If you follow KPOP, you are familiar with Amber from the group f(x). She has been a star in KPOP for a few years. She is noted not just for her voice, but her look and for being one of the few non Koreans to make it in KPOP. She recently set off some buzz with a cryptic post online leading many people to think that is very angry about how she has been treated and that she is ready to leave SM Entertainment, and possibly causing the breakup of f(x). Others have been reported to be upset with the entertainment giant as well, with some acts recently leaving the company. But what causes some in KPOP to get angry and fed up with their situations? And what can be done about this in the future?
Conditions in KPOP
While the life of a KPOP star may seem glamorous, often times it is anything but glamorous. Some have said that many groups are forced to live in dorms, are told who they shouldn’t date and have little to no free time. Even though they are tired, many have reportedly been shuttled from one show to another in a robotic fashion to try and make as much money as possible. This attitude has even caused some performers to drop out of high school to make more money. Even scarier are accusations that female groups are starved to maintain a thin appearance or that young women, even underaged at times, are allegedly told that they need to perform sexual favors in order to get into a group or to keep their place there.
Because there is always someone looking to get into KPOP, there is always someone to take your place. If you don’t want to do the work, someone else will. It is a sad reality of life to many in the industry. The pressure to perform is said to be so intense that some stars of Korean dramas have gone as far as to return to the set of their drama while still being bruised from serious car accidents. This has caused some who have been in the entertainment industry in Korea to leave it, and the fame and fortune it brings behind for good.
What Can Be Done?
It’s hard to say exactly what can be done when it is so easy to replace someone with someone younger and “hungrier” than the person who is leaving. But if these conditions are true, more and more stars have to speak out about it. The more the public knows about these issues, the more that can be done to help people. Television stars may have the hardest time trying to make changes since they need major backing more than a singer would. Thanks to the internet and social media, a singer can make a hit and create a following more easily than an actor could. But people would have to be willing to support independent artist in their quest to make a name for themselves outside of the giant industry scene. If this becomes more of a viable way get quality Korean entertainment, than this will give artist more of a chance to make it under better conditions.
At the end of the day, only Amber really knows what her post was about. And time will tell if she is ready to leave f(x), SM Entertainment, and possibly KPOP behind all together. No matter how things play out, one can only hope for Amber’ happiness, as well as the happiness of all involved in KPOP. If we find out that some companies are treating people unfairly or inhumanly, one must be prepared to stop supporting that form of entertainment. While I wish the horrible allegations that have surfaced about the entertainment industry in Korea are false, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are true. Maybe one day we will get to truth of what goes on in KPOP. But until then, all we can do is hope for the best and for the truth to be revealed.
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