard to contain, but easy to spread.
Why would they witch-hunt these people? Do they hold any grudges on them? Did they do bad things to them? To answer these questions, there are three factors need to be considered.
Let’s take Girl’s Day and T-ara for an example. Both are popular and successful in their own rightful way. They can’t be stopped in their tracks once they are in their element. Scandals and controversies have always been the main thing that can bring down an act, and it can’t be any better than adding fuel to the fire and make it worse. Yes! Why not fan the flames while we are at it? One less competitor means more chances to succeed, receive more attention, and eventually gain fame.
Let’s be real here. This is the reality in the showbiz world. It’s dirty, and unethical, and our eyes are basked with lies and a beautiful display of propaganda and media play. No offense to readers, or K-Pop fans in general, but people would love to see other successful acts hanging by the ropes and watch them burn, if it means seeing their beloved artist in a better place in the industry, finding success. While the artists and their fans receive hatred, others would gain benefit from it.
That’s how imperfect our world is– no denying how cruel can it be. These witch-hunters won’t do it just for the sake of hopping on the bandwagon, but also for their own agendas of getting rid of more competitors. Never forget, the entertainment industry is part of the business world, and things like this are common and come in many variations and versions.
It’s unavoidable, at times, people just can’t accept or forgive others. When they are under pressure or intense stresses, they need someone to blame so that they can get rid of all of their daily life’s frustrations. South Korea has an advance internet network coverage. It’s super fast, efficient, and cheap. Most of them spend a lot of time online, chatting with others, and surfing. This can be beneficial, and bad to society. If they spend too much time online, they’ll started to neglect real life commitments and obligations, leading to issues, such as losing jobs, divorces, health problems, and so on. These problems can cause stress overload towards an individual. Stress-bound individual has a higher tendency to make errors. However, it’s not as bad as we think. Without internet, the worst issue that we can have is access to real-time news. People are taking internet life too seriously and it gradually make them unable to think well, and leads to cognitive biases.
In cognitive biases, there are two effects that we can relate to this topic. Firstly, the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect is the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do the same. For an example, in 2012, users in online forums and sites were bandwagoning on T-ara’s hate train as a follow-up to their bullying controversies. They assumed facts (fabricated) and evidence (weak proof) as true, and continue to hate them to this very day. Secondly, herd tendency. Herd tendency is the tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict. Would it be safer if we defend Girl’s Day during their behavior controversy? NOPE! Absolutely not, because those who defended them were the minority, and they will receive a lot of flak for something positive. Which is really ridiculous. But it won’t feel ridiculous once you are scraping for life avoiding all this mess. It’s a popular opinion that majority is always above minority, which is wrong because the minority could be more upstanding than the majority.
Special Mention: Saltiness
Moving onto the last factor which is also the last ingredient to complete our K-pop recipe. Salts, the most abundant element in netizens. If it’s sweet and tasty then there’s no point for these netizens to go witch-hunting because they’ll be busy fanboying/fangirling over their K-Pop fantasies. I don’t even need to further discuss the saltiness of them because witch-hunting nevertheless will break our beloved Netizen pH Scale. SOBS!
There are many questions still floating as we discuss about witch-hunting in South Korean entertainment industry. A dark and shady side of this illustrious and glamorous business. A fear factor for public figures, a joy factor for sadists.
Is it possible to curb this negative trend? Is there any more factors leading to this problem? Is there any other hidden issues that escape our views of perspective? Can we stop it once and for all? Only time will tell.
“Ego” is the only requirement to destroy any relationship. So be a better person by skipping the “e” and just let it “go”