• http://twitter.com/amionne92 Ami-ah

    Nice article!

    I, for one, am definitely for Block B’s more “aggressive” approach to their comeback since anything less than aggressive/wild/crazy would be seen as an act. Their image (or lack of one, according to them) has always been aligned with that “bad boy/rebel” concept, but the scandal kind of cemented that idea even more.

     I came across a poster for a concert that Block B had done in August called “Big 4″ (with Shinhwa, Baek Jiyoung, and another artist I can’t seem to remember) and the way it described Block B as these bad boys that shook the entire industry with their scandal was surprising but oddly refreshing for me. For me, it meant that this was something that Block B could use to their advantage, even if it did not originate from a pretty light.

    Overall, they’ve apologized, reflected, and matured from their mistakes but they’ve never let that kill their free spirits, and I’m grateful that they’ve maintained their unique color up to this point. So far, they’re doing it right with the comeback teasers and building anticipation among BBCs. I think this will be their first, truly successful promotion period.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3A5VXTZXZOEH62VXL4FJ7AT7Q Xinran

      Kyung’s teaser deserves its own post lol, that’s one of the most hilarious teasers I’ve seen in a while

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LL4QDJLVFDT2RDIZYBALSE75JE angel29

    With a number of idol related scandals before him, KKS did not seem to learn anything from all of them.  In Korea, humility, whether you be wrong or right is essential.  You don’t make excuses.  You don’t mudsling.  You keep your mouth shut and your head down and accept that there was also a mistake on your end.  If CCM only applied these lessons, T-ara would not be in as deep a shit hole they are now in Korea.

  • kpopfan6

    I think the way the Korean public bashes their own idols is pretty nuts. It seems like 99% of the time the level of backlash is completely ridiculous and idols are punished far more severely than they deserved to be.

    People are too quick to destroy idol’s careers and that’s a real shame.

    • http://twitter.com/amionne92 Ami-ah

      Most of the time the bashing is completely unjustified but I think in the mind of the stereotypical K-netizen, idols are basically put on a pedestal and people live vicariously through them. I think that if an idol experience a shortcoming, then the people feel that they’ve failed as well, hence the intense and exaggerated backlash. Idols are already marketed as these perfect, mini “gods” and “goddesses” by their respective agencies, which I think exacerbates the issue.

      • kpopfan6

        I see what your saying, but all that just illustrates how unfair and unreasonable the “stereotypical K-netizen” is. Idols shouldn’t be forced to try and meet nearly impossible expectations because even if the public/netizens are happy it can be very damaging to idols. I wouldn’t be surprised if many idols regret the day decided to go into the entertainment industry considering what most have been through.

        Regardless of the reason why K-netizen/the Korean public punish idols to such extremes, it does almost no good to anyone whatsoever . I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to react to situations appropriately, especially since  idols suffer enough already.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513439726 Sharon Overlord

          I actually agree with you. I looked up Tablo’s scandal and it was rather silly. How can you even call that a scandal? Who cares what University you went to?

          Plus apparently not being a nun or a priest is scandalous. How can you expect them to be virgins in their twenties? I wont be surprised if these idols are abusing over the counter medications. With their lifestyle, its definitely possible. 

    • Miyuki

      Okay, I don’t disagree that the public bashes can get too blown over but “How on Earth do people expect them to wake up every morning and work themselves to death to entertain YOU, when you easily give them hell for even the smallest mistake?” struck a wrong nerve in me.. Sorry, but most idols become idols either to be famous, make quick money without an education, or because they like to sing or dance and it’s the only way to make money from it. Just like any other job, being idol is also a job. If I was a customer and the customer service did something wrong, I’d be freaking mad! The customer service isn’t there because they just LOVE to help, though it may be a positive side of it for them. They’re there to earn a money. If you’re an idol, one of your jobs is to stay out of trouble. Everyone knows this when they sign up. 

      • kpopfan6

        Your customer service example only works in this context if the mistake the person made caused him/her to give bad customer service. Yes, being an idol is a job, but usually the trouble idols get into has no affect on their ability to fulfill their job. 

        For example, Kangin is one of Suju’s best personalities and used to do a great job as an MC, radio host, etc. What good does it do anyone for him to just sit here and do practically nothing now? His scandals didn’t make him into a terrible entertainer, so it shouldn’t be taking this long for him from to do his “job” properly.

        Then you have musically talented people like GD, Daesung, Tablo, Jay Park, and Block B. How are they suppose to make great music and entertain everyone when their careers almost ended at the drop of a hat?  None of their scandals somehow worsened their singing or rapping abilities.  The music industry certainly wouldn’t be better without these people, so let them do their jobs properly too.

        Sure, idols need to stay out of trouble, but trouble is bound to find people no matter what and people should be more understanding of that. Idols are in the entertainment industry, so the most important part of their job is to ENTERTAIN in the best way they can. If they are still fully capable of doing that, but people make it really difficult for them, then I don’t think it makes much sense.

        • Miyuki

          Idols are not just musicians. I agree with Tablo’s scandals being unnecessarily overblown, because he is musician and his music is the only thing that is marketed. However, an idol is marketed also by an image that everyone is supposed to look up to. Their job is to maintain that image. Companies essentially make money out of fans feeling familiar with the idols, so it ruins the fandom for them if they break out of  that image. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but that’s just how the idol business operates. 

          • kpopfan6

            But these scandals don’t really seem to affect fandoms in the first place. Actually, although idols are supposed to be people others can look up to, many fans look up to idols so much that they can practically do no wrong to them (not necessarily a good thing, but yeah). 

            Suju and Big Bang’s fandoms are still gigantic regardless of the many scandals they’ve had. Plus Block B’s fan base has grown tremendously since their scandal. These groups’ images to the public might be damaged, but companies are still getting plenty of money from fans.I think the scandals that ruin fandoms (and are thereby the biggest threats to companies/idol business) are internal ones like TVXQ and T-ara. Like you said fans’ connection to groups is extremely important so when group members leave or get kicked out it causes a lot of damage. With so many fans left outraged or heartbroken, that’s why internal conflict-based scandals are the ones that really cause a group’s success to decline.

            There are too many aspects to being an idol other than image that determines a group’s career. So, I agree that image is very important in the idol business, but not as important as you’re making it out to be.

          • Miyuki

            They have gigantic fanbases still because the scandals were handled very well and SuJu’s has been long enough to be forgotten. Big Bang doesn’t carry the image of being super pure, so it has less damage on them. But if IU was found to be sleeping with every guy on the face of the Earth, people’s view of her would be spoiled. I wouldn’t enjoy seeing her do cute innocent song like Good Day knowing that she’s the opposite of her image either. Very dedicated fans will almost always stay with the group, but people on the border will stop buying. For example, there are still many Queens out there, but people who were not hardcore fans disregard them now. 

            I do agree that the scandals that REALLY ruin a group is when a member leaves though. We like to believe that all idol groups are families, so it’s, again, ruins the image we have of them.

            There are more factors that go into an idol, but image is a very large part. Actually, there was a SB article posted today that was talking about how AF Lizzy didn’t want to lose her image of the satoori-idol. Again, it’s all about how important that image is for her.

          • kpopfan6

            Well then, maybe it’s better to just say that the importance of image depends on the group or idol, rather just saying it’s very important for everyone all the time?

            IU can’t afford to lose her image at all because that’s what her success is built on. It seems like people care waaaaaay more about her image than the fact that she’s even a talented vocalist. Her image is basically driving her entire career so she’s very vulnerable to scandals ruining her.

            That’s not like Big Bang or Suju who have always been supported for various reasons. Their scandals could’ve easily destroyed the career of an idol that relies heavily on his/her image. But since image hasn’t been the most crucial part of their careers, it’s less of a issue for them.

            Image is very important, but it’s not everything either. It just impacts idol’s careers in different ways and is valued be people differently.

          • Miyuki

            Agreed! So we’ve reached a consensus!

          • kpopfan6

            Great ^_^

  • UncleFan

    @ Sophia…

    Who ever said G-Dragon had a drug *conviction*? The charges were dropped, as you would know if you bothered to read the article you linked! 

    /facepalm

    • Sophia

      Conviction was the wrong word in hindsight, seeing as it’s so specific. But seeing as the point is that the charges significantly damaged his reputation and he (and his agency) felt the need to make his sense of remorse very public, I it’s a valid example. Daesung’s charges were also dismissed yet it did little to restore his reputation. Running someone over will do that, regardless of your actual guilt.

      I provided the links in the hopes that people who weren’t familiar with the scandals would be able to get a quick overview of their details. I’ll be more careful with legal terms in future though :)

    • Sophia_SB

      Conviction was the wrong word in hindsight, seeing as it’s so
      specific. But seeing as the point is that the charges significantly
      damaged his reputation and he (and his agency) felt the need to make his
      sense of remorse very public, I it’s a valid example. Daesung’s charges
      were also dismissed yet it did little to restore his reputation.
      Running someone over will do that, regardless of your actual guilt.
      I provided the links in the hopes that people who weren’t familiar
      with the scandals would be able to get a quick overview of their
      details. I’ll be more careful with legal terms in future though :)

  • http://twitter.com/Noobologie Jub Jub

    Your first article? You are being a bit harsh tho.
    Scandals are touchy topics, but it’s human to err, so there are bound to be a few along the way.  Also, though it does destroy a group or an artist, the existing popularity is pretty important as well. I believe that the perfect comeback really depends largely on the fans’ willingness to let the matter slide, rather than just the public in general, not forgetting the amount of time spent on hiatus. Anything is forgivable long as it’s not murder, literally (to me).
    Time is the best  healer since the people tend to forget in a long run, yet what Kpop doesn’t allow is time wastage… so it is not as definitive as in the comeback itself, but rather, how strong and united the fanbase is. I reckon that with a powerful fanbase, a scandal will not even appear like one. GD probably never had a scandal in the eyes of his fans. Even Nickhun. I think he is probably not too worried.
    As for solo stars like Baek Ji Young, she probably had the abilities to allow the scandals cool off before making her comebacks… but ultimately, we have to give it to her for being good at what she does. She is worth the wait I guess. 
    Also, for Kangin, though it’s quite unfortunate that he had decided to serve in the army and disappear for a good 2 years, he will still reach the day where he can eventually merge back in with Suju’s fandom. ELFs are very persistent and patient after all.
    Talent and resources, coupled with the fan’s support and a little time to ‘reflect’, then anyone can comeback as well as they did before encountering the stumbling block. The perfect comeback will never be as perfect before, but it is still going to be noteworthy in way or another.
    Ps: Please stop harping on how JYJ is playing on the victim mentality with a full para. Though I wouldn’t bash you for it, as a die hard fan, I see it as an opinion that you can store in your head, but please avoid letting it roll off your tongue, or your keyboard in this case. :)

    • Sophia

      I hope I didn’t come across as harsh, I’m not making calls on how reasonable these scandals were in the first place, just how idols try and come back from them. I’m well aware that they are the result of many factors, not just the behaviour of our very human idols and that a dedicated fan base goes a long way to over coming these issues. But I think sometimes we overestimate the role of international k-pop fans, the local audience is the stepping stone every group or artist must conquer before moving to the international market. Agencies generally target the general public, not the diehard fans, because even casual interest from the general public can reap larger rewards than a large, dedicated fan base. Especially when it comes to advertising deals and single sales.
      On JYJ, I confess I’m confused how this opinion could be considered offensive. I am also a fan and consider them to have been brutally dealt with by SM ent. But I really do think that the attitude they have taken with their music thus far has been subdued for a reason. It’s a clever, tactical move that’s helped them stay in the game longer than if they had made a more aggressive name for themselves. It helps people connect with them, and has helped them explore their lives post-split. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s a sensible thing to do and I think it illustrates my point re: comebacks post-scandal even if their comebacks have occurred under extremely unusual conditions. In any case, it was never my intention to offend you so please rest assured that I have nothing but respect for JYJ :)

    • Sophia_SB

      I hope I didn’t come across as harsh, I’m not making calls on how
      reasonable these scandals were in the first place, just how idols try
      and come back from them. I’m well aware that they are the result of many
      factors, not just the behaviour of our very human idols and that a
      dedicated fan base goes a long way to over coming these issues. But I
      think sometimes we overestimate the role of international k-pop fans,
      the local audience is the stepping stone every group or artist must
      conquer before moving to the international market. Agencies generally
      target the general public, not the diehard fans, because even casual
      interest from the general public can reap larger rewards than a large,
      dedicated fan base. Especially when it comes to advertising deals and
      single sales.

      On JYJ, I confess I’m confused how this opinion could be considered
      offensive. I am also a fan and consider them to have been brutally dealt
      with by SM ent. But I really do think that the attitude they have taken
      with their music thus far has been subdued for a reason. It’s a clever,
      tactical move that’s helped them stay in the game longer than if they
      had made a more aggressive name for themselves. It helps people connect
      with them, and has helped them explore their lives post-split. There’s
      nothing wrong with this, it’s a sensible thing to do and I think it
      illustrates my point re: comebacks post-scandal even if their comebacks
      have occurred under extremely unusual conditions. In any case, it was
      never my intention to offend you so please rest assured that I have
      nothing but respect for JYJ :)

      • soluiz

        I love your article. It was very well written

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

    YG indeed did a great job with both Tablo and BigBang’s comeback.Tablo’s album was very good, his songs are like reflections on what he went through.The comeback is terrific because his music says it all and frankly he didnt even do anything wrong at all to warrant that kind of scandal.With BigBang maybe it’s YG’s perfect execution of the release of their album or they just have such a strong fanbase that they were able to succeed amidst all the backlash or because of their music that we just love.Truthfully I dont think any other Kpop group out there woud be able to get through from the same scandals BigBang went through in a year. With Kangin’s comeback I think its his choice not to appear in varieties just yet.Well maybe SM is just being too careful,being a Suju fan myself I get what they are trying to do but really its time for Kangin to loosen up a bit. He looked too subdued that we are missing one of the most colorful personalities in the group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    I think the most important lesson here is that, as an overworked idol that is driven to near nervous breakdown by the relentless promotional schedule of the company you represent, nothing says recharge and regroup like a nice juicy scandal. 

    Pay attention, kids. 

    Just as a note, you’ll only earn sympathy if it is something that affects you alone (such as a public gaffe or sex scandal). If you do something that involves risking the lives of others (such as driving under the influence), you can die of rabies and rot in Hell for all I care.

    Remember, vacation is just a scandal away. 

    -A concerned fan for the preservation of Kpop idols and their sanity by liberating them from their ridiculous work schedules. 

    • MisOpparsSonMejoresQueTu

      Should I worry for B.A.P now?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

        Only if they have a zeal to vacation on the beach somewhere. Though it makes me wonder if they would go public gaffe or sex scandal?…

  • Gaya_SB

    Great article, Sophia! I especially enjoyed reading about the different kinds of songs that artists come back with following a scandal, I’d never given it much though before. And I completely agree about T-ara — the way CCM went about their comeback just went everything expected in Asian culture, and it really did backfire on them. They really do deserve better management than that afforded them

    • Sophia_SB

      Thanks Gaya, I’m really glad you liked it. CCM’s management strategy just boggles my mind really, although I think the point that @Black_Plague:disqus made about T-ara being CCM’s only really successful income source is also valid. It makes me wonder how Block B could afford the time away, seeing as they’re from a relatively minor label. I’m glad to see that they seem to have been able to pull enough capital to put together a good (if not great, here’s hoping) comeback :)

  • fireflies99

    KARA post-almost lawsuit? It’s as it never happened.  At least they waited months.

  • Elizabeth

    I totally agree with this article Sophia :)

  • Black_Plague

    Can’t agree any more with this article. I full heartedly agree, especially on T-ara, Tablo and Big Bang. SM’s Kangin is a bit more a mix for me, especially when he decided to enlist into the ROKA after his incident - Suju is not very popular (dare say, even disliked to a degree) amongst the male demographic in Korea and the only time I recall it was during the Sorry Sorry promotions, plus the ROKA is known to have serious hazing incidents and I wouldn’t think many fellow recruits and troops above rank gave him a warm welcome during the first months or so at the least either.

    I do see the central difference between CCM, SM & YG though. For one thing, both YG and SM have more than one relatively popular group to keep the cash flowing in so even if a member of one group or the group as a whole is put under a scandal, they can still rely on their other groups to stay on competition. SM benefits from this especially since it has quite a pool of idol groups (although I don’t see any of them able to overtake SNSD in terms of gaining revenue for the time being so some caution is still needed). Even with DBSK’s split and SM’s stocks on KOSPI dropping, it sure as hell weren’t crippled financially to the point recovery was impossible.

    CCM however, has only T-ara to keep itself afloat and every other idol group it’s debuted since has flopped or been slashed to oblivion due to horribly poor management and preparations - the track goes from Supernova (in Korea anyway), Co-Ed and its subunits 5dolls and SPEED and Gangkiz. Honestly, I think it’s a combined factor of both incompetence, idiocy and greed for money that ultimately led to T-ara’s comeback at such an early date while other groups in that shithole got neglected.

    I’d even argue that CCM is very well on way to slowly destroying itself in the process, looking at its record. T-ara isn’t going to last forever in its current lineup (with some of the members’ contracts ending at some point next year supposedly) and at this rate, they’re likely going to see more trips to the hospital or some other serious issue blowing up later in the year. Looking how much of a skeleton Boram has become, it’s as if their misfortunes are far from ending.

    As @fireflies99:disqus has also pointed out below, the DSP-KARA issue that happened way back in 2010 is also worth noting on post-scandal comeback success. Frankly, I thought the group was going to end indefinitely but they’re doing just fine and kicked up big success in Japan especially.

  • PrincelyLuna

    “G-Dragon’s drug conviction …”

    what conviction??

  • Janee’

    I was with you on this article until TVXQ/JYJ all the way to T-ara. Then I was like “No. no. no. no”

  • http://twitter.com/SrilathaR Srilatha Rajamani

    I heard the original DBSK / TVXQ for the first time yesterday and I think I have an idea why their split has affected so many fans and elicited such impassioned feedback from them.

    DBSK was amazing.

    So I am hoping that like Shinhwa who are managed by different companies and come together for joint performances. all the concerned people in DBSK will rise above past issues and come together for the sake of music. Now that would be a really grand comeback!

    Regarding the personal “scandals” and even the public gaffes by these “idols”, I just feel sorry for them.Having spent their childhoold and adolescent years in the music and training, living in dorms, they don’t have a normal life. Then there is so much pressure and accoompanied by adulation from the fans. This is not a life that is conducive for physical and mental helath. Quite simply, they live in an abnormal world. So if they mess up, by all means help them reflect and figure out their mistakes. Condemn the mistake – not the person. This is why I feel that some of these companies have not been handling their talent pool well. It seems to me that instead of treating them like people, they are treating them like commodities. I am therefore hoping that better sense will prevail over time.

  • cancertwin2

    Yeah I see why some are saying this article was agreeable up until the DBSK/JYJ part.

    Saying TVXQ’s divorce from JYJ seems a bit much. Especially since there were no known problems between the members of the group. It was more accurately JYJ divorcing SME.

    And the whole piece seemed like another reason to discuss the whole T-ara debacle which has been done to death.