News swirling the past few days revolve around two issues: JYJ’s South American concerts, and unauthenticated recordings released by a dubious Korean source (Dispatch) of JYJ members either talking about or in the midst of being harassed by “sasaeng” fans.
Upon hearing this latest suspiciously timed report, my first instinct was to note the timing of its release and the lack of video to accompany it.
The case between JYJ and SM Entertainment has yet to reach its final conclusion, so when something seems to come out of nowhere with the intent to tarnish JYJ in some way, it seems to coincide with a negative court ruling or terrible news for SM.
Some have suggested this JYJ controversy was intentionally pushed by Dispatch to purposely cover up a larger scandal with South Korea’s version of The White House, called ‘The Blue House’. The Blue House is said to have requested the destruction of evidence concerning illegal investigations of civilians.
More interesting, however, is the negative report has opened the door to a bigger problem: “stalkers”( also called “PRIVATES”) who are allowed to engage in dangerous harassment by chasing celebs around Korea without being prosecuted.
These types of people are not ‘fans’. They may be better characterized as stalkers or opportunists who have a dual purpose: (1) to try to get money by causing an altercation and later asking for “compensation” from famous celebrities (2) to get themselves noticed by a specific celeb in totally creepy ways.
These little assholes (yes, that’s what I’ll call them in expressing my first amendment right) often go to great lengths to execute a type of what could be considered psychological abuse against not only members of JYJ but other famous people.
There’s an infamous video of a fan caught on tape slapping Yoocheon on the face as he was going through a crowd of people.
Apparently this has been a huge issue for years with the members of JYJ ever since they were still under SM’s rule.
One ridiculous phenomenon is to post photos on the internet of, for example, Yoocheon under the title “Stalking Yoochun”. The multiple photos from multiple days show him coming back from home, eating out in a restaurant, outside his house with family, or in the parking garage going to his car.
If you frequent JYJ related forums, you’ve probably seen all kinds of private photos titled “Stalking Junsu” or “Stalking Jaejoong” where members are doing regular things like eating out with friends or driving in their cars.
The problem is these people may be stupid enough to think they’re the first or the only person to think of doing this. By the time one hears a member of JYJ expressing public anger, that member has probably gone through countless instances/altercations with theses types of people.
And on that note, as part of Dispatch’s reporting of this issue — a story suspiciously release as JYJ was flying to Chile to perform in South America — the ‘news’ source released the recording of what sounds like an emotional and upset Jaejoong responding to sasaeng behavior.
The version of the audio allegedly taken sometime in 2009 is said to have been purposely edited by the “yellow” Dispatch to make it seem like Jaejoong was cursing and ranting at fans for no reason.
However, the audio shows an highly upset Jaejoong cursing and talking about having to deal with these stalkers. Some reports say the singer had been drinking at the time the recording was made. Whatever the time, Jaejoong seemed to be at his wits’ end.
However, this isn’t just a Jaejoong issue. Fans have previously stolen Yoocheon’s social security number and used it. One fans posted online how they needed to use his ID at an internet cafe because they owed too many fees with their own ID. I mean, what the hell?
From a translated report:
I couldn’t think of any other Social Security Number….
the ones I thought of….truthfully, yours is the easiest….
Yoocheon has also previously posted via his twitter account about fans outside his house and wanting them to go away. From translated reports:
“It’s just…too much….I hate it.”
“the people in front of my house….I can’t think of them as anything else than antifans”
“ah…FRUSTRATION!!! the people in front of my house…Please go.”
Changmin, part of TVXQ, has also been involved in certain hateful situations with sasaengs from China. Two Chinese people reportedly followed Jaejoong and Changmin into a restroom trying to get video.
Later outside, after being reprimanded for their behavior, they hit Changmin on the head and shoulder with a bag that turned out to be full of rocks.
And those are only a few examples!
Some of these little assholes have even intentionally paid taxi drivers to follow the members around the city wherever they have gone.
Certain taxi drivers themselves are in on these mini stalking adventures too because the driver stands to make hundreds of dollars from sasaengs by chasing celebrities around.
Some fans purposely try to get into fights with members of JYJ or their staff then feign like they were the ones being assaulted.
Many international fans are outraged because its hard to imagine such behavior would be considered legal in South Korea.
<What the *bleep* ? >
A few people have claimed online that because JYJ is famous then they somehow brought this treatment on themselves. That is a terribly hateful way to look at this situation.
You don’t turn into a robot because you get famous. Thus, you still respond to abuse like a human. You feel pain and anger like a human. You still have expectations of privacy like a human. And, like a human, you shouldn’t be made to change your very nature to that of an inanimate object simply because you have talent.
If this were an actual case of a JYJ member doing something on purpose to cause a certain outcome — like sticking their finger into an open flame — then you can blame them for that specific outcome.
However, its hateful to say because they have talent and pursued a career in entertainment, that they deserve to get treated like garbage.
Moreover, JYJ is hardly the only ones subject to this behavior. These little assholes are responsible for not only harassment but also creating dangerous situations by chasing celebs around town. Imagine the hurt and anger of somebody’s family if one of these sasaengs causes an accident?
(Typical for JYJ)
Everyone will be asking how it was possible for this to happen. But even if it weren’t that serious, standing/sleeping outside of someone’s house all night and snapping photos of who’s entering and leaving is just as disgusting.
No member of JYJ is owned by any sasaeng or regular fan. Try as one might to control the personal lives of another human being, it cannot be allowed under any circumstance for any reason.
To put it plainly, you haven’t bought a piece of them simply because you bought a CD, boo boo.
It cannot be so that these three grown men (or even famous kids) must turn over their entire beings to people who are either too damn contemptuous of their success or too damn selfish to realize the consequences of stalking somebody.
If one person had the bright idea of camping outside a celeb’s home, you can bet a hundred other people calling themselves fans have had it too.
And it cannot be said that by showing their asses like this, it’s the equivalent to showing “love” and “support” for JYJ. That kind of “love” and “support” is neither love nor support. But rather, it is psychological abuse which could result in the ruination of these young men’s lives.
It became sort of a cute joke how much Jaejoong and Yoocheon like to drink alcohol. I used to wonder whether they were heavy drinkers because they liked it or because it’s part of the celeb culture in South Korea.
But now I wonder if they drink a lot sometimes because it helps to deal with the anxiety and isolation of being caught like a trapped rat and not being able to at least have some portion of their lives to themselves.
In a recent interview, they said they thought their careers were over when they left SM. Through their sheer determination, cultivation of their talent, a bit of luck and openness with their international fanbase, they’re doing things which were considered impossible for a Korean “kpop” group before.
Imagine being JYJ and being super nervous about your futures after speaking out against and leaving a huge vindictive Korean entertainment company.
Imagine worrying more about people whose name you don’t even know and less about your own comfort level.
Imagine being worried sick whether or not your family and friends will praise you or think you were a big fool for speaking up for yourselves.
Imagine being scared nobody would show up to your concerts and that you would have to start all over by playing in poor clubs or on the streets for change.
Imagine purposely staying single for fear you would throw some innocent woman you liked into the path of such hateful people.
Imagine thinking you would never be allowed to sing in public again.
Imagine the pressure on the shoulders of these young men who just want to sing and write music; who get up on that stage and give you everything; who cry openly in front of you; who stop in the middle of their meal to sign autographs and take pictures.
Imagine how they feel after giving away ALL that and it still not being enough for some people.
The big-money a$$holes, like SM, who wanted to drain JYJ of power and every Korean won in their pocket are already known to us. I spoke out against them so I’ll be damned if I don’t speak up about this sasaeng issue.
Speaking directly to the sasaeng: Stop. Seriously.
Would you treat your brother like that? What would you do to a girl who was harassing your brother or another family member the way you harass JYJ? Don’t tell me you’d sit back and watch some other girl hunt your brother down like he was prey? You wouldn’t stand for it.
What you do will not only help to ruin these guys’ lives, it will also interfere with how regular fans get to enjoy their music and watch their evolution for years to come.
I don’t want to worry about whether or not either one of these young men will make it to 50…60…70….80…90. Or whether enormous stress and dangerous situations will whittle them down to nothing at a premature age.
Many of us regular fans expect to see JYJ as grandpas with their kids and grandkids, so I’ll be damned if I’m gonna stay quiet while sasaeng behavior threatens to take that away from us.