The Community Speaks #3 — The Entitlement of Fandom

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Oh, the ever invasive and utterly ridiculous “dating scandal.” It’s a part of K-pop (and by extension Hallyu) culture that has a polarizing effect on fan bases. The most recent outburst comes from the former owner of a fansite for ASTRO leader JinJin. Upon finding out her bias is dating, she felt it was her duty as a (supposedly former) AROHA to expose the traitorous leader and shame him and his relationship in front of the masses like the public hangings of old. With us today we have Cy, Missa, TJ and Wendilynn. They’re going to weigh in on this fascinating, albeit toxic, part of this crazy thing called K-pop.

Cy: Well, this is quite the development. Sad, though not at all surprising. What do you all think?

TJ: Quite frankly, it’s irritating and exhausting. The mere fact that people still have to justify living their lives and finding happiness to those who they do not know is asinine. And the sense of entitlement that some have over the lives of another is something truly detestable. The problem is that the fault does not just belong to fandoms. It also belongs to companies who enable this belief and behaviour instead of defending their artists. It’s like an abusive relationship where the abuser is free to do what they want and live his or her life, but the second the victim tries to do the same, they are browbeaten back into subservience. 

Wendilynn: I have never understood the ownership and entitlement that some feel to control their celebrities. And to claim you are a fan club page owner and to betray your idol that way is just low. If you love them, then you want them to have healthy, happy lives, and dating is part of having a healthy life. But I’ve seen these fans who spend hundreds of dollars to help their bias groups get into the music chart rankings and then feel entitled that there should be a personal relationship and consideration given to them for doing so.

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Look at what happened to Sungmin of Super Junior. They are still mad at him for basically not asking their permission to get married, and then he DARED to defend his wife against fan attacks when they went after her. 

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TJ: Ask permission from whom exactly?! That makes no earthly sense! You have the unmitigated gall to demand the right to grant permission to a grown adult to live life? I cannot fathom being so presumptuous.

Missa: I can’t resist chiming in here. I’m gonna bring it back to the company aspect of the situation for a minute by bringing up the E’Dawn (of PENTAGON) and HyunA “scandal.” Cube knew they were dating and did nothing to stop it. Then when the relationship came public they tried to do some damage control (even the thought of that is ridiculous to me).

Honestly, maybe it’s just because I follow mainly females on social media who generally stan more boy groups, but did y’all notice how much worse they came down on E’Dawn than they did on HyunA? Fans and the company both circulated more about him than I ever heard about her and why? Cube had some nerve going that far over a relationship they were aware of, and by extension, they essentially encouraged the outraged fan behavior that most of us find to be over-the-top.

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Companies run the idols’ lives, but at the end of the day the fans sort of control the company in a way. But it’s the companies and the industry that encourage this “idols as your boyfriend/girlfriend” behavior in the first place. When is this finally going to change? 

Wendilynn: HyunA was their cash cow. She was one of their top performers bringing in good money. Why they overreacted in regards to the fans overreaction is beyond me. They dated for a few years before it went public, right? The company reaction should have been measured and reasonable.

I get that 500 people refunded their Pentagon tickets over the dating news, but the company trying to punish them for it was beyond stupid. HyunA isn’t a newbie. She’s not some naive trainee who doesn’t know how the system works. So when this all went public, I had to wonder what their company was doing behind closed doors because it didn’t take long before HyunA put it ALL out there.

Her response to her company’s response I found interesting. It really made me wonder what she was trying to counter. It was almost like they were trying to force them to hide it. Then when she wouldn’t, they threatened to kick her out to get control over her, and then it blew up in their faces. She wasn’t going to play their games and left.

Cy: The bottom line is almost 25 years after H.O.T and all the nonsense they went through with fans (when “crazy” was a legitimate descriptor of fandoms), we’re still dealing with fans who simply do not know their damn place. News flash, kiddos: YOU DO NOT KNOW THESE PEOPLE! Want another shocker? THEY DO NOT KNOW YOU! Sure there’s the odd moment when they recognize someone who frequents their shows or who creates videos for them (especially if they’re a YouTuber). But recognizing someone in a crowd doesn’t equate to, “We’re besties for life, and one day I’m going to proclaim my love.”

How are we still grown (allegedly) and trapped in delusions this thick? This is schoolyard shit. And while it’s not as grody as it was back in the late ’90s/early 2000s (some of the things these sasaengs did would mortify these children nowadays), it is pathetic at this point. Yeah, I said it. Fight me if you wanna, honey. I’ve been in the game too long.

Wendilynn: You have to wonder why common decency in how to respect people goes out the window when it comes to fandoms. What is it about celebrities that seems to erase that particular decency in how to respect someone? I get wanting to be close, but even when I was a teen I knew to not mob somebody.

Like when Wanna One’s saesangs were hanging out in front of their dorm, assaulting the neighbors if requests for money to buy them gifts was rejected. Why would anyone even begin to think that was okay? You wouldn’t do that with anybody else.

Cy: It’s this belief that because you as a fan purchased music, concert tickets, merch, etc. from your favorite, they owe you something. Many believe their fave owes them their undying devotion. That usually means these pressed children expect their favorite artist to live only for their fans, never having a life that doesn’t devote itself to the fans. “Common decency” isn’t so common.

Most people are selfish by nature. That selfishness can and often does manifest as forcing others to do what you want them to do, especially when it’s this mystical person out in the ether who you’ve grown attached to. When it’s a fantasy, when it’s not completely real, you can make the rules how you see fit. When part of that fantasy doesn’t do what you want, you banish it from your life.

Wendilynn: There’s nothing wrong with being a dedicated fan. It’s when you think that gives you rights of ownership that lines have been crossed.


What do you all think? Let us know below if you think fans are justified in some of their frustrations, or are they overstepping their boundaries!

(YouTube, Instagram [1][2], Asian Junkie, BBC News, Naver TV, Soompi.)

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About MACG Staff 138 Articles
MACG Magazine is a digital hub for media on Music, the Arts, Creativity, and Gaming of our generation. We are interested in sharing engaging content with our readers and encouraging them to explore the world around them.

1 Comment

  1. I just can’t deal, really, with COMPANIES listening to these deluded little girls whining that ‘their’ idols have a life 🙁 WTF was CUBE thinking? Not that CUBE has a good track record 🙁 And JINJIN!!???? How wonderful for him if he’s dating! Good! Congrats!
    The Sungmin thing, I’m sorry, just STFU little girls. Really.

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