JYJ Fans Stand up against the Tyranny of Management Companies
After the suspension of group JYJ’s contract, they remain blocked from appearing on broadcasts… Appeals [by fans] to “let them resume their normal activities”
» An Internet broadcasting station that allows JYJ fans to meet the three members originating from idol group Dong Bang Shin Ki, ilovejyj (ilovejyj.com) was launched on the 3rd (top picture). ‘JYJ Fan Union’ set up advertisements voicing support on the 7th in metro stations, such as Apgujeong and Hongik University.
Opening an Internet station…submitting a petition to the court…even public advertisements
On the third of this month, the ‘ilovejyj (ilovejyj.com)’ Internet broadcasting station opened its doors. On the hour of its inaugural broadcast, 8pm, the server crashed due to sudden increase of viewers trying to access the site. JYJ fans had eagerly rushed in all at once. Consequently, the first broadcast was pushed back a day with continuing broadcasts on the 5th and 6th.
The reason why this Internet station is the centre of attention is because it represents an attempt by fans to circumvent the tyranny of the big-scale entertainment management companies that are deliberately blocking JYJ’s media appearances via an alternative route to connect the singers to the public. All the resources and manpower needed to open this project was gathered through the ‘donations’ of fans. Some 70 fans participated in the productions through their ‘talent donations’ and divided themselves into a writing team of 13 people, an imaging team of 3 people, a webpage design team of 7 people, a sound team of 3 people, and a Chinese-Japanese translation team of 7 people.
JYJ is the team made up of Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu, who were once active in the idol group ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki’. These three filed a lawsuit against their management company, SM Entertainment, requesting the invalidation of their exclusive contract with the company, revealing their 13-year lifetime contract and the unfair profit distributions that saw them receiving a paltry 0.4~1% of their entire album sales.
JYJ have been walking a thorny path ever since. They released their first full-length album, ‘The Beginning’, in October of last year but have been unable to show their face on mainstream television. One producer of a variety programme on a mainstream channel confessed, “Because our relations with the big entertainment companies might become uncomfortable, we variety show producers are unable to even to think of inviting JYJ.”
Even given the efforts of fans to get JYJ back on public broadcasts, the circumstances aren’t good. On February 21st, the Seoul Central District Court civil cases department 51 (Judge Kim Daewoong) declared, “SM Entertainment shall not interfere with the entertainment activities of JYJ” and “each time this order is violated, [SM] shall pay a penalty of 20,000,000 won (roughly 20,000 USD) for each offense” in an official compulsory injunctive order, but nothing has changed. A cable channel, which was slated to broadcast a ‘JYJ reality programme’ in the middle of February, ended up unilaterally cancelling it.
Running the Internet station is also proving to be anything but smooth. On the 5th, when Grand National Party Member of Parliament Jeon Yeoh-ok appeared to give a congratulatory message, fans started saying, “this will damage JYJ’s image” and sharply criticised it. The administrators of the Internet station issued an apology on the 8th and has currently suspended its operations.
However, the pressure to get JYJ on to public mainstream broadcast is mounting as time passes. On February 28th, 86,418 foreign fans of JYJ submitted to the Seoul Central District Court a ‘petition for the recognition of JYJ’s legal rights.’ ‘JYJ Fan Union’ has put up ads in 21 stations of the Seoul metro, such as Apgujeong and Hongik University, with the words “JYJ, we support your youth” and “Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun, Kim Junsu, ride the express train to mainstream TV.”
Hankyoreh reporter Lim Jisun
Translation by: Jimmie of TheJYJFiles
Shared by: TheJYJFiles
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