Tag Archives: SME

Introducing ‘Red Velvet’! No, Not That One.

My mind immediately goes to the image of a nice, when eaten every now and then, cupcake when you say the words “red velvet” to me. However, that is not the case in this situation. That should be no surprise with group names in the Kpop industry. ‘Ladies’ Code’ is not the female equivalent of the “Bro Code” and ‘Sistar’ did not misspell the word “sister”.  Even words like “Delight” or “WINNER” end up being names and sometimes there are meanings behind these names. Sometimes a label just picks a random word or group of words and goes with it. This entry isn’t trying to break down Kpop group names and their meanings though. This case is about the conflict that existed between the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ and SM Entertainment’s (SME) new girl group ‘Red Velvet’. I will say from now that I already know that the indie band did not have the rights to the name and this entry is not aimed at “bashing” SM Entertainment. This is just my take on the situation and how I feel about it all.

It’s surprising Hyuna’s “Red” didn’t have a red velvet cupcake in it for sweetness, but I guess that would be too many red velvet names in such a short time. Some people are being funny and saying the cupcake had the name first. Anyone want to represent a sweet dessert in a court of law? >_<

This issue came to light before SME’s ‘Red Velvet’ even debuted and it was brought to the public’s attention when the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ showed discomfort with another group having the same name as them. There is another annoying problem now. I know both ‘Red Velvet’ groups are new and it’s not likely there will be much confusion, but just having to explain which ‘Red Velvet’ I’m talking about every time I bring up the name is annoying. *sigh* SME really had to have that name. I’ll move on, but it still annoys me. Now the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ is said to be from the area around Hongik University and they started performing/debuted in 2013. They have one song so far called “The Day After You Left (헤어진 다음날) and I really like the song. It’s the kind of song you would hear in a cafe and would relax too.  Ha Hee Soo, a member of the indie band Red Velvet, had stated they were around for a year, performed at Hongik University (where they are based around) and are preparing for a new release soon. She is quoted in an article from Soompi.com saying, “It’s not like SM wouldn’t have searched the name before they decided to use it,” expressing the band’s disappointment. The same article mentions their song is listed on various music sites. The claim is not unfounded, since a label should be expected to research if there is any group that currently exists  with the name. Even indie bands should be checked because it can cause confusion and tilt search engine results in favor of the side with the bigger company (and a logistics team that understands how to have their names on the top of search engine lists). Some people mention how typing ‘Red Velvet’ will still show results for cakes and cupcakes. They are not wrong because I just tested it. However, put the word “Kpop” next to those words and good luck finding results for the indie band. They’ve been around longer too, but there is only so much an indie band can do. Ha Hee Soo is once again quoted in the same article saying, “We’re a powerless indie band. If SM’s girl group debuts, our activities and promotions are going to get difficult. We’ve just now gotten our footing, and we have a lot of affection for our name, too.” It’s true that the name “Red Velvet” sounds nice and it’s natural that an indie band has affection for their name. However, it should be noted that even they realize the limits of their band. They are an indie group and it is not easy to patent a name, which apparently can be worked around with a few changes to the name. Obtaining the rights to a name can be a tricky process, which can also become expensive and time-consuming as well. It was confirmed that the indie band did not have the rights to the name “Red Velvet” and a patent attorney basically said they would not get it, if they did not apply first. Obviously SME applied as soon as they saw the opening, so that chance is gone. I doubt even a petition with millions of signatures would do a thing to change SME’s mind. As some people say, “Goliath beats David in the real world” and any label as big as SME is not likely to lose any kind of dispute with an indie band.

SM’s Red Velvet Runs Into Name Trouble With Indie Band Red Velvet, Agreement Reached

SM Entertainment’s ‘Red Velvet’ is off to an interesting start with controversies around them from the beginning. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but the fact that it is true makes it an interesting start. So far I have seen the indie band debate, the newspaper/insensitive imagery placement and fan disapproval of their debut right off f(x)’s promotions being cut short. At least people are talking about them and maybe that’s the point. There’s no such thing as bad publicity (as long as damage control is possible). 

[Source: Soopmi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nav8nkn

Now I find it hard to believe that SM Entertainment did not look into the name “Red Velvet” before deciding to use it. They could not have just thought about all the Kpop groups they know and thought “Nope. No groups with that name, so we’re good”. I believe they did come across the indie band and had their legal team check if they band had claimed the rights to the name. A smirk probably appeared on their faces as they raced to claim the rights to the name, which leaves the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ out in the dust. Is ‘Red Velvet’ the perfect group name? Not really. Is it really worth potentially hurting the chances of success for an indie band? Not to me, but this is the world of business. It all comes down to cold, unemotional decisions. YG Entertainment had run into this problem with 2NE1 when there was already a solo artist with the name ’21’. They changed the spelling and all was fixed with an apology to boot. Remember how I mentioned earlier about getting around name patenting with a simple change in the name’s format? Do you get it now? There you go then. I don’t think the indie band will change the format (which I can’t seem to figure out), so they are stuck at the mercy of SME. That is not a good place to be, since I don’t believe the current SME has a good understanding of mercy. Wow! It is really hard to appear fair when talking about a topic like this with SM Entertainment involved, but I am trying my best. I’m just being honest with how I understand things. Your opinions will (obviously) vary.

SM Entertainment’s ‘Red Velvet’ ran into other issues once they debuted, such as the insensitive newspaper headlines and images in some scenes. The message of happiness might have been good, but some parts were not seen as appropriate anyway. The MV was edited to change those parts, but people still remember it. Let’s hope this is the last controversy for them, at least for a long time.

[Source: Hellokpop.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/pkl6fkv

The biggest problem for the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ is that the law is on SME’s side here because the facts are that the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ did not get the rights to the name and not having the funds to do so does not matter to the courts. This is where the ethical reasoning comes into play. Some people say it would be fair for the bigger label to understand the indie band’s situation and pick a new name. It’s not impossible because there will be new girl groups in the future with new names. I’m sure this isn’t the last girl group SME will be debuting. However, SME has probably decided they won’t change the name and will go along with it. SNSD made their recent comeback with “Mr.Mr.”, which is also the name of a Kpop boy group. Some people found it out that they did not choose a different name and how search engine results would now show the song instead of the group in the top results. I believe there was an issue with a ‘Mr.Mr.’ (group) diss track to SNSD, but that’s a different topic. Diss tracks in the Korean entertainment industry will be discussed another time, but this situation was about frustration on the group’s part. The point I made above about the SME and the ethical reasoning is echoed by a music industry official in the same Soompi.com article when he said, “SM is a major music agency. They won’t fight with an indie band. This kind of thing happens a lot in the music industry, and [in the past] even if there wasn’t any legal claim, they took an ethical stance and the issues were resolved smoothly.” This means the big label is generally expected to take the high ground and find a new name for their group. It basically means they were nice and decided to respect the smaller artist. That wasn’t exactly what happened this time.

The outspoken indie band member, Ha Hee Soo, met with SM Entertainment and a deal was apparently reached. SME’s statement on the deal was quoted as “We had a meeting with the band Red Velvet and decided to just keep the names as they are. We are now able to continue with Red Velvet’s debut schedule as planned, and we thank the band Red Velvet.” That means both sides will use the name ‘Red Velvet’, but promotion periods will just be different to avoid confusion. That does nothing for search engine results or general confusion, but it’s something. I do see SM Entertainment having control over who goes first when promoting, so the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ will have to watch SME to make sure they don’t collide promotional periods. This meeting was most likely one-sided with SM Entertainment outright refusing to change their name. It was probably a damaging (though not too much) move to demand the indie band use a new name, so SME decided to let them use the name too. I would not get too comfortable if I was the indie band ‘Red Velvet’ because they might find themselves in some kind of legal trouble later on, if they become successful enough. Forget the odds right now. If it does happen, then I suspect SM Entertainment will find a problem with them using the name. Do you believe SME would let an indie group use a name they got legal rights to when that group starts to become tougher competition? I highly doubt it, but let’s see how this situation unfolds for both groups from here on out.

Here is the MV for “Happiness” (행복) from SME’s ‘Red Velvet’! (Live Version included)

Here is the indie band ‘Red Velvet’s “The Day After You Left (헤어진 다음날)!

 

 

Malicious Rumors Force Sulli’s Hiatus

I apologize for not blogging for a while, but I have been sick and unable to do too much moving around. I guess it was from flying, which I had not done in a while. I’m feeling better now, but it seems I’m feeling better when a certain idol is starting to feel worse. f(x)’s Sulli has finally taken enough bashing from those annoying “keyboard warriors” a.k.a netizens and she is going on a company approved hiatus. I’m putting it that way because I need it to be clear that she is not deciding to run away and hide in her room, especially when some people feel she is abandoning her group. The power of words are truly intense and this time showed their power when used in a negative sense. However, this situation started from last year and some people were even starting to forget it. I guess the end of this year is the time for once forgotten scandals to come back. I hope it ends here, but let’s see how it began.

choiz_sullidate

Holding hands is something most people believe only couples do, so a male celebrity walking hand-in-hand with a female celebrity definitely causes people to suspect a relationship. It’s not suspicious when two people of the same gender hold hands, but it’s a different story when it’s a male and a female. At least that’s what some Korean culture videos state.

[Source: Soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/lba95tl

The photo above shows Sulli (left) and Choiza walking in a vacant alley on what was described by TV Report as a “morning date”. The time they stated the date took place was 10AM, which is pretty early to meet up with someone. That alone does not make me think they are in a relationship, but it would fit the profile of two people secretly dating. That early in the morning and the location are good choices for people who feel they would not be discovered together. However, celebrities should know better and the “sibling-like relationship” story does not sell well either. Netizens, with all their free time, immediately started looking for any clues to prove their relationship is real. I don’t recall a time when netizens ever worked hard to disprove a relationship rumor. If they don’t want it to be true, then it seems they just bash the idol they dislike or post mean comments about the relationship in general. Perhaps the netizens who work so hard to prove it act this way because they get to bash after they have their “evidence” or they leave it out there for others to bash, which makes them just as bad.

Disapproval of a celebrity couple generally comes from either a pre-existing pairing of one celebrity in the couple with a different celebrity due to a drama/movie or just general fan preference with a different celebrity. Sometimes it is due to jealousy from fans wishing to be the one with their celebrity crush, but that goes into sasaeng territory. DO NOT ENTER. Some fans just reject the relationship of one of the pair’s looks alone, despite fans having no right to play matchmaker for celebrities. If they want to marry a waitress, taxi driver or a random foreigner, then that is there choice. I went off on a side note there, but it relates to a bigger issue that connects here. SM Entertainment, who are not known for the best excuses, were quoted on the Soompi article as saying “He is only her close oppa-like friend and sunbae. Because they are close they occasionally meet up.” That basically means SM Entertainment is claiming Sulli and Choiza are close friends in the industry, so they meet like friends do. That would be fine, if they weren’t holding hands at 10 in the morning. I thought it was just a case of two very close friends who just messed up thinking they could act this close and not get caught. I still have my doubts, but Sulli and Choiza should have known it is better to be safe than sorry.

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The best thing to do with a dating rumor is to let it burn out naturally. If it is untrue, then just act normally and that will show. If it is true, then just be more careful to hide it or just admit it. People will eventually move on, but things can get chaotic when one of the couple is an idol in a popular girl group. That case calls for avoiding the topic, until you have a solid plan. Carelessly mentioning the scandal because you can handle it does not help, but MCs can be just as much to blame in that case.

[Source: Koreaboo.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nfmvyzs

Rumors are hard to deal with in general and there is no guaranteed way to handle them.  SM Entertainment (SME) is known in the fan community to deny and let a rumor fade away on its own, which is why SME’s confirmation of Tiffany and Taeyeon’s relationships took some people by surprise. It is usually best to admit to dating rumors when they are true because netizens will activate their “Sherlock Holmes” mode and find any evidence they can find. If the couple have had any signs, no matter how subtle, then they should admit to dating because lying only makes fan angry and the situation worse. The problem is when there are strong indications the rumor is true, but both sides continue to deny it. Denying the rumor sees fans bashing the idols because they already decided it was true and fans who defend the idols. Admitting the dating rumor is true usually sees more bashing fans than fans who support them, which includes previous defending fans silencing themselves because they were wrong defending a lie. It might be a lie when both celebrities deny a true relationship, but it is not without a reason. Fans overreact and often negatively to celebrity relationships, especially when at least one idol is involved. Fans blatantly ignore this and go straight to the deception part, which is not fair. They are proving the point of those who decided it was better to deny it. If you are in the entertainment industry, then it is very likely that you have heard the rumors and maybe even know the truth. Most celebrities will not add any unnecessary stress to their lives and stay quiet, but MCs are a bit different. MCs will ask questions about the dating rumors depending on the format of the show. If it is a show like ‘Radio Star’ or ‘War of the Words’, then you should expect it to come up. I’m pretty sure most of us still remember the uncomfortable episode of ‘Radio Star’ when Goo Hara of KARA was pushed to the point of frustration when constantly asked about her break up. MCs know the situation could be uncomfortable for the celebrity in question, but they also know that is what people are interested in now. It’s all about ratings, so they ask what people will listen in to hear. This is where quick wit is helpful.

There are ways to divert attention to a new topic or play down the topic in general. If an MC asks Choiza about Sulli, then Choiza can say he feels bad she is suffering from netizen attacks online and that he hopes everyone supports Sulli in these tough times. That is all and Choiza can finish by saying he does not want to talk about it anymore out of respect for Sulli. That helps fans see he is trying to help lessen the negative attention Sulli is getting and it shows that Choiza respects Sulli. Some MCs will still push for more information on their relationship, but it won’t be as blunt because that finishing statement makes it seem like pushing for more information is disrespectful to Sulli. Diverting attention, especially if an MC pushes for more information, can be done by Choiza standing by the statements both companies made and claiming that is all there is to the situation. A quote like “There is nothing more to this situation and that is all” would do. Any more insisting by the MCs will be met with repetition and producers will eventually signal them to move on. No producer wants to waste precious time on “It’s just as I said the last time”, so this method can work. I mention Choiza talking to MCs because it is mostly him on variety shows now and keeping Sulli away from those shows is best. It is best to keep all f(x) members away from those shows because they will get pressured for information too. “Red Light” will get completely ignored for Sulli’s situation and we don’t want another situation like Goo Hara had before. However, recent accounts of this situation being mentioned by Choiza show he did not take the path I talked about above and this is causing even more problems.

Choiza’s Rep Provides More Detail on Star’s Wallet Containing Photos of Sulli

The situation with Choiza and Sulli came back into the light because Choiza lost his wallet, which contained photos of Sulli in them. These were not just photos a fan would have, but also photobooth photos that show closeness. Someone found the wallet and returned it, but they also saw fit to publish the photos online. That is the story as it appears and surely the person had to know this would cause problems for both sides. Returning the wallet was a good deed, but publishing the photos was definitely underhanded. 

[Source: Soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/n4s5x3b

Shows like “Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketchbook” and tvN’s “SNL Korea” are not necessarily shows where such a topic would come up and they a guest is not likely to be constantly pressed for information. However, it appears Choiza decided to bring up the situation with Sulli in a light-hearted manner. His thinking was probably along like lines of “If I make the situation seem like it’s no big deal, then people will let it go”. That could not have been more untrue and “humorously” bringing it up only made things worse. His label, Amoeba Culture, had previously stated they had nothing to say about the wallet issue and the overall situation with Sulli. This would have worked well for both sides because Choiza could easily avoid any discussion on the topic by stating he will stand by his label’s decision and Sulli could promote f(x)’s comeback song “Red Light”. This is where some MCs did not help the situation at all.

Both Yoo Heeyeol and Yoo Saeyoon brought up the scandal through various segments of SNL Korea, which eventually saw Choiza giving concerned reactions and even stating on Yoo Saeyoon’s segment “I thought we weren’t going to do this” when the segment was still talking about Choiza’s love line. These reactions seem to have come after the initial fan backlash at Choiza laughing with the issue and receiving gifts like a wallet chain, which show attention is still being given to the scandal. f(x) was promoting “Red Light” and that caused the scandal to lose attention in favor of the long awaited f(x) comeback. However, Choiza appeared on variety shows and this gave MCs only one target to get information from during the time. The wallet chain gift was not Choiza’s idea, so that is more a fault on Yoo Heeyeol who gave the gifts and Choiza eventually said that the entire nation was giving him a hard time with the scandal. This is a reference to the negative netizen attention, but some fans are blaming Choiza for being careless with his wallet and not realizing how much damage the scandal was doing to Sulli from the start. Some people believe the MCs are just doing their jobs and being funny, but I have always believed there is a time and place for everything. The jokes have caused a problem with f(x)’s comeback promotions and Sulli’s involvement with the entertainment industry, so I believe it was better to have not even referenced to the scandal at all.

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When it rains, it pours. The situation has gone from a “rainstorm scandal” to a full fledged “hurricane scandal”. The rumors have gone from as small as dating to as large as pregnancy, which reminds me of the pregnancy rumors IU went through a while back. Sulli’s absence from a “Red Light” performance was explained as an absence due to illness and some netizen decided to make it out to be due to pregnancy. Now we face a situation so bad that it has forced Sulli into a break from the entertainment industry and f(x) into an end to “Red Light” promotions. 

[Source: Koreaboo.com} Link: http://tinyurl.com/op4whx4

Malicious rumors are terrible to deal with and they can often force a celebrity to lay low from the public eye for a while. Some celebrities fight back, but that is usually saved for veteran idols, solo artists and actors/actresses. Idols in groups often keep quiet because their actions affect their group and younger idols might receive backlash for speaking so boldly when they just came into the entertainment industry not long ago. This time the rumors have gone far enough to drive Sulli from the public eye of the entertainment industry and f(x)’s comeback promotion are going with her. SME’s official statement says “Sulli is tired and has been showing pain because of the rumors and hateful comments towards her and said she would like to take a break from her activities.” It was also stated that f(x) would stop “Red Light” promotions, but various members will be going into solo activities. The other members of f(x) were mentioned to be attending the SMTOWN concert in Seoul on August 15th, but it is unclear if Sulli is included in the group. It seems awfully close to have her back for the concert, but we will see what happens between now and then. No action in a scandal is without a netizen reaction and this decision has received some interesting responses. Naturally there are some stupid responses mixed in, but that’s to be expected from the internet. The golden rule of treat others as you would have them treat you is something a lot of netizens don’t seem to understand and negativity continues to spread.

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Netizens can be so cruel, but that’s what happens when mean comments are supported by like minded people and the internet provides anonymity for bullies. Posting malicious rumors usually goes to the Cyber Crime Division, but mean comments alone are not illegal. This means the targeted idol needs to be strong and receive support from those closest to them. This means Sulli needs f(x) and her loyal fans more than ever to get through this scandal.

[Source: Koreaboo.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/k5seeoy

There is always a mix of supportive and condemning comments on SNS when an idol gets into a scandal. This time is no different, but the supportive comments also have their share of negativity. Some fans are showing their support of Sulli by placing the blame on Choiza by referring to his mentioning of the scandal on shows, which was called reckless. The photo above shows an article on ONSEN, which had that sentiment as it’s top comment. The reported third comment was “What becomes of the other members who prepared so hard”, which refers to the sudden halt to f(x) promotions for “Red Light”. It is true the situation is unfortunate for not only hurting Sulli, but hurting the efforts of f(x) during their long awaited comeback. The following comment was a bit less supportive by saying “I waited one year…”, which only shows a lack of understanding for the situation. I completely understand feeling let down after waiting for your favorite idol group to make a comeback after a year and then being told they have to stop promotions early. That is easy to sympathize with for any Kpop fan, but it also shows said fan is only  concerned with being entertained by the group and lacks concern for their well-being. It should not matter if Sulli is such a fan’s bias or even if said fan doesn’t like her. SME has come to the conclusion  that f(x) stopping their promotions is best to help Sulli recover from this scandal and f(x) is going along with it. The comeback was not cancelled and there are stages of them performing live, so the situation there is not as bad as it could have been. It is definitely unfair that f(x) is being affected in a such a way by this scandal, but this is the situation we are dealing with now. Unsupportive comments only give way to more negativity and such a comment could be viewed by Sulli or any f(x) member, which would not help them feel better at all. They do see these comments, so be careful what you post. (-_-)

Other comments mention how weird SM is lately with scandals and other issues, which is joined by comments stating SM Entertainment should pursue hate comment posters and those who spread malicious rumors. I would like to say they are already doing that, but SME has made no such announcement on that topic to my knowledge. Some people feel they were right about Sulli hiding when SME claimed she was sick and others even begin to question if she wanted to become a celebrity of her own free will. That kind of comment stems from a belief that Sulli is hiding because she can’t handle the negative attention, which such a netizen believes she should be able to handle as a celebrity. This is taking from the double standard for public figures and private citizens, which is not fair. It is true that public figures knowingly open themselves up to more criticism than a private citizen, but that does not mean they should take it in without issue. Idols/celebrities are people who feel and get their feelings hurt like anyone else. Malicious rumors can drive them into depression just like a private citizen, but the difference is they take more on than the average citizen and the double standard gives them few options to respond. I’m fairly certain Sulli would love to tell everyone to stop and leave her alone, but that would not work well for an idol like her. It might be hard, but try to be more understanding when others are going through hard times. It shouldn’t be hard in the first place and netizens have yet to learn this lesson.

The most random and, as I believe, stupid comment was one that stated “T-ara is really great..”. This was met with confused reactions on social media sites and other comments that said such a comment would start a fan war, which was followed by agreements that such a comment was unnecessary.  It was definitely unnecessary and it would start a fan war between “Queens” (T-ara fans) and Aff(x)tions (f(x) fans). That comment is likely a reference to the bullying scandal T-ara had a while back with former member Hwayoung. The comment is likely saying that their scandal is nothing compared to the current scandal that has negatively affected f(x). That is the height of stupidity when it comes to comments concerning this scandal. It is unhelpful and rude, which definitely leads to fan wars online. That is not what is needed now or ever, so such comments should never be posted.

In the end, f(x) has worked hard and I have seen a good amount of support among the members of the group when they need it. I’m sure Sulli is being supported by the rest of f(x), her entertainment industry friends and her family. The fans are a powerful force and they should be supporting her too. No finger pointing at Choiza, MCs or anyone else. No conspiricy theories or anything that spread negativity because it comes back to the scandal with a negative spin on it. Only supportive comments help and leave it at that. Overwhelm SNS  with supportive comments for Sulli and f(x) or don’t say anything at all. Be there for her and leave it at that. I’ve said this before and use this as your motto for this scandal. ‘Just support Sulli or stay quiet’. It’s that simple. Spread the love and keep it that way.

Here is the video where the pictures came from.

Here is “Red Light”, which f(x) worked hard to make for fans.

“Red Light” live and with all five (members)!

What do you think of this scandal?

 

 

 

 

 

The Kid Leader Has A Prince!

If the title was not enough to tell you what is going on, then I shall elaborate. Kim Taeyeon “Kid Leader” of Girls’ Generation (SNSD) has found a boyfriend and it is none other than EXO’s Baekhyun. I know it seems obvious that two SM Entertainment (SM/SME) artists would end up together and even two SM artists from popular groups, but this definitely caught a few people by surprise. I don’t obsess over idol’s relationships, so I didn’t see the signs others apparently saw. SM artists ending up in relationships or dating might not be such a mystery after all, but we will get to that later. Of course you have your sad/hurt fans, your obsessed “Not my oppa” fans and your “how dare you feel hurt and not immediately happy for them” fans. The latter two are the hardest to deal with, but  everyone will move on in time. Feeling hurt or sad is fine as long as you are not attacking the idols or other fans. Time heals such wounds, but let’s look into this “breaking” news a little bit more.

Updated: SM Confirms, Girls’ Generation Taeyeon and EXO Baekhyun Are Dating

Kim Taeyeon (left) and EXO’s Baekhyun are both members of SM Entertainment with Taeyeon being the sunbae or more experienced member in the pair. The age gap is three years with Taeyeon being the older member of this couple. Despite a minor age gap and an experience gap, the two have managed to start dating a few months ago.

[Source: soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nw7mea6

You usually hear the advice that it is best to avoid dating within the workplace. The dangers include bringing emotional problems of the relationship into the workplace, getting distracted by any type of relationship-based emotions in the workplace or causing awkwardness to spread in the workplace when something goes wrong in the relationship. The worse case scenario is a “messy” break up, which can cause friends to split when taking sides or cause the workplace to take on a tense atmosphere. I don’t believe SM Entertainment will let it get that far, but these are generally the reasons most businesses recommend avoiding workplace romances. An official statement from an OSEN representative, as stated by Soompi.com, stated “They had a close junior and senior relationship and recently starting dating.” So it seems workplace interaction gave way to romance. That is not unexpected because there have been idols that stated working together bonds entertainers and they can begin to develop feelings for one another. Some people in the Kpop fan community don’t see SM Entertainment as a free area for love or most things, so the shock of Taeyeon in a relationship got to some people. More people seem to be reacting in shock to the fact that Baekhyun is in a relationship and not Taeyeon. An earlier poll I had on SNSD dating showed a massive support for their future relationships, so S0NES might have reached a point where they are ready for their girls to date. EXO fans have a reputation of being very defensive of their idols/oppas (most fans appear to be female) and that might explain the rush of “betrayed” fans for Baekhyun. The “evidence” I mentioned before from fans who follow their relationships as closely as they can, as stated by Soompi.com,  include Taeyeon and Baekhyun looking at each other lovingly (I guess that is up to interpretation, possessing couple items like bracelets, headphones, and sunglasses (similar tastes might not be “hard” evidence, but okay), and screencaps of their SNS posts, where they use cute nicknames for each other like Taenggu and Baekoong (Okay. I can count this as evidence). Fans further suspected a romantic relationship between Taeyeon and Baekhyun, as the EXO member is only following Taeyeon on Instagram among all the Girls’ Generation members. That last one might count, but I will still not count it as “hard” evidence. Not that it matters now because SM Entertainment confirmed the relationship. No more “It is a rumor” hopes from fans, but there will always be those in denial. There are people who wonder if it a ploy by SM Entertainment to get attention for the artists or some kind of media play.  Let’s just accept it is real and move on. It’s not that big a breakthrough for idols or even SME artists. Oh, the tough life of an idol. ><

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Dispatch is basically a paparazzi-like media source and they are very dedicated to getting into the private lives of Kpop idols. They follow the idols for as long as necessary, get proof of anything they think will get a lot of attention and try to force the idol(s) to talk about whatever they get proof of when there is enough.

[Source:blog.koreaboo.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/ojeo2r4

I was being nice in that caption, but this was nothing short of stalking. Dispatch is like Sports Seoul in the paparazzi world, but I hear of Dispatch doing these “We have photos, so what is going on?” moments more. They get a photographer to follow idols around to find out if a rumor is true and get any photos that imply or prove the rumor to be true. It is stalking and pretty creepy, even if it the activity of the idols is done in the public space. Idols generally feel they have to hide due to the backlash of fans, which is shown through the “betrayed” feelings of the EXO/Baekhyun fans. One Baekhyun fan with the SNS account called “@asui02” stated “Hello Baekhyun I don’t think I can trust you anymore…” and goes on to say “Compared to the Byun Baekhyun that I used to know, I feel a sense of unjustness[?] keke You did this because you were happy, as a lover[?] I have nothing to say just be happy kekeke I have decided not to be surprised by you anymore.” I don’t know where the feeling of “unjustness” would come from, but Baekhyun hiding the relationship should not be a surprise. As I showed above, it should be pretty easy to understand the reasons why he did it. Another SNS user called “@weareone11s2” stated “I am very disappointed in you and I’m crying. But, it was really obvious. I guess you really wanted to tell people you two were dating. Now that I think about it, it was useless making an Instagram, buying your albums, and voting for you.” I guess those feelings of betrayal are enough to cause some fans to leave their idols behind, but not everyone is reacting this way. There has been an effort to counter this negativity with some postive energy. A Taeyeon fan called “@hye_0730” said “Unnie Jjang. Don’t look at the negative comments just think good thoughts” and another fan called “@hss3051″said “Baekhyun Have strength.” I don’t see many posts in support of Baekhyun, which might be fans rushing to make sure Taeyeon does not feel any stress from her image as innocent and the idea she might be quick to be hurt by the bashing, but there are those who are showing support for both idols. Both EXO and SNSD are very popular groups, which also means they are prone to have a considerable amount of sasaeng fans. These are the “keyboard warriors” who are constantly attacking anyone they deem a threat to their delusions or “detectives” prying into the lives of their idols to feel some sort of closeness to them. I’m not sure if these people feel some sense of accomplishment when they manage to pry into the private lives of their idols and reveal their secrets. I just feel that they should not start bashing when they find out a truth they don’t like because there was a reason the idol(s) were trying to keep it a secret. Some idols are not as secretive about their relationships because they either believe they are low tier enough to not have too large of a backlash or they are strong enough to take on any angry fans. I would love to be in a relationship with my bias in 2NE1 or have a closer relationship with my noonas, which is perfectly fine for any Kpop fan. It becomes a problem when your fantasy begins to control your life and ruin the lives of others. Keep it in your head and don’t let it control your life. You might end up turning down “the one” because you can’t let go of your “oppa/noona/whatever”. I could go on about how much you cared if you are able to switch so easily to a new bias or group, but let’s save that for another time.

It can be easy to miss for any Kpop fan who does not follow the relationship affairs of the idol world, but SM artists seem to be the target of dating “scandals”/rumors more often than others. It appears there is a reason for this as well and the reason just might surprise some fans.

[Source: Kpopstarz.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nn63pu4

I’m sure people already have guesses on this “surprise”. Question like “Is it arragned?” or “It’s all a ploy”. It’s not that the relationships are arranged, but they are encouraged in a way. It appears that former SES member Shoo and Super Junior’s Kim Hee Chul said that Lee Soo Man encourages dating within the company on a broadcast of MBC’s “Golden Fishery- Radio Star”. “Dating within the company” is definitely restrictive, but I don’t know if it is an absolute ban on inter-company dating or how wide this desire covers for SM Entertainment employees. I doubt SME custodians are told they can only date other SME employees, but you get the idea. (><) According to Soompi.com, when MC Kim Gu-ra commented that “They date inside and outside the company”, Shoo made a surprising announcement. “Actually, the company pushes for dating within the company.” This seem quite restrictive, which feels like the old SM Entertainment again. Remember the “magic box” the fan community  sees SME putting their idols in for MVs and the general feeling SM artists are not as free as they could be? This is why this “only in the company” rule is not surprising. This actually surprised the MCs, which I find interesting because I thought they would just accept it as idol management. It’s nice to see seasoned MCs finding it shocking that artists are told it is best to date within the company only. Of course many people know “it is best” is a nice way of saying “you can only”. Heechul quoted Lee Soo Man when he said “Yes, dating within the company is better. It is more comfortable for us and if a scandal erupts we can control it better.” If this is a quote from Lee Soo Man, then this shows how controlling SM Entertainment is in their idol’s lives. Why does the relationship have to be comfortable for SM Entertainment? If an idol from SME wants to date a YG artist, then it’s forbidden? What about a childhood friend? Apparently a relationship for an SM artist is not a two person affair. It is a three person affair with the two lovers and SM Entertainment regulating it. A scandal erupting and having control over it is just admitting you want control over as much of your idols as possible. It probably means they can get the two into a room, reprimand them or coach them on how to handle the issue for the press. This does not mean SME management does not care about the actual feelings involved, but those feelings are most likely taking a back seat to the business concerns. I don’t like these restrictions and I can only imagine what secret relationships SM artists have with other people from different labels or regular people. It is hard enough hiding relationships from the public and press, but your own label adds more pressure. Well done to those who pull it off, but let’s move forward to a day when idols no longer have to hide their love for anyone they choose to love. Dream on and push for that day. ^^

Here is an SNSD/TTS and EXO collaboration for you. ^_^