On July 20th, journalist Kim Bum Tae covered the controversy surrounding JYJ and KBS on Radio 21’s ‘Lee Ki Ho’s Polyscope‘.
The segment began with an interview of Kim, who has been reporting on JYJ’s case for some time now. Kim stated, “For the ‘N7W‘, JYJ has sung logo songs and created self-produced videos to bring in votes from both Korea and overseas. Not even a day after these were released, the boys brought in hundreds of thousands of views. Jeju Island was in desperate need of international votes compared to the cities it was competing against, and through JYJ’s promotions, the island was able to garner the attention it needed. Under the suggestion of JYJ, both Korean and international fans voted for Jeju Island, bringing in effective help.”
Kim continued, “Fans are currently lodging complaints that they and JYJ’s popularity were used to bring in votes for Jeju Island. Not only KBS, but the entire Korean broadcast industry has become a laughing stock because of this one cancellation.”
On KBS claiming that SNSD and f(x) were more effective, Kim stated, “The decision on bringing in certain artists is at the sole discretion of the broadcast network and the producer. Still, logically, there is a ‘limit’ that shouldn’t be crossed. To tell the singers that worked as honorary ambassadors that their appearance has been canceled randomly one day is not just tyranny but akin to violence.”
The reporter was then asked what ‘So Tam Je Shil’ was, a new word that was created regarding the entire issue. Kim explained, “It stands for, ‘desiring SNSD and losing JYJ.’ Blind to the immediate profits, they lost what was more important and immaturely broke their loyalty.”
On SM Entertainment artists always being added in the place of JYJ, the reporter bravely mentioned that rumors of ‘external pressure’ was circulating within the broadcast industry.
Kim also asked fans to take a bigger interest in such issues by explaining, “Broadcast networks will be more heated in ‘catering to the stars’. There’s a possibility that the influence of the label will rise, and broadcast networks will have to cater to that influence. More than anything, the public and political circles need to take an interest to eradicate such unfair actions in the industry.”
Closing his segment, the reporter said, “I am not defending JYJ or pleading in their defense. What I’m saying is that we need to take a listen to the voices of those that are being sacrificed under unjust practices in unjust environments, whether they’re celebrities or laborers.”
The reporter went on to introduce a tweet that a foreign fan had said, “It’s upsetting that Korean broadcast networks still don’t have an open heart. Do they not know that JYJ’s activities are all for the benefit of Korea?” He responded to the tweet by warmly replying, “There are more people quietly resisting, supporting, watching over, and supporting JYJ than what they know, see, and hear.”
JYJ is currently preparing for a new album release as well as another tour in the second half of 2011. The department head of Prain, Lee Jae Eun, revealed, “They’re a worldwide group with a large scale, so we’re looking at the overall picture for the second half. It hasn’t been that long since they completed their world tour so we were going to have a moment of rest, but there are a lot of love calls from Europe and the Americas being received. As such, we will be going straight back into preparations.”
Lee continued, “JYJ has a special emotional attachment to their fans and are proud of their fans than anyone else. With everything they say, they always refer to their fans as ‘our fans’ and I think that with every obstacle they overcome together, that bond grows stronger than ever. We’re glad that they have fans that love their music and their dreams, and we hope that they aren’t too upset with this issue.”
Lee concluded, “Not only their fans, but the citizens of Jeju Island and the public have all lent their support after this issue erupted. There’s a side where I’m grateful because it raised awareness about the injustice JYJ is fighting against. This issue has nothing to do with JYJ’s efforts in promoting Jeju, and as world stars, they will be doing their best to let the world know about Korea’s beautiful island.”