Is your faith in TVXQ only as shallow as a puddle of water?

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While the vast majority of TVXQ (Tohoshinki / DBSK) fans are greatly concerned about the group’s current situation, there are a few who have taken it upon themselves to spazz in an unwarranted way. Some have even threatened to delete their TVXQ-related youtube accounts or stop using the phrase ‘Always Keep the Faith’.

Don’t let this post fool you into thinking that there is a fan problem. There’s no problem with fan support, as far as what I’ve seen. But there are things I have to say about that type fair-weather attitude in general.

The phrase ‘fair-weather fans’ have plagued individual artists and groups since the first boyband in history was ensnared in a situation beyond its control.The first time a crisis happens is not the time to give up on the very people you claimed to have admired for so long.

The problem with such overly dramatic actions is that they change absolutely nothing. What’s worse is that it shows just how fickle and shallow an incredibly tiny percentage of certain fan support may be. 

‘Always Keep the Faith’ isn’t a hollow catch phrase that you use only when things are good. Jaejoong and Yoochun didn’t tattoo themselves with the phrase only to get attention.  Those heartfelt words have a much deeper meaning for them to permanently etched into their skin.

The point of having faith is to have something to hold on to in times of serious unease and confusion; in times when it is unclear if a situation will ever be as good as it once was.

Moreover, good fans are fans almost no matter what the situation. And what some people have to ask themselves is whether or not they are mature enough to handle it when their adult idols have to deal with real life adult situations.  Such fans should also ask themselves whether their admiration for these 5 young men only extends to TVXQ’s continuation of fake illusions of happiness.

Months and months before we even knew there were problems between TVXQ and their management company, the guys performed as always — smiled as always  — and never let the fans know the massive problem with which they were dealing. No fan was threatening to delete their youtube accounts then.

After not being paid for months at a time, being told when to sleep and when to wake up, who to associate with, what to invest in, and not having adequate compensation for the sale of their products or all of the hours they work, these 5 young professional men still made fans light up with joy. No fan was threatening to stop using the phrase “Always Keep the Faith” then.

TVXQ won’t magically lose their ability to sing because they’re fighting for fair treatment from SM Entertainment.  Junsu won’t suddenly forget how to dance if he speaks up about unfair practices. Yoochun won’t suddenly forget how to the play the piano if he can’t stand being treated like property. Jaejoong won’t suddenly unlearn how to sing ballads if he actually wants to be paid for the work he’s done.

So why the hell are a tiny few fans acting as if TVXQ’s talent is also held by SM?  It is NOT the fault of the victim that things are no longer happy-go-lucky.

And if you are really being honest, they do have a legitimate reason to be upset. Remember, it’s not just their own opinion that they have not been treated fairly by SM. An independent panel of judges in Seoul District Court agreed that the terms of SM’s contract were problematic and, in certain ways, unacceptable. So unacceptable that they ordered SM not to interfere with the outside activities of Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun.

In my opinion and in keeping with my first Amendment right to express it, SM is the root cause of all these problems. I posted this on another forum, but SM may have to fall — or at least certain people at the company will have to be removed from their seats of power — for things to return as they should be.

SM has mishandled this situation terribly. They have lied to the public about knowing that 3 members would invest in CreBeau, and defamed the cosmetics company as the reason for the dispute. They have been accused of forging the signatures of the 3 members on a questionable performance contract in Shenzen China. And they blamed the 3 members for the cancellation that concert.

SM falsely assailed the intentions of Junsu, insinuating he took money from them to help finance the lawsuit against them. They have put out letters reportedly written by the company trying to pit the the two remaining members and their families (Yunho and Changmin) against the other three.

SM is also currently being investigated, according to translated reports, by the Korean Fair Trade Commission for unfair contract terms. That means anybody under contract with SM will have to undergo an investigation period to see if they are in effect working under a “slave contract” (terms that are a violation of the established fair contract terms in Korea).

And all of this is on top of the borderline-tyrannical way in which they have treated not just TVXQ but a number of other artists as well.

Don’t for one minute think this is solely a TVXQ problem. Members of Super Junior, another massively popular group in Korea, are also complaining about some of the very same problems. Late last year, news was reported that 6 members of Super Junior had sued  SM for the termination of the Exclusivity portion of their contract.

And in the end, maybe there’s a much larger reason for such misery.  Maybe it will spark a passion in one or more of the members to help change the current system in Korea.  Sometime in the future, one or more members of either group could create their own agencies to help protect other young artists from situations like the one they’re facing.

Maybe they each could start a regional organization in or near their hometowns to provide help with living expenses, legal advice, mentoring, safety, and negotiations between the artists’ families and the big entertainment companies for those kids and young adults who want to follow their dreams by getting into the entertainment industry.

If anybody can turn this situation into something good, it’s them.   But it would be better for them to have the support of true fans in order to do big things. And no amount of pulling away from a difficult situation will make things any better, any quicker. 

Despite the outcome, these young men will be better men as a result of going through such hardships. I personally want them to succeed in whatever paths they choose to take and I know that as long as they’re still breathing, they will find their way back to each other once certain obstacles in their way have been destroyed.

/ dongbanger /

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