Let’s Discuss: Making Excuses For K-Pop Idols

Fans are what make any form of entertainment successful, and K-Pop fans are more intense than most other fans. In light of the recent scandal with Kim Hyun Joong, it has become apparent that K-Pop fans have lost their sense of reality when it comes to K-Pop idols.

K-Pop fans are known for being loyal to the genre, but also for being incredibly intense. In South Korea, overly intense fans are known as sasaeng fans. Sasaeng literally breaks down into the words “private” and “life.” These so-called fans are invasive and have a reputation of being tormentors more than fans. They do things such as following idols to their homes, sometimes sneaking in and vandalizing, etc.

There are also anti-fans, which torture Korean entertainers; there have been cases of idols who have been poisoned by anti-fans. One of the most infamous instances involved an anti-fan who gave TVXQ’s Yunho a drink filled with poisonous glue that nearly killed him.

Most people acquainted with K-Pop know about both sasaeng and anti-fans. So what is there to discuss? Well, there’s still the issue of delusional fans who don’t seem to recognize problems with celebrities.

No, not celebrities, but idols. This terminology is very important –Korean idols are treated as if they’re deified and held on pedestals, like the idols of a religion. Because of this, fans react in ridiculous ways. Recently, this week in particular, there has been an uptick in fans who seem to support idols’ illegal actions. This is, of course, in regards to Kim Hyun Joong’s accused beating of his girlfriend.

Kim Hyun Joong, Hallyu star and the leader of now-on-hiatus SS501, made headlines this week when his girlfriend of two years brought irrevocable proof of his abuse to police in Korea. While many fans around the globe were disgusted with his actions, especially when his company tried to claim that he and his girlfriend were merely being rowdy and it was an accident, many fans seemed to come out in support of Kim Hyun Joong.

Kim Hyun Joong fan comments on official Facebook

Kim Hyun Joong fan comments on official Facebook

In fact, a battle seems to be waging between fans that support him, and have started to accuse the girl of lying to the police, and between the fans that recognize how severe domestic abuse is.

Even when Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon was brought into a domestic fight with her now ex-boyfriend, fans defended her; it was as if people couldn’t stomach the idea that Hyoyeon could get into a fight. Idols are people, and fans do not seem to recognize this.

Even when domestic abuse isn’t involved, there are always fans who ignore the facts and support “their” idol. Regardless of the fact that Park Bom had definitely been involved in something illegal in South Korea, fans from all over the world said that the 2NE1 vocalist had been wrongfully smeared across headlines —that may very well be the case, but many fans ignore the fact that these idols are human and should be reprimanded like the average person when they have done something.

Keep Calm And Support KHJ

The reverse situation reveals the irony of K-Pop fans; when idols do something human that is offensive to fans, it causes upsets—something illegal is acceptable, if it makes the idol look bad. But when idols are revealed to be dating one another, or someone else, fans tend to freak out. While there are some very well accepted idol couples (such as Lee Seung Gi and YoonA, and Nichkhun and Tiffany), other idol relationships have literally led to rifts in fandoms.

The reactions of fans in defense of idols when they have done something both illegal and morally wrong and to berate idols for living their lives, is a ridiculous situation. Getting upset about something happening to your favorite idol is all right. You can be jealous that they’re dating someone, but cursing them for being happy is not really appropriate (even though many fans do it). But saying that idols who legally do something wrong are merely being framed or mistaken is akin to saying that you’re all right with the thing that they’re doing.

The fact that fans have such a twisted sense of reality in regards to K-Pop idols, that goes beyond the norm of fandom, is almost dangerous and fans need to recognize that there is a problem when people make excuses for mere human behavior.

What do you think? Do fans treat idols properly or is there something warped in the fan-idol relationship? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.


  • summertwinkle

    I don’t think it’s called “making excuses”, Maybe it’s more like…double standard? or just fans giving “idol biases” a different standard and they (and maybe sometimes the rest of the world too) forget they are still human. I agree it’s ridiculous that people can’t be happy for idols who get together especially when both of them like each other. And this is not limited to K-pop…same thing happens to Bieber and Selena Gomez so that’s not making excuses…that’s just fans being a bit disillusioned and invading into their private life. Those fans are probably mentally immature. I say mentally because even older fans can go crazy…one girl actually killed herself and her parents blamed the star for it….that’s the most crazy fangirl I’ve heard of.

    As for whether stars are doing something bad or not…we will not know. The girl could be framing him for a one-time incident where the root cause of the issue is her. It could be that he really was a violent person who needs better anger management. But who really knows? I would comment less and leave that to the investigators and lawyers to deal with truth and justice. But being well known is a sacrifice of privacy and having to live a double standard, because well known people tend to be held to a higher standard when reputation has real value.

    Fans will think stars are great so they must be great in every other aspect. Those are the people that you say “make excuses” But some people separate personal and business, so as long as they like their art, who cares if they have a nasty disposition. Kanye West despite his offensive opinions, still has fans. And if their art is appreciated, then they can still make it in the business because the art matters It depends I guess on the individual’s principles about the kinds of people he/she is willing to associate with.

    I won’t tell fans not to care about their idol’s affairs but they should be realistic and remember they are human with a private life too. The double standard will happen because that is the way infamy works, but don’t be too disillusioned by admiration.

  • Emily

    I agree, this does happen a lot, but kpop fans aren’t the only ones guilty of it. For instance, Justin Beiber is a drug using thug who not only has no respect for his fans, but has no respect for any other living soul on this planet, or so it seems. He treats people like garbage, and yet he still has a career. What? This guy shouldn’t even be allowed on television. He makes me sick.

    On the other hand, it should be noted that not all kpop “idols” are like this. Haha, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Ftisland… they’ve made it a point to make it clear they are not an “idol” band, and they notorious for being maybe a little bit *too* honest. xD Lee Hongki, the vocalist, even told the producer of one of the shows they did to “get ugly shots of him” since the fans love it when he comes out looking ugly. xD As much as we love him, he does have a temper and can sometimes make rash statements. Most of us are reasonable enough to accept him as the fallible human he is. xD To us it’s like being close friends with a person – as much as you love the person, of course you know they have faults and sometimes the best thing you can do for them is tell them when they’re making a mistake. Pretending nothing is wrong won’t help them. xD