A short while ago, a few members of the girl group KARA appeared on MBC’s ‘Radio Star’. Member Goo Hara was asked about her dating history and this led to tears being shed and a lot of apologies…but, perhaps, not from the parties you would expect.
It is well known by many K-Pop fans that Goo Hara previously had a public relationship with the rapper from BEAST – Yong Junhyung. Both of the celebrities decided it would be best to come out with their relationship to the public and all was received fairly well, especially considering the amount of fuss that can be caused by idols dating.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that Goo Hara’s dating history was brought back up on MBC’s ‘Radio Star’. It was the proverbial elephant in the room in terms of what could be talked about and, as aforementioned, idols’ dating behaviour is probably one of the hottest taboo topics in the K-entertainment industry. The MCs approached it is the least obvious (but still glaringly obvious) ways they could, by asking her which question she was most scared of being asked. Hara was honest and said dating, and became visibly flustered and upset as the MCs inevitably jumped at the chance to probe further. One thing led to another a Hara shed a few tears and the atmosphere became quite sour thereafter.
If you haven’t seen the clip before, you can watch it here:
What I wanted to discuss most though, is my problems with the rather unexpected apology issued by DSP Media and KARA member Seungyeon on KARA’s behalf.
I was fairly incredulous at these apologies for many reasons. To be honest I felt that both parties were at fault here. The producers and MCs of ‘Radio Star’ were quite tactless in their milking of the blatantly sensitive subject. How ridiculous it is to ask people what they hate talking about and then proceed to force them to talk about it, then when the person becomes uncomfortable, continue to push the topic. Super Junior’s member Cho Kyuhyun’s comment served to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and whilst fans of his will be more than familiar with his sharp and dark humour, perhaps he could have acted more empathetic than he did in this particular situation. Arguably, dating is an even more sensitive subject for female idols given the pressure put on them to be seen as innocent and pure and the revelation of male relations could very well end a woman’s career.
Goo Hara, on the other side of it, should expect this sort of subject to be tackled. I doubt that any K-idol is naïve enough to not know what the public want in terms of gossip and scoops. Furthermore, if asked the question by someone: “What do you hate being asked about the most?” what answer would you give? Surely not the complete truth so as to distract that person from an area you are uncomfortable in discussing. Yes, this is dishonest, but if you are a celebrity, sneaky tactics of diversion can be your best friend. Additionally, I feel that Hara did act slightly immaturely and in a way that reminds me of a toddler being refused their favourite sweets. She adopted a slightly whingey tone as she told the MCs that she did not wish to discuss her dating anymore and even angrily shoved her bottle of drink into Kyuhyun’s direction. I think it is a celebrity’s responsibility to act as professional as possible at all times no matter what is happening (after all, they are role models) and sadly, Hara did not act this way on this occasion.
It is not that I am objecting to Hara’s shedding tears out of frustration, of course, she is human and she was upset. She should not be embarrassed about showing her emotion and should not feel ashamed; however, when it comes to considering others in your behaviour, throwing around things at people is simply not acceptable.
Overall, what I am trying to say is that both groups involved in this were in the wrong. ‘Radio Star’ might want to gain viewers, but it should also consider the guests’ emotions and careers when they are choosing what to discuss. Goo Hara should also learn from this experience and be more savvy about the industry with which she is involved, she is under so much pressure in her career, but part of that is knowing how to deal with it in a respectful manner. Most of all, DSP Media should consider the entire situation well before issuing official apologies, as their doing so here made it seem like they were apologising for a woman that simply showed that she was upset. There is nothing wrong with idols showing emotion, they are human after all and I think it was wrong that KARA shouldered the entire blame here.
(As I was writing about diversion tactics used by idols, I kept thinking about the SBS ‘Strong Heart’ YG Family Special when TOP saved Se7en from an awkward situation with his hilarious weirdness, check it out at around the 2:14 mark below!)
What do you think about this issue?
Do you think it was just a small incident blown out of proportion or should more people have come forward to take the blame?