After School Fans Feel Ignored At “Idol Futsal World Cup”

Fans can be quite fickle and this is why I do not envy idols or the management in their labels. I don’t really envy anyone, but those individuals are very low on the list if I ever did. Sometimes people feel like idols should live their lives how they want and labels act to make money, which means ignoring fans. The situation is quite the opposite because fans are where the revenue comes from in the end. Idols won’t be placed on programs or dramas if they are unpopular and labels will not make money if their idols are not promoting. Even just releasing songs and promoting them will fail, if the idol or idol group is unpopular. Anti-fans or “haters” sometimes buy the album to mock it, but even that would not be enough to make a stable income. I’m not sure if it would be impressive or sad if it ever could enable a person to have a stable income. It would probably be a mix of both. The point is that fans can often force labels and idols to cater to their whims, such as make apologies because they felt wronged. Idols get tired and can’t always smile, but this didn’t stop fans from feeling uncomfortable when Sistar’s Hyolyn was too tired to keep a smile on her face during a fan meet a  while back. Idols can get tired too! I rather an honest expression than a fake smile that says “I really don’t want to smile like an idiot right now”. After School recently ran into this issue and you can see how fans have more power than they think, which is not always a good thing.

Idols Mingle, Play, and Provide Fanservice at the “Idol Futsal World Cup”

The “Idol Futsal World Cup” is an athletic competition where idols compete to show off their athletic skill and remind people they are still around. The idols actually do take these events seriously, such as Sistar taking their position as best female archery team in the Idol Olympics seriously a few years back. 

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I’m sure you are curious what happened to After School in this situation by this point of the entry or if you just found out about this issue. After School also competed in the “Idol Futsal World Cup” and it is a physically draining event. It’s an athletic competition, which means the participants will naturally be tired by the time they are done with the event. Fans know when their idols are involved with shooting for a show or an event and they usually try to meet them to show support, but something went wrong for After School fans this time. They apparently showed up with banners and signs, but met crickets and tumbleweeds. That is an exaggeration, but that is apparently how the fans felt. An article from states “…it appears that for one reason or another, the girls promptly left the recording venue, without stopping to say hello to their fans at all. It was an incident that left the group’s supporters, many of whom had been waiting for some considerable time to see the group, livid.” Livid is quite the emotion to feel since it means they were furious, but that seems like a bit of an overreaction. I guess that is just my point of view though. I would feel disappointed and maybe pout, but never furious. Feeling furious makes it seem like you feel you are owed their attention. It is true fans help make the idols as popular as they are at any given time, but that does not mean the idols have to give attention to the fans all the time. The article says they girls left quickly and I give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were tired. I said that these athletic competitions are physically draining, so the girls rushing off to relax is not that far-fetched of an idea.  They barely get enough time to relax without sporting events, so it should not be too hard to see why they might be rushing off to get as much rest time as they can find. Of course fans never take these situations lying down and some drama has to start, but I guess I would not have much to blog about otherwise. It is usually advised by a label that idols or celebrities stay out of any negative media events and let them handle the situation. Apparently Rania did not get that memo and it started something else. :/

After School’s Raina Makes Twitter Apology to Angry Fans

Oh Hye-Rin (Rania) is listed as a main vocalist in the group After School and her nickname is “Bagel Girl”. I have no idea what that is about, but she is not known for getting into an negative media situations. That certainly changed when she decided to take this issue on herself and a minor argument broke out with a fan. 

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It’s not too bad when an idol gets involved in a negative media situation and sometimes it can help resolve the problem, but that was not the case this time. It didn’t make things that much worse when Rania decided to try explaining the situation from After School‘s position, but it certainly didn’t help resolve the problem. Sometimes idols getting involved makes sense because the issue concerns them and silence is sometimes associated with accepting the blame for the incident. I support the idea of idols standing up for themselves or speaking out on issues that concern them, but it is generally a good idea for the idol to make sure they can control their emotions and speak in a way that doesn’t make the opposing side take all the blame. If the opposing side is entirely to blame, then acting that way is understandable. However, it is best to avoid sounding that way to appear humble and it is important to avoid sounding superior if the other side can be sympathized with in any way. This incident didn’t go over well with After School fans and naturally they went to the internet to vent their frustration. That was not surprising at all, but Rania getting involved in an argument on Twitter was a little surprising. This is why some idols prefer to stay away from social media, but it appears Rania got involved in an argument trying to defend her or her group’s position on the situation. -The fact that an argument broke out means fans or the ones venting online did not care to for her explanation. These particular fans actually got together and suspended certain parts of the fan website, until they receive an apology from the group and label. I can understand being disappointed or even irritated, but demanding an apology from the group and label is a bit much to me. Neither the group nor the label explicitly stated the group would greet fans after the event and the girls of After School did not show any intent to insult the fans. Rania’s six tweet apology can be summarized as saying she cares for the fans and tries to do something for the fans with the manager for such events, but it never works out and that made her angry when she was willing to pay out of her own pocket. She goes on to say she focused too much on her own difficulties and reflect to show more support to the fans. I can understand supporting fans more, but she should not feel bad for focusing on her troubles. Ignoring your own difficulties can lead to overworking and health issues like fatigue. I don’t recall Rania being famous for focusing only on herself, so I don’t believe she needs to focus more on fans than she does at the moment. I can see how that helps in a public relations sense, but she should not have to go that far. I guess that’s the norm for damage control in the Kpop world and it’s never a complete apology without the promise of reflecting on one’s actions.

Pledis Entertainment Officially Apologizes to After School Fans

Pledis Entertainment is known for managing idols like Son Dam Bi, Hello Venus, NU’EST and of course After School. The company is not known for negative press attention or lawsuits, so situations like this one are generally handled in a humble manner. 

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Pledis Entertainment decided not to remain silent and answered the demands of fans. The response was an apology that stated  “No matter what happened on that day, regarding both the perspective of the [After School] members and the fans, we have no excuses, and it is entirely our fault. We weren’t able to appropriately deal with the situation, and for that, we sincerely apologize.” Pledis Entertainment decided to take the blame and move forward. I suppose that is the easiest way because it stops any sensible fans from pushing an apology further and it stops any negative feedback about the label attacking fans by placing the blame on them. It’s like admitting that you are wrong in a conversation when you are able to argue that you are right. Admitting you are wrong usually stops the person from pushing their point further because you have already said they were right. Sometimes people will push further and never shut up, but you generally get the sympathy there for admitting you are at fault. Pledis Entertainment goes on to state they have no excuses and will work to prevent such an event in the future. I suspect this means reminding the girls to wave and smile to fans when they come out of any event, excluding events connected to negative emotions like sadness (i.e. funerals), and organizing with fans to make sure they are not missed again. This can be hard because events like the “Idol Futsal World Cup” make the idols tired and they are often rushed away when they have a packed schedule, but I guess Pledis Entertainment will do their best.

After School Fans Apologize for Misunderstanding

An idol does not have an easy life because they are often on the unfair side of the “double standard” that exists for public figures when it comes to privacy, but they also suffer from having to constantly seem happy in front of fans or making sure they don’t even make simple mistakes. Even lashing out against an invasion of privacy can turn against an idol as being mean because they are a public figure, which makes their privacy less important to some people. 

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Apologies like the one Pledis Entertainment gave are usually easy to sympathize with and they tend to get the public to think the opposing party’s reaction was too much. The issue is that the fans are essentially faceless members of the internet, so they don’t have to worry about that part too much. However, it is easy to target After School fans through their fan website if someone desired to or this could hurt After School‘s image in the eyes of the fans. The fans involved with this apology demanding situation answered back to the apology they were given and felt they needed to state their side. Their explanation is stated as “Due to lack of proper communication between the fan manager and company employees, the fans weren’t told anything, and had to stand by in an area where After School wasn’t even located.” It is interesting that is seems to be a rush to explain their behavior. Why would they need to do that? Perhaps those fans feel they did overeat and now the negative attention is heading their way. There was also this sudden claim that a manager of After School verbally and physically abused fans, which I believe is a bunch of nonsense. They just said they were at a location that the group was not at, so why was the manager there to abuse them in any way. If any fans managed to find them and then they were pushed back or yelled at to move back, then that is normal for guards or managers to do. They have to protect the idol(s) at all cost and the idol(s) getting hurt is far worse than a fan that fell down. Sometimes the idol will reprimand their manager for physically moving a fan, such as Park Bom when she told a manager/guard not to push a female fan that was near her, but they are not supposed to have the additional responsibility of watching their managers.  The fans involved go on to state that “What started the boycott was the ‘Idol Futsal World Cup,” which happened recently, and it was before fans knew about what happened before and after the recording. Because we were just relying on what the agency had said, we became angry at the After School members. We have now found out that the After School members did try to meet us, but because of miscommunication through Pledis, it didn’t happen.” I guess Pledis Entertainment just released the news that the girls would be at the filming of “Idol Futsal World Cup” and that was what fans worked off of, which resulted in arriving at the wrong location for exiting the building. The fans do admit the situation got out of hand and that the misunderstanding only made things worse, which resulted in the fans apologizing as well. Okay, so I guess the situation had ended well or well enough. I still find it annoying that the fans could not consider valid reasons for After School being rushed out of the building and simply requesting an explanation. Rania answered the “livid outbursts”, so I would guess she would answer distraught ones too. Maybe those fans felt they could only get attention with such actions, but demanding an apology is certainly an overreaction in my book. I say asking for an explanation is the only valid response because I have seen no news that Pledis Entertainment stated the girls would be greeting fans afterwards, so this means the fans are not guaranteed any interaction with After School. If they are not guaranteed anything, then they have no right to demand anything. I suppose that is the way the entertainment industry works with fans, but it certainly should be made clear when fans are overreacting or going too far.

What do you think about this issue?



3 thoughts on “After School Fans Feel Ignored At “Idol Futsal World Cup”

  1. This was a very interesting read – thank you! I’d only seen some remarks on forums and Tumblr so it was a bit confusing as to what had happened. Managing fans expectations with the reality of being a busy idol must be a terrible job!

    PS – Your blog is really good!

    1. I’m glad I could clear up some confusion and I am thankful for the compliment. It’s nice to know my work is appreciated. I certainly do not envy the job of an idol manager, but the idols and their managers do their best.

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