Right now, the internet just exploded regarding Kris filing a lawsuit against SM. There are so many theories surrounding, from different point of view. As a blogger, who enjoys kpop so much, I feel the need to add in my two cents despite my finals are just 3 weeks away.
Make sure you grab a bottle of water or something to eat because this is going to be super long.
Long time ago, which is actually exactly 2 years ago, I wrote an entry about what young people should be considering if they are deciding to be an kpop idol. Kpop idol life is nothing but a road of sweat, blood and tears before they finally hit the mega stardom. Their pay are horrendous. Their working conditions are dreadful. There is no guaranteed success or even debut.
My take on Kris’s case is that he has finally snapped from everything. Here is why.
I’ve been following EXO-M’s schedules for quite some time now and the way SM plans out the schedules is very shocking for me. The boys did a performance in Nanjing and then they had to drive to Shanghai to do a televised interview(performance?) and then they were flown back into Korea. After a few days, the boys were back in China, this time round Beijing, this was around Luhan’s birthday. Then, they went back to Korea, only to go to LA to attend a festival a few days later. This does not end here. All of them were flown out to Shanghai to do a comeback/fanmeet showcase on Mother’s day. Do note that Tao was in high fever when they were performing one show and he said it on camera that he’s fine despite the presenter saying he was running a high fever.
Would you be able to keep up with that kind of schedule? No, I don’t think so. I’m sure the idols are trained hard on days when they don’t have performance schedules.
This is where I felt like SM’s management team is doing poorly in terms of planning. Before EXO made a comeback with ‘Overdose’, SM clearly stated that M will promote in China while K will promote in Korea. My question is, why couldn’t they keep M in China instead of flying them out here and there ever so often when they have said M will promote in China?
Are you getting your head around this? Good. Let’s move on.
I like SM produced bands but there is something unsettling about their management team and this comes from their history of handling their boy bands.
- Super Junior/Hangeng split
- TVXQ/JYJ split
- EXO/Kris lawsuit
I couldn’t help but notice something here. Apart from Super Junior/Hangeng case, all of the groups that split away from SM had a member who was raised abroad. Andy Lee and Eric Mun from Shinhwa spent time abroad to study. Yoochun from TVXQ is the same. Kris is Chinese by race but remember that he is Canadian by nationality.
This is going to be a speculation so please don’t take it to the heart entirely. I have a feeling that the members who decided to split away from the company have issues regarding the terms and conditions (13 years contract, anyone?) and that they are the usually the ones who were raised abroad. So…they have the rebellious spirit when they feel like they are being treated unfairly.
It’s about time that SM, and other management teams, review the way they manage their artists because kpop is gaining attention from the international music scene. It’s not good for the overall image of the company if this kind of lawsuit happens after every few years. Idols are human beings and they need to be provided with favorable working condition as well as a team of staff who is there for their overall well-being.
I do not, and might never, know whether Kris or SM is at fault for this matter, but when the same thing keeps recurring over and over again with different groups, I cannot help but side-eye at the management team because I don’t exactly have to be a genius to recognize a pattern.
Taking all the facts into account, I have decided that I will stand on Kris’s side because he is brave enough to speak up and do something about it rather putting on a perfect facade and hiding away all the pain that happens to behind the lights and screen. Again, I will probably never know why Kris actually decides to leave, whether it’s personal issues or general discontent towards SM, unless he speaks up about it.
Kris’s new of filing the lawsuit has shaken up the Internet. He’s there on twitter, tumblr, weibo, Facebook, pretty much everywhere I have my social media account.
Despite what I hear from other people that Kris is nothing but a useless member, I believe that this shows that he has presence. He has this magnetic pull to him that majority cannot ignore whenever he is on stage. His height, his looks and his language abilities add to the fact that he is a valuable asset to EXO, like every other member. I might be biased towards Kris though. His departure will have a huge hit on EXO as a whole. The whole thing feels like 2PM + TVXQ split which happened years ago.
Some might say Kris is being selfish for causing a chaos like this during their promotion just a few days before their first tour. I think this is a good time for Kris to make an impact on the point he wants to state and draw attention to the matter as a whole. If he had done this after their first tour, it is more likely that his effort will not be in limelight like this and if he is unlucky, he might be secretly thrown away like a piece of tissue paper. Some might say this is backstabbing and biting back the hand that fed you, but let’s think about it, even the most loyal dog will bite back at you if you corner it while beating it continuously. There is a limit to which an individual can take. Once that limit has exceeded, there will be rebounds.
Now that the damage is done and I feel like it’s irreversible at this point, there is not much the fans can do now rather than support who we believe in and watch as the event unfolds. I hope SM could give in this time round and negotiate with Kris on the terms and conditions in his contracts rather than nullifying it. Then again, I am not familiar with legal works so I am not sure whether you can retract your lawsuit at this point now. It hurts to see a band split like that and no band is ever the same after is has split and I speak this from my years of observing kpop fandoms. Everything just feels off when a part of the band breaks away.
[update:] the latest report said that Kris is suffering from myocarditis . If being an idol is just too much to sacrifice for like this, it is definitely not worth it to continue down the path of physical and mental exhaustion.
If you have read everything above and reached here, congratulations and thank you so much for reading my rant/analysis. This is my personal view on the matter. You may have different take on it, which I would like to hear if you are going to be liberal about it.
Kris Wu Yi Fan, have strength! There are a lof of people who are rooting for you.