Well, you know we have no love whatsoever for SM Entertainment. We abhor the company (emphasis on company, because we do like some of the artists). 2014 has been, probably, the best example at how utterly crap SME is at managing their artists, whether it’s good news or not. Starting with financial misdeeds and ending with Jessica, SME has been a hotbed of “how much can we screw up.”
First, there were all the dating revelations. Okay, this is actually a good thing. YAY, artists are (publicly) dating!! Four members of SNSD were revealed to have been dating for at least four months:
- Tiffany (with 2PM’s Nichkhun)
- Yoona (with fanboy actor, Lee Seung-gi)
- Taeyeon (with fanboy EXO member, Baekhyun)
- Sooyoung (with actor, Jung Kyung-ho).
The relationship between f(x)’s Sulli and Dynamic Duo’s Choiza was also finally confirmed. Lastly, Super Junior’s Sungmin was revealed to be dating musical actress, Kim Sa-eun. These relationship statuses are all good news, we are both so happy for all of them and wish them the best.
In general, most of these relationships were met with little surprise or uproar. The biggest crap-storm came from the Taeyeon-Baekhyun news. It followed right on the heels of Kris’ lawsuit, so people were already in a bad mood. It was almost as if the news was released to distract people from what was really going on. (This is honestly true of most of the dating revelations, since they came out when bad things were happening with the company). I will place the blame concerning BaekYeon firmly on the shoulders of crazy fans that seem to think that an artist is not a human person, but a doll/robot with no feelings or private lives. They really came off as a bunch of self-entitled, selfish brats with their claims of betrayal (BaekYeon’s Instagram accounts were only for fans, and not to send secret messages between the pair *rolls eyes*). It does seem that the intense disgust has died down, and that is great. Let the two enjoy themselves.
The Sulli situation was special. People had believed her and Choiza to be dating for a very long time. So, news of this wasn’t all that surprising. However, the backlash was amplified by news of her going on an indefinite hiatus from f(x) in the middle of promotions. Sulli has been dogged by accusations of ambivalence and inconsequentiality when it came to the group. She wasn’t that great of a singer, dancer, or performer, and seemed to half-way do things on stage. The fact that her sudden hiatus disrupted the group’s promotions was irritating. They couldn’t wait till after the promotions were done? SME essentially showed their favoritism toward her and her wants. I mean, EXO’s Luhan only got to take a break after falling so ill he couldn’t actually go on stage. (though you have to wonder how long SM pushed for her to basically throw down an ultimatum that end up in halted group activities. I don’t believe that she hasn’t been asking for a break for a while and SM just conveniently ignored her. Look at where that got them, such care they show their artists)
(Let me note that we understand that, sometimes, a person needs a break from their job, and they should get one. We’ve talked about our intense disgust with the inhumane treatment of artists.)
To add insult to injury, the next thing we know, SME is pushing out a girl group, Red Velvet. This was relatively terrible. Their MV was called out for being insensitive, offensive, and insulting. Not to mention looking cheap. Then, the issues regarding the name of the group also popped up. The song wasn’t that great either and made little sense. The whole situation reeked of a cover-up and deflection, which angered f(x) fans. Of course, this is SME, so people will still buy their crap and Red Velvet recovered well enough that not everyone hates them and they can keep on as a group. (Big company biases annoy me, why can’t they judge a song, if it’s to their tastes or not, instead of automatically rooting for a group just because they come from one of the Big 3?)
There was also the Kris lawsuit. He filed suit to nullify his contract, citing various reasons, including health concerns. We’re Team Kris here. Yes, him leaving the group is upsetting and we feel sympathy for EXO, but let’s be honest, the group’s reaction to the situation minimized those sympathetic feels. And while he could have tried for better timing, realistically, that was not forthcoming anytime soon if you look at EXO’s schedules. Kris got thrown under the bus (typical SM style), PR-wise, and there are still fans who hate the guy. All he wanted was for SME to live up to their promises: he could act if he joined EXO. SME just rather suck up to certain members, like Luhan, Tao, Xiumin, and D.O. (We have nothing against these guys. We like them.) But that is SME’s M.O: play favorites then get pissed when called out on their BS.
Kris has, of course, moved on rather well. He’s landed acting and modeling gigs, and even released a hit song for a movie. Good job, Wu Yi Fan. We aren’t so biased and delusion to not recognize that he does benefit from his position as a former member of EXO. That’s how he got his name out. But, his hard work is being rewarded.
And the final load of crap from SME this year is the booting of Jessica from SNSD. Jessica is by far one of the more popular members, so this is quite a blow. Unlike Kris, JYJ, and Hangeng, Sica actually wanted to stay. However, she was unceremoniously ousted from the group. This is after she had resigned with SME for three years to continue to be part of SNSD. That’s a major slap to her face. This group of girl have been friends for 15 years, since trainee days, and have been SNSD for over 7. She is now the outcast who will walk the SME halls alone (though, Krystal will hopefully walk with her). You know SME is not going to reward or help her – they are vindictive jerks like that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them begin to attack her character or even the members (PR Reps) doing so. What’s worse is that while she has been ousted from SNSD and cannot do anymore activities with the rest of the girls, SME can and will still keep earning money off of her name. That is mental, in my opinion. Oh, and UNFAIR.
SM’s motto seems to be along the lines of “if you are not with me, you are against me”, but more twisted, “if you can’t be mine to control and gain from, I’m throwing you under the bus and making my own truths.” And that is particularly true for any of their (ex)artists that have tried to gain control over their activities and lives.
Allegations are that the ouster was due to her interest in going to design school in the US, her launching of her brand, Blanc, and her rumored intentions to marry Forehead…I mean Tyler Kwon (the latter which have now been dispelled by Mr.Kwon himself) . At the very least, it looks like SME has gotten in the way of the solo pursuits of their artists. Is it really that bad of thing to let your artists pursue things outside the scope of the group? After all, they are free to date, open coffee shops, etc. SME let other members miss group events for their acting/endorsement pursuits, so why not Sica? The smell of unfair play is overpowering.
Confusingly, Jessica -before starting anything- sat down with the higher-ups and asked them and made sure that her starting her line and all else would not intrude in the group’s activities nor take her away from SNSD. She got the green light from SME. She also checked with the girls. And now all of the sudden, the girls got, what, jealous? She’s been doing activities and time managing for more than 7 years, and there is no evidence that this was taking her away from SNSD promotions. Their reasoning, and how they could do this to their group member or friend that they consider their sister, is mind-boggling.
Even if the SNSD brand isn’t attached to Jessica’s fashion line, her name is still associated with the group. People who buy her stuff are likely SNSD fans, anyway. Those that aren’t, but take an interest in her, may eventually be led to the group as well. While SME might not directly be benefiting from the line, they could further down the line. A dollar is a dollar.
To do this to arguably the biggest group within SME, and one of the biggest exports for K-pop period, is utter tomfoolery. The stock drop was a good indicator of how stupid SME was for doing this. They need to get their crap together.
Also, if any artist is in a loving relationship and wants to marry, we wish them luck and happiness. Love is a beautiful thing and should be celebrated.
We will update when SME inevitably screws up crap again. You know it’s going to come. Perhaps those underhanded financial dealings will be shown to be true or something.