Why SM Entertainment & Big Hit Entertainment Apologize for Jungkook and Jaehyun's Dinner in Itaeon
Background of the Issue
BTS’ Jungkook, Astro’s Cha Eunwoo, NCT’s Jaehyun, and Seventeen’s Mingyu went out to eat and have some fun in Itaewon on April 25.
Initially, Big Hit declined to comment because it was their artist’s personal life but eventually, both SM and Big Hit confirmed that their artists went to Itaewon that day and apologized for their artists’ irresponsible act.
Fans are upset because
- Technically, Jungkook didn’t do anything wrong. South Korea is not in a lockdown, establishments are open. They exercised their rights as paying customers. They were hungry. They went out to eat. Nothing wrong with that.
- They went out to eat April 25, which was almost a month ago. Why bring this out now? Yes, there was a 2nd breakout of Covid19 but no one knew about it yet at the time.
- It also took away the attention to the bigger scandal, which is the NTH Room. A website where underage girls are abused and filmed for everyone’s pleasure.
Fans think Dispatch is making a big deal out of it because Jungkook, Cha Eunwoo, Jaehyun, and Mingyu are celebrities.
Well, yes. It’s a big deal because they are celebrities, popular ones at that. Had it been me or my neighbor, no one would give a rat’s ass.
Is it right to give them more attention just because they are celebrities? Well, yes. That’s their profession. They exercise influence over people. They may be ordinary people but they have an extraordinary profession. At this time, we should know this now more than ever, we are more intricately connected than we initially think. The action of one person affects a lot of people. We can’t live thinking only of ourselves. If we do that, we will literally die.
Being a celebrity, along with other professions like attorneys, doctors, teachers, politicians, and others are held to a different standard because of the power they hold. Hence, they are under constant scrutiny.
For some other profession, it’s even worse. We have one doctor in the Philippines, his sex tapes leaked. It was obvious it wasn’t him who leaked and that the sex was consentual. It doesn’t have anything to do with him being a doctor but he still lost his license.
A nurse lashes out on Koreans who went to the park to welcome spring.
A lawyer got drunk, someone posted a photo of him passed out, he lost his license. A teacher used to be a pole dancer… more than 10 years prior to being a teacher. Someone shamed her on social media, she lost her job. There are certain professions from which much is expected.
As Stan Lee said via Spiderman, with great power, comes great responsibility.
Celebrities get constant coverage because they are prominent. They will always be under scrutiny, the same way doctors, lawyers, teachers, and other professions are under constant scrutiny.
Is it right to meddle with their personal lives. No. absolutely not. They should be able to keep their family members away from the spotlight if they want to. They should be able to shop without being followed. They should be able to date when they want to date. They will of course lose fans but that’s a consequence they need to face.
Do these fans have the right to whine and bash them when they date, no. Do these fans have the right to hate their idols dating? It’s their emotions. That’s their business. But I digress.
This incident, Jungkook, Cha Eunwoo, Jaehyun, and Mingyu going out isn’t entirely personal. It happened while we were still in the middle of a pandemic. South Korea is not in a lockdown, yes. Parks, beaches, establishments are open but it doesn’t mean people should swarm to these venues.
When spring started and cherry blossoms started blooming, people went to Han River to enjoy the weather. The government, health workers and other citizens got so upset. There were so many nurses and doctors who literally went off on social media, blasting everyone who went there. By all accounts, everyone who was there wasn't violating anything. After all, South Korea is not in a lockdown and the park was open but it doesn’t mean they should have done what they did.
The ability to do something doesn’t equate to permission.
Celebrities should still be more mindful so they can influence people to do better. That’s why SM and Big Hit apologized. They, more than anyone, know that their artists are held to a different standard.
They help groom these artists to become influential, they know the power these 4 artists have over other people. And this pandemic, more than anything else, should be fought with everyone’s efforts.
While doctors, nurses, and other frontliners are risking their lives to help people get better, while delivery people are risking their lives delivering food, supplies, and other needs to us so we don’t have to leave the safety of our homes, while politicians are expected to use their power to help people, while researchers should use their brains to look for a vaccine, while Millionaires should use their money to donate to efforts to develop a vaccine, while other non-essential workers should stay home and not add to the clutter. Celebrities should use their popularity to try and influence people.
The pandemic is not over Everyone’s effort and cooperation is needed so we can all get over this.
It is obvious some of those criticizing Jungkook are criticizing Jungkook just because they are haters but it doesn’t mean they are entirely wrong. They aren’t entirely right either.
On the other hand, Big Hit already apologized and said that Jungkook submitted himself to a test and is staying home. Enough already. That act in itself is already an example that if an international celebrity like Jungkook could admit to a lapse in judgment, so should more people.