In light of the Burning Sun controversy that has shaken not just the whole K-Pop fandom, but the entire country of South Korea, people have had different reactions. Naturally, some people jumped in defense of their idols, while others have (for want of a better term) canceled them outright. Fights between the two sides were inevitable, as one side judged the other for the way they’re dealing with the news.
With the outpour of negative comments regarding our favorite idol, the artist we have trusted and looked up to, it’s natural to feel hurt, shocked, and even betrayed. It’s normal that we feel compelled to defend them. After all, they inspired us to be good people. They can’t be bad, right?
However, that just goes to show that we truly don’t know the people we have been inspired by and have looked up to. How does one move on from finding out that their fave isn’t who they presented themselves to be?
How to deal
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to fandom behavior in the face of scandals, such as the gravity of the situation, whether it crosses moral issues, and how the audience feels about it, We also have to realize that thanks to the Internet, fans from different walks of life have varying, or sometimes contrasting, ways of dealing with these things.
When a scandal arises, what fans should do is seek legitimate sources to confirm the truth, instead of jumping to bandwagons, and sometimes poorly-translated news which not only fuels the fire but never helps the situation.
If it’s a dating scandal, it’s best to support your fave, but also recognize that some fans will take time to take it all in. Don’t force anyone to feel something they can’t yet, as all feelings are valid.
On the other hand, if it’s a criminal issue, it’s best that you never support the celebrity, never defend them. It’s okay to feel betrayed or sad, or even angry. Accusations as damaging as those in the Burning Sun issue are sensitive in nature. Although the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a basic human right, we should also consider how the victims would feel when everyone—fellow women, nonetheless—are negating and dismissing their bad experiences blindly for the benefit of the alleged perpetrator.
If as fans we already feel terrible, it won’t compare to what the victims must be going through. Take a moment and think: what if you become the victim and everyone thinks you’re the liar? It would not feel superb, for sure. Try to also consider fans who feel so much disappointment in them, and let them heal through time. If your bias is proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, it’s best to just let them go. Try to also consider fans who feel so much disappointment in them, and let them heal through time.
There are three sides to a story: the alleged suspect’s version, the alleged victim’s version, and the truth. Let the authority’s investigation take its course; let the evidence speak for itself. Swallow the bitter pill if we must.
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It’s not easy to “unlove” someone who has brought us so much happiness, but let’s consider the feelings of the victims who had to undergo such horrible ordeals. They’re the ones who are truly hurt by this whole issue.
If the scandal becomes too much to handle, take a break. Mute, unfollow, and block accounts that spread false information. They just make the situation even worse and do nothing but contribute to the toxicity of our timelines. If it’s too much to handle, logging out of stan Twitter is your best course of action. Have a friend change the password to your accounts if you must. An online detox might help you think clearly about everything. You are free to come back after you’ve thought things through.
If all else fails, it’s perfectly fine if you leave the fandom because of the scandal. It doesn’t make you immature or a fake fan. You just know how to love yourself.
Mindy dela Cruz, Aya Ople, and Irish Valdez all contributed to this article.