For many years, especially since 2009, many Korean entertainment companies and labels had to deal with the double-edged sword of absorbing all forms of libel and slander towards their talent as a means to not offend the core fan base. If any seasoned fan of Hallyu, especially when it comes to K-pop and K-dramas, were asked who truly has the power pertaining to Hallyu stars, they will most likely claim it is the fans.
However, times are now changing as Korean entertainment companies and labels are taking more of a stand against libel and slander against their talent to protect them legally. This includes activity from anti-fans such as malicious comments, activity from sasaeng (obsessive) fans such as posts that attack personal rights and privacy, and activity from tabloid or yellow journalists who fabricate gossip and rumors for physical sales or engagement and page views online.
SM Entertainment is so far the most-popular entertainment company and label to publicly state they will legally stand on the side of their talent and take legal action against those who defame them. And just recently, MYM Entertainment — the entertainment label made by Lee Min Ho — has filed complaints against those who are spreading rumors about the popular Korean actor especially the ones about him dating Taylor Swift, as reported by both The Korea Herald and Asia News Network through The Inquirer.
Now one of the most popular K-pop boy bands, BTS, will be legally protected too. Big Hit Entertainment made it known they will take strict legal action against those who hinder BTS’ character through malicious rumors, false information, posts attacking personal rights, and the like.
Big Hit Entertainment, the entertainment company and agency known for BTS, released an official statement on their new legal protection of the popular K-pop boy band. According to Soompi, said statement references the current anti-defamation laws in South Korea which include the cyber-defamation law, one that was further incorporated after so many Korean celebrities commit suicide due to said rumors.
“Hello, this is Big Hit Entertainment.”
“From November 10, 2016, malicious rumors, false information, posts attacking personal rights, etc., that hinder BTS’ character will be responded with strict legal action. We have decided to take on such strict response because the members of BTS have long been suffering from rumors and malicious comments.”
“Since debut, Big Hit Entertainment and all the members of BTS have given great effort to accept every criticism and evaluation for our growth and improvement. However, netizens’ actions with malicious intents that continuously exaggerate criticism and attack personal rights of BTS’ production, music promotions, etc. can no longer be overlooked.”
“According to the current laws on defamation of character and personal information protection, these actions can be penalized with a prison sentence. We, to protect the rights of our label’s artist and actively take legal action, have processed prosecution for those who spread or report malicious posts and comments with foul intent. Furthermore, we announce that we will continue to take strict legal action with no agreements permitted in response to the actions that hinder the character of our artists.”
The aforementioned statement is just the latest move by Big Hit Entertainment in protecting BTS who are also known as the Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof Boy Scouts. Earlier this year, there was an incident in a Taiwanese airport in which Taiwanese A.R.M.Y. (devoted fan club of BTS) constantly invaded the private space of Jin, Suga, and Jimin in which the latter was shoved so hard, he fell to the ground. At the time, Big Hit Entertainment provided a statement asking the A.R.M.Y. to abstain from such “risky behavior” because it would directly affect future BTS activities.
To be frank, it is good that Big Hit Entertainment is stepping up with legally protecting BTS from defamation. With that out of the way, the popular K-pop boy band consisting of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook can concentrate solely on their careers. Right now, they are in the midst of promoting their second studio album Wings with its featured title track song “Blood, Sweat & Tears.” There were rumors of BTS possibly making their debut in the American music market, but Big Hit Entertainment president, Bang Si Hyuk, quickly squashed that (for now).
K-pop fans, especially A.R.M.Y., who want to own their copy of the K-pop group’s second studio album, they can purchase it at YesAsia. The standard version is just the album, while the special edition version (known as the W+I+N+G Version) consists of four discs. There is also an option to buy either version with a poster in a tube.
[Featured Image by Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]