South Korea’s World Cup football team recently returned home to a sea of fans at the airport some of who threw toffee at them for failing to progress in the competition. “Go eat a toffee” in Korean can mean “get lost” or worse.
It got us thinking about some of the more unsavoury fan reactions in Asian pop we’ve seen over the years, by some fans, when passion crosses over into anger and hate.
Why does it happen? We would like to hear from you.
If you’re part of a fandom let us know what you think about hurtful fan reactions and why some fans behave the way they do when they are supposed to be supporting their favourite artist or group.
Here are some of the worst reactions from Asian pop fans:
The SNSD Black Ocean: In 2008, not long after their debut, Girls’ Generation (SNSD) performed at one of k-pop’s biggest annual concerts “Dream Concert” and experienced a 10 minute “black ocean” where a majority of the fans turned off their fan lights. Read about the details here.
EXO "sasaeng" fans (overly obsessive fans) at Baekhyun’s brother’s (Byun Baek Beom's) wedding forced their way into the venue and made a complete mess of the ceremony.
EXO’s Baekhyun was called a "Traitor, traitor, traitor,” by some fans on SBS's 'Inkigayo' after it was revealed he was dating Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon. She also felt she had to apologise to fans after the pressure mounted on the both of them when it was discovered they were sharing secret coded messages on instagram (which is super cute btw). You can read her apology here.
SHINee's Jonghyun cried openly at a fan meeting back in 2011 after Taiwanese fans rallied to support him. His then girlfriend actress Shin se Kyung and he had been receiving hate messages from anti-fans and he was incredibly moved by the final show of support.
Nichkhun and Tiffany also received a lot of hate after it was revealed they were dating, not only from antifan groups, but by fans who had previously shipped Nichkhun with Victoria. Read the full story here.
Former Fahrenheit member Wu Chun made fans’ jaws drop when it was revealed he had been secretly married since 2009 (to his high school sweetheart), had a 3 year old daughter and son on the way. Fans were less than impressed on social media.
At a press conference in October in 2013, Wu Chun admitted, “I am willing to take on the criticism from the media. At the time, I was questioned too suddenly and I didn’t know how to respond. I also want to apologise to my manager and company, because they didn’t know about it either.” He then bowed and apologised several times for having hidden the truth.
You can imagine how hard it must be to find the right time to tell fans.
But of course, there are a lot of positive fan reaction stories too...
Many fans came out to support AKB48's Minami Minegishi in 2013 when she posted a video apology of herself with a shaved head after it was discovered she had spent the night with her boyfriend, Generations' member Alan Shirahama.
CNN present a good overview of the story:
So PopAsians, having heard all these stories, what do you think about fans reacting angrily or not supporting their favourite Asian pop stars when they need them most?