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Okay-pop star Karina and Lee Jae-wook: Why has relationship ended following accusations of betrayal by music star’s followers? | Ents & Arts Information

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“Is the like to you by your followers not sufficient? Why did you select to betray the followers? Please apologise instantly. In any other case, you will notice a lower in album gross sales and empty live performance seats.”

This was the message pushed, on an digital signal, to the headquarters of SM Leisure in Seoul, South Korea, in keeping with media experiences within the nation.

Why? The corporate fashioned and manages K-pop band Aespa, of which singer Karina is a member; this was the response after it emerged she was in a relationship with actor Lee Jae-wook.

Lee Jae-wook pictured at Milan trend week earlier this yr. Pic: Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Karina shortly printed a picture of a handwritten word, apologising for disappointing her followers and promising to “heal the injuries”.

Now, simply a few weeks later, their break-up has been introduced. SM Leisure confirmed the break up to Sky Information, however didn’t remark.

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Only some days earlier than this, South Korean actors Han So-hee and Ryu Jun-yeol reportedly introduced their separation, simply two weeks after publicly acknowledging their relationship.

In fact, superstar {couples} break up on a regular basis, and there are music stars from everywhere in the world whose followers can generally take issues too far relating to their love for his or her idols.

In 2022, Harry Styles and his then girlfriend Olivia Wilde addressed “poisonous negativity” directed at her from a small nook of his fanbase. Final yr, Taylor Swift reportedly advised the group at a present in Minneapolis that followers shouldn’t “really feel the necessity to defend me on the web towards somebody you assume I may need written a tune about 14 million years in the past”.

Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour" on Friday, May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
Taylor Swift’s followers are often called ‘Swifties’. Pic: AP Photograph/George Walker IV

However whereas diehard followers can overreact to relationships and splits, within the Okay-pop world there may be additionally controversy across the messaging put out by administration, with companies reportedly eager to advertise their stars, often called idols, as romantically obtainable.

UK Okay-pop professional Felicity Davies, from SOAS (Faculty of Oriental and African Research) College of London, is writing a PhD on the business and its fandoms, and says it is not uncommon to listen to of strict relationship guidelines and even relationship bans inside the business.

She factors out examples of how going public with romantic relationships has labored out for some Okay-pop idols, comparable to Blackpink star Jisoo and actor Ahn Bo-hyun – experiences they had been relationship emerged in August final yr and the break up was introduced in October – and fellow Blackpink star Jennie and Exo boyband member Kai. His bandmate, Chen, is married with youngsters.

“Nevertheless, there does actually appear to be a number of strain on artists to stay as clear lower as doable and to not be caught doing something that would probably be seen as ‘scandalous’, and infrequently relationship has appeared to return beneath this ‘scandalous’ label,” she says. However there is not “one unified method all Okay-pop companies appear to strategy this”, she provides.

Jisoo departs from the Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2024-2025 ready-to-wear collection presented Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Paris. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)
Blackpink star Jisoo was in a relationship with actor Ahn Bo-hyun final yr. Pic: Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP

In 2018, the inventory of document label Dice Leisure dropped a number of factors after two of their artists, Hyuna and E’Daybreak, started relationship. It led to them each being faraway from the company’s roster.

“They quickly signed with P Nation, an company that takes no problem with relationship, and so they had been in a position to proceed with their careers within the music business for a number of years whereas publicly collectively, even releasing duets at instances,” Felicity says. “Totally different companies have totally different approaches.”

The origins of contemporary Okay-pop date again to the Nineties, however maybe the most important turning level for Western audiences got here from the unlikely supply of South Korean rapper Psy and his single Gangnam Model.

Launched in July 2012, by December of that yr it had change into the primary YouTube video to succeed in one billion views.

FILE - BTS arrives at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
BTS are one of many largest Okay-pop acts. Pic: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Since then, the style has advanced and change into a multibillion-dollar business, making worldwide stars of boybands comparable to BTS and woman teams like Blackpink. In 2019, BTS turned the primary ever Korean act to attain a UK primary album, with Map Of The Soul: Persona – which additionally turned their third Billboard primary album in lower than a yr within the US. Additionally they bought out Wembley in 90 minutes.

BTS introduced a hiatus in 2022, with several members now undertaking mandatory military duties, however there are nonetheless loads of acts filling charts around the globe, together with Stray Children, Fifty Fifty and NewJeans.

Final yr, 35 totally different Okay-pop albums entered the Billboard 200, and 5 topped the chart.

The fandoms are enormous – however not all followers have such excessive reactions to romantic relationships.

Regardless of the backlash she has confronted for her relationship with Lee Jae-wook, a lot of Karina’s followers have been supportive.

In actual fact, trying on the response to her Instagram submit, which has obtained greater than 2.6 million likes, the overwhelming majority have referred to as out her have to apologise. “Apologise for loving somebody?” one wrote. “You do not want to do that, you should be blissful.”

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Felicity says that whereas there are nonetheless restrictions, Okay-pop stars have extra freedom now than they did 15 years in the past.

“I do additionally assume that if the ‘anti-dating’ followers proceed to change into extra broadly recognised because the inappropriate exception, and the much less bothered ones the anticipated norm, business restrictions in direction of relationship will proceed to ease much more,” she says. “Hopefully to the purpose the place idols will be capable of date freely with out worry of such destructive reactions.”

However she provides: “Nevertheless, because the scenario with Karina and Lee Jae-wook exhibits, we’re not fairly there but.”

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