For the seasoned K-Pop fan, the ‘dark side’ of the K-Pop industry (as it is often dubbed), is likely an unfortunate familiarity. Yahoo! UK have recently posted an in-depth article about the negative issues often faced by many young K-Pop stars.
The article discusses the long working hours, lengthy contracts, strict diets and rules as well as the saesang fan phenomenon and the extensive ‘military style’ training schemes that many of the agencies employ.
The article clearly covers the many injustices that can be endured by K-Pop idols today. Whilst their are a few inaccuracies (for example, Johnny Kitagawa is not directly involved in the K-Pop industry, though many accredit him for the beginning of the comprehensive and lengthy training periods of idol stars), the article posits that these issues should remain at the forefront until they are properly tackled.
This is a hard situation for K-Pop fans and non-K-Pop fans alike to fathom, but is undoubtedly something to be considered if real change is expected to happen. Hopefully the multiple lawsuits, most recently being issued from former EXO members Kris and Luhan, will start up positive changes for the future of the industry.
You can read the full article here and see what you think of it all.
The article also mentions author Euny Hong. You can read our review of his book ‘The Birth of Korean Cool’ if you are interested in seeing more of his views.