SM Entertainment Announces Plans For Strong Legal Action Against Sasaengs
SM Entertainment will be taking strict action against sasaengs (those who stalk or severely invade the privacy of public figures).
On July 16, the agency released the following statement:
This is SM Entertainment.
As there have been continuous illegal actions including severe invasion of privacy and defamation of our artists, this is the company’s statement regarding the matter.
We have been taking strong action against acts of defamation or insult, such as malicious slander and writing or spreading malicious rumors, about our artists online on portal websites, social media, online communities, etc. by filing criminal complaints through the cooperation of fans and internal monitoring.
We will also no longer overlook excessive invasion of our artists’ privacy from sasaengs and plan on taking strict action.
The reckless stalking of sasaengs, such as using sasaeng taxis to continuously follow artists for a long time or follow artists to and from their military service sites, finding out their locations of residence and trespassing indoors or the parking lot, or sending packages in a way that the sender cannot be identified, has been causing severe mental and physical harm to not only the artists but also those around them such as their families, acquaintances, and neighbors. These actions are not affectionate expressions of fans but are illegal acts that invade privacy and are definite criminal acts. A prison sentence can also be received as criminal punishment now following the recently enacted Act on Punishment, etc. of Stalking Crimes.
In order to protect our agency’s artists, we will let go of the lenient attitude we have held towards sasaengs until now and will take firm and strict legal action without leniency or settlement. We have already secured a considerable amount of related evidence including CCTV and car black box footage, photos and videos that have been taken, phone call records, postal mail, emails, etc. We will continue to secure more related evidence, and we will not only file criminal complaints but also take all possible civil and criminal action such as filing claims for psychological and monetary damages.
We hope sasaengs will immediately halt actions that violate the privacy of artists and take extra caution to not disadvantage themselves as a result of their misconduct.