Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is There A Solution For T-ara, Who Receives Criticism Not Matter What They Do?

So I was reading this article on Nate since it was plastered on the front page of the entertainment section.

My first reaction was "no, there will never be a concrete plan of action that T-ara can take to rectify the situation."

As long as Korean netizens enjoy the "power" they currently have, there's nothing T-ara can do about this. Netizens clamor for "reflection periods" all of the time. Some will say they work, pointing to Daesung's case as an example. "That mother fucker ran over someone because God ran over his face at birth, but it's okay because he reflected. But wait, reflection periods are useless.

To sum up the article (because I'm not going to bother translating all of that shit since it's shit we already know):

After the scandal, T-ara's fortunes changed dramatically. After being labeled as bullies, they have become a severely disliked group. With their new sub-unit, T-ara N4 wanted to show the world the Korean countryside, but they were receiving shit for it. The netizens (very fucking obviously) don't think the scandal is over. T-ara can't repair their image because they never resolved the original scandal and continuously get into new scandals. There's no hope for them in Korea, so their only shot is overseas.
The only reason this is still an issue is the fact that many of these netizens suck at Starcraft and League of Legends, not being able to become pros. The scandal was over once Hwadog was kicked out of the group, and let's face it, while not an ideal way for her to go out, it was what 99% of the fans wanted in the first place.

Day in and day out, Korean netizens go onto Nate and several other sites to trash T-ara. I could understand it for a week to a month after the scandal, but it's been ten months already and this shit is still happening. Hating on a group just gives them even more attention, being counter-intuitive to what these netizens actually want. They still want T-ara to disband, as seen in the top comments in the article.

1. [+2,075; -106] 티아라 해체 추천 아님 반대. +1 for T-ara to disband, -1 if you're against them disbanding.
2. [+1,698; -71] 해체와 동시에 전원 은퇴. They should all retire right when they disband.
Etc. etc. Same shit we've been seeing forever.

Korea's entertainment system a unique case where the entertainment companies actually pay attention to the cesspool. American companies don't, and for good reason. Every time I go to YouTube, I feel like I lose some brain cells while reading the comments. If I was an executive, I certainly wouldn't pay attention to random Internet users shitting out of their mouths. Sadly, Korean companies pay attention to this shit.

What is T-ara's true solution? It's not the overseas market, although they are better received in Japan and the rest of Asia compared to Korea. No, it's to continue trolling Korea by sticking around. They may never reach the same status as they did previously, but their continued existence will slowly shatter the "control" netizens have. Something isn't going their own way for a change, and if other companies catch onto this, it could start a revolution. A revolution in which Korean companies will stop basing their decisions on what random retards say on the Internet. A revolution that will result in Korean netizens realizing how powerless they really are. That revolution may end up making sites like Netizen Buzz, Asian Junkie and Anti Kpop-Fangirl disappear, but if the cancer is removed from the Korean entertainment systems, it actually may be worth it for sites like this to cease to exist.

But it's Korea, so I'm not counting on it.

UPDATE: I realized I had originally translated the first netizen comment incorrectly. I translated it literally, not knowing that the words basically meant +1, -1 for voting on comments.


  1. Netizens only have power because the Korean entertainment media gives them that power. If the business stops giving them power, then it doesn't exist.

    Netizens fucked up big time over the past 6 months by not giving T-ara an "out". They've played hardball right from the word go, wanting T-ara to disband/vanish and nothing short of this is acceptable to them... but as the main business entity that keeps CCM afloat, those demands obviously won't be met, because they can't be met - it's commercial suicide for a group who still has lots of fans even despite everything, and for the label too. So T-ara will, and must, keep going, for their own sake and the sake of the people they employ - not just KKS but all the little people, stylists, choreographers, floor-sweepers, coffee-machine fillers etc. By netizens repeating their complaints and making the hate into some kind of forced meme in light of this obvious fact, the effects are:

    1. T-ara gains more fans and more sympathy from people who see what netizens are doing as bullying far worse than anything T-ara was accused of, meanwhile netizens trash their own reputation worldwide. This is already happening, notice how comments on all English k-pop news portals are gradually turning more and more anti-netizen, even Netizenbuzz's community of netizen-lovers are gradually starting to shift their opinions and say "I was cool with it before but this is now getting too much".

    2. Other people in the industry see that it's not necessary to bow and scrape to online dimwits. This is gradually happening, although not across the board, but note that Super Junior and IU haven't halted activities OR addressed their scandal much directly - learning from T-ara, perhaps? In the meantime Secret did get endorsements and appearances pulled so there's still a way to go yet here.

    3. The industry gradually adopts a more western model of dealing with scandal. They're already ripping off the west's pop music, so it makes sense that the pop cultural aspect is following, if being dragged very gradually, kicking and screaming all the way. But if Korea wants to be on the world stage, it has to act like a mature player on that stage and stop pandering to the whims of kidlets and fangirls who want to drag down every single group apart from their own bias.

    I think change to the industry culture is inevitable, but I think the k-pop boom may actually implode or at least plateau before the really big changes kick in. The Korean entertainment industry isn't sustainable at its current level without international involvement (read: money) so there's either going to be a major breakthrough or a major breakdown soon, and I'd be betting on the latter. The current generation of stars will survive until the natural end of their careers though, and that includes T-ara, whether netizens like it or not.

    1. So in the end "democratisation" still back fires on Secret? How very sad, they have worked their asses and boobs off literally to get to where they are today but everything is negated by one slip of tongue? WTF?

    2. Kpop and Kdramas are going to have to change how things are produced in the next couple of years, and the changes will go directly against what the netizens want. Kpop will have to try to revert to its pre-2009 status where idols were just a part of the market, not the majority of it. Korean dramas will eventually need to stop the live shooting system and remove Japanese investors who request shitty fucking idols to be in the dramas.

    3. I am not that optimistic. They do earn a lot of money from those investors. Was it Jang Geun Suk's Love Rain that got 50 million dollars to air in Japan?
      As for K-pop, the government might be the one holding the industry back since they do get quite a bit of money from in revenue

  2. Its just so sad for people to be able to keep hating the same individual over such extended time, without any solid evidence backing up their accusations in the first place.

  3. Goddamn, this write-up may be the most succinct assessment of the T-ara Bullying thing and the whole Netizen Witch-hunting in general! Who would have though the most spot-on article I'd ever read on this would have been on AKF? Daebak!

  4. N4's single was a pretty funny response, but (obviously) it only made netizens angrier.

    why the fuck does the korean media care so much about what netizens say? you don't see msn/yahoo talking about top rated youtube comments.

    1. Because Korea has a very "keeping up appearances" culture. In fact this is pretty standard for a lot of Asia but combine it with Korea's highly connected society and there you have it - 40 year old CEOs of corporations worried about what a group of 12 year old kids on the Intnenet think. It's the same reason why the epidemic bullying problem in schools there never gets solved. No schools want to even admit that a problem exists because their fucking reputations matter more to them than basic moral values, so principals will side with the bullies and sweep shit under the rug rather than say "yes, there was some bullying at our school but we punished the bully".

  5. kpopalypse tryhard alert.
    on a side note, my return to the blog did not leave a good impression as i read the title, "Is There A Solution For T-ara, Who Receives Criticism Not Matter What They Do?"
    what is this shit?

    1. A translation of the title of the Korean article that I linked to.

    2. Try hard alert? What's that supposed to mean? He is quite spot on but words need to be cut out from his posts.


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