With the end of 2016 quickly approaching, Hallyu fans are looking forward to the numerous awards ceremonies taking place. For K-pop fans, they look forward to the Seoul Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards, Korean Music Awards, and other end-of-the-year music awards hosted by either the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), or the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). However, the most popular end-of-the-year K-pop awards ceremony is the Mnet Asian Music Awards.
For those who do not know what the Mnet Asian Music Awards or MAMA is, it is an end-of-the-year music awards ceremony presented by Mnet (technically CJ E&M) in which musical acts are awarded for their outstanding achievements in the Asian music industry. It originally began back in 1999 as the Mnet Km Music Festival but has improved since then. In 2010, the awards went “international” and the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards became the first ceremony in its history to be held outside of South Korea.
Because of its international reach and appeal, the Mnet Asian Music Awards is often recognized as the biggest night for Asian music, especially K-pop. Despite this belief, YG Entertainment recently announced that none of their K-pop acts will participate in the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards or 2016 MAMA. Kang Hee Jung, the head of Mnet, revealed his thoughts about the YG Family not participating in the awards ceremony.
A representative at YG Entertainment made the decision not to participate known in a statement, as provided by AllKpop. Apparently, the major entertainment company and label says conflicting schedules are the reason why they will be unable to attend. The representative also wanted to make sure there was no conflict between YG Entertainment and Mnet.
“MAMA opened up online voting on December 1, and we don’t know if there’s the possibility of winning an award yet. However, even if we do get invited, it’s been decided that it would be impossible to prepare a performance for the award show. We hope there won’t be any speculations or misunderstandings.”
In response, Kang Hee Jung, the head of Mnet, revealed his thoughts towards YG Entertainment’s decision not to have any of their K-pop acts attend 2016 MAMA. His statement does show slivers of possibly being annoyed by YG Entertainment’s decision, but ultimately he respected it.
“Artists usually are considerate of MAMA‘s schedule and date, and during that, we announce the candidates and attendees as we get ready. We do not discuss awards while we talk about who will attend. We try our best to have a fair and great show.
“In regards to YG Entertainment, we expressed our desire for them to attend, and then heard that they could not come because of schedules abroad. We were sad to hear the news… we respect YG’s decision.”
YG Entertainment does have a lot going on this coming month. Both Sechs Kies and Big Bang will be making their K-pop comebacks back-to-back in the same month. Pertaining to the latter, it will be their only comeback for this year since they released MADE in 2015, a year they capped off with a phenomenal performance at 2015 MAMA. Sechs Kies’ comeback is technically a re-release of their past songs.
It is also possible YG Entertainment does not want to partake in 2016 MAMA because the previous venue was when 2NE1 had their last performance. In short, 2015 MAMA has become a bittersweet venue for many Blackjacks who were hoping for the “Queens” to make their K-pop comeback after a hiatus of two years, a comeback they will never have. It is true that YG Entertainment could have their new K-pop girl group Black Pink establish themselves more if they were to perform at 2016 MAMA, but it would have possibly been seen as distasteful right after 2NE1 disbanded.
To be fair though, there have been numerous times other entertainment companies and agencies had to say no to attending MAMA. The 2010 venue is probably the best example to use because, as mentioned earlier, it was the first time the awards ceremony took place outside of South Korea. Ergo, many Hallyu stars and acts were unable to attend including Rain, MBLAQ, 2AM, Beast, T-ara, Davichi, 4minute, Kara, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Wheesung, BoA, After School, Son Dam Bi, Lee Hyori, CNBLUE, G.NA, and Rainbow.
Please also note that YG Entertainment K-pop acts might still attend other end-of-the-year awards ceremonies. They just won’t be a part of 2016 MAMA.
The 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards will take place at the AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong on December 2. This will be the seventh consecutive show to be hosted outside of South Korea. For those who want to watch the awards show as it happens, it will most likely stream on the official website for Mnet just like last year. After that, it is probable a rerun of the entire show will be available to watch on DramaFever, just like how the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards is available to watch there in its entirety.
[Featured Image by YG Entertainment]