Saturday, 24 January 2015

Supply and Demand - SM Entertainment, EXO and the fans

This past week I've been seriously thinking about not following EXO anymore because it absolutely tears my heart to shreds practically every time I see them sick and skinny and seeing that Jongin's practically an old man or a rag doll with all his injuries and Tao's body is just totally abused (by himself!) Who would want to see their babies like that?

It was about a week ago that the news came out that EXO was going to have a second tour and I found out this information literally seconds after it came out, luckily. Pretty much, right then, I witnessed so much of my fellow EXO-Ls being really excited about this news and I was so taken aback. I then went on a rage rant on twitter. My stance on this was and still is that EXO should not be going on another tour, reason being that it is sooo unnecessary as they already toured Asia and probably won't be visiting any places that are very different from where they went to before; almost all of them are either severely sick or severely injured, why do something as strenuous as a tour in that state? They need a break. And then I thought about the bigger problems that underly EXO having a second tour even though they just came off their last one that was 7 months long and resulted in two members leaving EXO and filing lawsuits on their company (yes, if that was not the direct reason, it was certainly the catalyst for their departure), SM Entertainment and the "fans" being excited about this second concert.
But who is at fault here? SM? Korean culture? The fans? EXO, themselves? Before you go on thinking that this is going to be a rant about how SM are monsters and they're treating their artists like machines. Stop, because that couldn't be further from the truth.
Let's stop looking at it that way and look at the bigger picture here.

Some international fans that blame SM for world hunger need to understand something that is a big part of Korean culture. A few decades ago, Korea was nowhere near as developed as it is today and it's because of it's hard working people that it has become what it is. The people work very hard in everything they do. They study hard, they stay in work even when it's time for them to go because their boss is still working. There are workers that live on the Samsung site. People work through sickness, they work for the greater good, for the team. This brings me to my point: SM Entertainment is not a person. It doesn't have a face. It doesn't have a face to save. It is a company. They are a massive business. They don't need to protect  their products health and well being if they can put them on a stage somewhere or put them in a chair somewhere or put them in a recording room somewhere and still make lots of money from them. They can leave out all the humane stuff because they are a company and their sole purpose after a near 10 years of doing this is to make money. It is natural of them as a business (especially in Korea) to work the idols down to the grind. They should not be blamed for doing this, they are company that has found a certain way of doing things like a lot of companies have. They can't change because like I said, they have no face. However, there are humans on the receiving end of things though; the consumer who can make a difference.
This supply and demand is what feeds the machine, the monster of SM. If fans calm down about wanting so much from EXO or any other idol group in a similar situation (SHINee) then there would be less demand and obviously the idols wouldn't have to be driven by such a force. The force is the fans that demand concerts. "Come to my country! You won't regret it." "Give them another variety show!" "They better be at this music festival!" "Hurry up with that album!" "Comeback 주세요!!"

Stop asking when SM will get their shit together. They never will. They've been doing this for so long and they haven't changed, in fact they've gotten a lot worse and as time goes on they will get more and more inhumane. Start asking when the fans will get their shit together. Because that's where there is a chance of change.

When will we actually care for our idols like we're supposed to.

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