Talk of the Town: JYJ’s Uphill Battle


Over the past week, a series of statements were made to condemn KBS’s decision to ditch JYJ from a special concert program made in support of Jeju Island’s bid to be named one of the “new seven wonders of nature.”

First, JYJ’s agency C-JeS Entertainment made an official statement on July 17th saying they would file a complaint to the Fair Trade Commission and take appropriate legal procedures over the issue, which was described as: “a fraudulent act where the artist (JYJ) was used as an ambassador under the agreement of appearing on the special TV show, only to get forcefully withdrawn without prior notice.”

JYJ, comprised of three former members of DBSK, was originally cast to perform in last Wednesday’s concert held in support of Jeju Island’s bid. But four days prior to the event, they were scratched off from the show for unclear reasons. The group was later replaced by f(x) and SNSD, artists managed by JYJ’s former agency, SM Entertainment.

Despite the initial statement, however, there were no responses from either the broadcaster or SME, which has resulted in overseas fans unleashing their anger at KBS and the entire country. In a joint statement released by an alliance of 16 overseas fan clubs on July 20th, it said, “JYJ’s cancellation has caused fan disappointment, monetary losses in flight and hotel costs, and more than anything, tarnished the entire image of Korea’s positive image…This is not a problem only pertaining to KBS and Jeju Island, but rather across the whole Korean pop culture industry.”

Again, neither party responded, and C-JeS, feeling frustrated and helpless, made their final statement on July 22nd. Describing JYJ as “a flower blossoming in the bitter cold winter,” the agency said, “Illegal actions and ridiculous claims aimed at hindering JYJ’s activities continue to arise…We will put together all the recent controversies, including the current one, as evidence for future lawsuits.”

Still yet we haven’t seen any statement or apology from either party. And it looks as though less Korean press are paying attention to this problem. It’s increasingly becoming a one-sided battle for JYJ, as this is not the first time we’ve seen the group being mistreated by some of the main broadcasters. The group has rarely appeared on TV for their musical performances (aside from their individual acting careers), and without a powerhouse agency to support them, JYJ looks to be in a tough spot for the foreseeable future.

So what are your thoughts? How should JYJ respond to this issue? Should they spend more time on acting (since at least that seems to be working)? Or should they continue with their album releases and world tours, since they still have a huge and loyal fan base? What is the best solution?