We’ve all heard stories about violent idol managers, supposedly threatening or hitting fans. In fact, there are numerous incidents captured, not only via fan accounts (not entirely credible) but also on video. Can their actions be deemed as violence though? Or just the lengths they have to go to in order to protect the idols? Perhaps it is a mixture of both. The sheer number of fans that can turn out to catch a glimpse of their idols is already a scary thought. Pair that with tired managers, who are entrusted with the well-being of these idols, and a whole lot of pushing and shoving, things are bound to get chaotic.
The truth of the matter is, these managers don’t have time for fans. While it’s common for idols to try and give signatures and take photos, their managers are paid to keep them on schedule and arriving in a healthy, presentable state. Just while I’m writing this, my mind can’t help but keep diverting to the crazy scenes from EXO arrivals at airports and the like. It baffles me that the dangerous crowding has been allowed to continue for so long. However, let’s not digress to there just yet – as I said, the managers simply cannot allow the fans and idols to share interactions when they are en route to their next schedule. This only seems to make the fans that bit more desperate and frenzied, with a single glimpse of an idol being exclusive in itself. They’re often aware that this might be the only chance they get to pass over their present or to take their pictures, and so their focus lies only on that, with little regard for the other fans (or idols) around them.
It sounds like I’m demonizing the fans, but think of it this way – if this is possibly their only chance to interact with their idol, why would they not go to extreme lengths to complete their aim? Surely they’d crane their neck to find the idol in question and then make a beeline straight to them. Fair enough. But what happens when you have 50+ fans all trying to get close to the idol. Suddenly the innocent aim turns into a battle ground, with each fan trying to reach their destination before the other fans. (Of course I understand there are other kinds of fans, less violent fans, in these situations, including the fansite photographers.) It works like a game; the idols also have their own aim and destination. Usually this is making it to the other side of the airport without being trampled by screaming, hormonal teenagers.While both parties are trying to ‘complete’ these aims simultaneously, turmoil ensues. And the managers? In this scenario they are basically the loyal companions who will help the idols get from A to B, albeit with slightly more authority and deserved respect.The obstacle for the managers is the fans who are viciously grabbing at oppa’s clothing. If anything bad happens to the idols, it will be their neck on the line.
This is to say that the managers are often forced to act in such a way that they might have to resort to forceful or more aggressive methods.They have no reason to be aggressive unless the actions of fans require them to respond in such a way. In most cases, they are just matching the actions of fans. To them, what is a small slap to a nameless fan in place of danger posed to the idol they’re looking after? I’m not encouraging violent behavior in the slightest, but I can’t condemn it either. If you look at both sides of the argument, it’s easy to see why managers may act in a violent way from time to time. The bigger threat is from the fans to the idols than managers to fans. If you’re paid to deliver newspapers, you deliver them, regardless of weather conditions or time constraints etc. If you’re paid to get idols from A to B, you do it. I’m sure it doesn’t say anything about resorting to hitting fans in their contracts but at a very basic level, they seem to be in a position of having to do what they have to do to keep their job.
Personally, I cannot come to a decision on whether what they’re doing is right or wrong. I certainly don’t agree with the use of violence but I can appreciate that there are flaws on both sides of the argument. Both parties, fans and managers, can be in the wrong but at the same time I sympathise with them both.
What are your thoughts? Who is in the wrong and why? Should the rules on idol transportation be tightened up to save fans and idols from dangerous situations? What could we do to make a better and safer situation? Let us know in the comments below.