Ailee‘s photo scandal has turned out quite unexpectedly to say the least. The overwhelming public seems to be sympathetic and supportive of her while backlash has been mostly directed at those involved who had something to gain from either leaking or publicizing the photos. Meanwhile, Ailee seems unbothered by the incident, continuing her schedules as if nothing had happened, and her career seems to have escaped with minimal damage at this point. What are your thoughts on the aftermath of the scandal? What lessons, if any, can we take away from this incident?
Mark: Bad things happen to good people, and worse things happen to bad people.
Gabrielle: I wouldn’t say a life lesson has been learned on my end, but I am so impressed with the K-pop community and how they’ve handled this. No offense, but the K-Pop community has never been kind to mistakes made my idols, past or present, so to see them support Ailee, in what could be one of the most embarrassing things a person could go through, is fantastic. I’m glad to see that the community is starting to humanize idols instead of seeing them as performing robots. Ailee was scammed, and she wasn’t the first or the last, and the fact that someone took advantage of that is deplorable, but I am very happy that she seems to be making it out, if anything, better than ever.
I am also interested in how the website in question will come out of this. I don’t think it’ll be the end of them or anything like that, but I don’t think they’ll be quite as favored.
Lindsay: Don’t send nude photos to boyfriends that may become exes.
But in all seriousness, I think one of the biggest lessons here that applies to the K-pop industry and scandals is don’t act like you’ve done something wrong if you haven’t. Ailee didn’t do anything wrong and the fact that she is holding her head high and continuing with her activities is absolutely the best thing she can do. There is nothing for her to be ashamed of, in my opinion, and likewise she shouldn’t act like there is. It’s like when idols get caught dating and then make a huge deal about it. I just want to yell at them, “there is nothing wrong with having romantic feelings!” Forcing idols to act like everything discovered about their personal lives is the end of the world only increases the whole “scandal” market. Of course, it is all part of the culture and part of the industry, but I love that Ailee isn’t giving in to that pressure and is actually treating the issue like it wasn’t her fault; because it wasn’t.
Miyoko: For me, it’s not so much Ailee but the fact that all of this is unfolding around an English K-entertainment site. It showed me that what these sites report on has a big enough impact and they can’t slip by without ramifications.
Shweta: Going off of Lindsay’s tongue and cheek comment, I’d have to say that there’s some truth there that applies to all of us. Don’t let things you’d regret the world knowing leave your hands. Once something is on the internet, it’s basically impossible to take it back.
That being said, the scandal itself is far from Ailee’s fault, and I’m happy that both the K-pop fandom and Ailee have handled the situation remarkably. Fans were understanding, supportive, and honest about the truth. Hopefully, this trend stays and hopefully netizens might be an objective and open minded group of people one day. In fact, I think Ailee’s scandal is over from her end of things–it’s essentially blown over.
Ailee has her career and fans. I’d even go as far as to say that the media battle is far and away the bigger outcome of this event. A potential one million dollar international lawsuit against Allkpop (concerning things that have nothing to do with Ailee) is no joke.
Laverne: If anything, this incident has taught me that you can’t predict netizen responses. I was definitely surprised by the support given to Ailee because idols tend to receive backlash for lesser scandals. But perhaps, as Shweta mentioned, this is a turning point.
Erika: If anything, this whole incident has strengthened my belief in the idea that one should be able to do something like send nude photos to their significant other without fear that those pictures will be made public. Taking nude photos is just part of sexuality nowadays. That this behavior would be curtailed because of the fear that you’ll be outed and shamed is not cool to me. People just don’t have the right to make you feel bad for the way you express your sexuality or dictate how you should do it.
If pictures are sent in confidence and that confidence is broken, then I’m thinking that there are legal ramifications. When a photographer takes any type of photograph and someone else posts it on some public forum without permission, the poster can be sued. If you as the owner is okay with the image becoming public, then you can stipulate how it can be used. This is copyright law 101. People who leak nude photos have not had permission to do so. The law will catch up to them. Lesson learned: don’t leak nude photos that were sent to you in confidence.
Mark: Yes, I too am for more people taking naked pictures of themselves. As for the whole preventing them from being leaked, that’s a tough sell regardless of how many legal ramifications are set up. At least most people who leak scandalizing photos of an ex are smart enough to not go around broadcasting that it was he (and let’s face it, it’s most likely a he) who did the leaking. Bottom line: don’t trust guys!
(Images via YMC Entertainment)