In East Asia, particularly Japan and South Korea, the entertainment industry can appear to outsiders, especially westerners, to be operating under an atmosphere of restriction. This is perhaps no more visible anywhere than in South Korea, whose star-making process, particularly with pop boy and girl groups, can be compared to an assembly plant. Furthermore, the talents that come out of the “packaging process” as ready entertainers remain shackled by a vast number of regulations, as they are presented to the public without any hints of private personal lives. Those who break the rules can get slammed hard, like this case.
CNN reports that a K-Pop boy band, N.Flying, has had to let go of one of its members due to his being embroiled in online accusations of sexual misconduct with their fandom. A statement released Wednesday, December 19, by N.Flying’s management FNC Entertainment relates that Kwon Kwang-jin, better known by only his first name (Kwangjin), has made a “voluntary exit” from his group. The crux of the matter was an upsurge of allegations in Korean social media that Kwangjin was engaged in questionable behavior with fans, some of which who became his detractors launching a Twitter hashtag that means, in English, “#Leave the band, Kwangjin”.
An elaboration by FNC Entertainment however reveals that while they have met with some of the fans who have complained about Kwangjin’s indiscretions, they are skeptical of claims that he has been involved in dating scandals or outright sexual harassment with the fans. On the other hand, they have confirmed that the embattled N.Flying member has initiated meet-ups with fans of the K-Pop group that were not approved or monitored by FNC Entertainment. Such actions are a big no-no in Korean show business, with no possible reason acceptable for such a breach of talent contract.
“Until we are able to discover the full truth regarding the ongoing rumors, Kwangjin will halt all broadcast and promotional activities and partake in a time of reflection,” the company’s statement concluded, with the added notice that while they have rendered the errant N.Flying member inactive, if FNC can also prove conclusively that the online accusations against him are proven to be malicious slander, then they will take “strict legal action” against the parties involved.
Image from Japan Daily Sun