Ever since the Hallyu Wave, or Korean Wave, initiated in the early 90s, K-pop groups have suddenly found themselves extremely famous, not just in their home country of South Korea, but internationally in countries like China, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, and even the United States.
Most of the time, the popularity of K-pop outside of South Korea is a blessing, but it does come with a price. This includes a high number of hours training in singing, dancing, and exercise as trainees prior to debuting and a hectic schedule filled with performances, promotions, and special appearances.
There is one price that K-pop idols pay that is far more personal: the lack of privacy and the fandom’s say in their lives. Many K-pop fans have become very aggressive in their love of their preferred K-pop idols and groups. For example, there was an incident of obsessive fans, also known as “sasaeng fans,” of Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation constantly hound her with calls, day and night. Another example would be how obsessive EXO-L fans of EXO hated that group member Kai was dating f(x) member Krystal.
From the aforementioned, it seems that becoming a K-pop idol means sacrificing privacy and to an extent, it is. True K-pop idols can try to keep their privacy, well, private, but leave it to the more ambitious K-pop fans, or possibly Dispatch (a celebrity news outlet in Korea) to expose that, as well. Despite this, K-pop fans (and even Dispatch) generally follow certain unspoken rules when it comes to K-pop idols, and that includes respect for personal space. Unfortunately, international K-pop fans may not follow the same mantra as Koreans. Case and point: BTS had their personal space violated when they were “mobbed” in Taiwan. As a result, Big Hit Entertainment asked the A.R.M.Y. (fans of BTS) to respect BTS members’ personal space.
For K-pop fans, especially the A.R.M.Y., who have no idea why BTS is in Taiwan, they are in the midst of their latest Korean and Asian tour called The Most Beautiful Moment in Life On Stage: Epilogue. They are visiting numerous cities, not just in Korea but in other Asian countries, too, to promote their newest album, a compilation titled The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever. Nevertheless, one of destinations on tour was Taiwan. Once they landed in the airport, a gathering of Taiwanese A.R.M.Y. waited for them. Sadly, in their anticipation to see BTS, they imposed themselves “mobbing” the popular K-pop group and violating their personal space, as reported by AllKpop.
As shown from the fan captured video above, it shows that BTS “suffered some casualties” from the aggressive fervor of the Taiwanese A.R.M.Y. Several members of BTS were pushed and shoved around. Three of the members were shoved around, and one of them was shoved hard enough to fall to the ground. A security personnel at the scene realized just how dangerous the situation became, picked up the fallen BTS member, and escorted him out quickly.
Upon further analysis, it was confirmed that the three members of BTS who had their personal space violated and were shoved around a bit too violently were Jin, Suga, and Jimin. Jin and Suga (pictured above) were lucky and just suffered abrasive shoves before getting away for their safety. Jimin (pictured below), on the other hand, was not so lucky as he was the BTS member shoved hard, down to the ground, before being assisted by the security personnel.
Big Hit Entertainment wasted no time in releasing a notice to the A.R.M.Y. after what happened in Taiwan, as reported by Soompi. In it, they address that the A.R.M.Y. in Taiwan showed their affection for BTS in the wrong manner and that it may cause harm to the K-pop group’s members or to fans themselves.
“BigHit Entertainment would like to share our regrets over the recent incidents when some fans showed their affection for BTS in a wrong manner. Such attitude of a small number of people can and do cause harm on a lot of people, including BTS members.”
Some of the examples of fans’ risky behavior that may affect the safety of BTS members include using the same airlines with BTS just so they can engage with them, trying to sit next to BTS members on board, and attempting to make physical contact with BTS members. Big Hit Entertainment then concludes that such behavior may have an adverse affect on BTS’ future activities.
[Photo by AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon]