A group of netizens has caused both Jennie (BLACKPINK) and Irene (Red Velvet) to be involved after 4 97-line male idols of Kpop were discovered to have gone to the bar in Itaewon yesterday.
On May 18, the Kpop community was shocked when Dispatch suddenly announced that four Kpop idols born in 1997, Jungkook (BTS), Cha Eunwoo (ASTRO), Jaehyun (NCT), and Mingyu (SEVENTEEN) have gathered at two night clubs in Itaewon when social distancing was encouraged. Later, all four agencies, SM, Big Hit, Pledis Entertainment, and Fantagio had to make an official announcement to confirm the rumor and apologize because their artists have failed to comply with the Government’s measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
This incident once again made many people lose trust in idols because the four names mentioned above are all golden boys of Kpop, many of whom are also famous for their clean images. All 4 fandoms were also in a ‘crisis’ when they have to admit that their idols did wrong and suffered a lot of criticism from netizens.
However, contrary to those who stay silent because they understand that their idol has made a mistake, many other fans have acted against it. Many overly protect their idols, even nitpick others as an excuse for their idols’ actions. This has involved idols from other groups, notably the case of Jennie (BLACKPINK) and Irene (Red Velvet).
Jennie (BLACKPINK) was attacked for attending the Jentle Home event
After the Dispatch news, the 97-line idol group had to receive countless criticism from netizens due to their lack of awareness despite knowing that they are public figures. Not accepting that only their idols were heavily criticized, some fans on Twitter mentioned Jennie’s name and said that the female idol also violated social distancing. The reason is because on May 12, she attended the opening event of The Jentle Home pop up shop to promote the eyewear collection she designed in collaboration with Gentle Monster. These fans ‘accused Jennie of going to an event that had many participants during the outbreak of the pandemic but was not criticized or reported by the media.
Jennie’s fans were furious when many fans of other groups purposely dragged BLACKPINK members into the breaching social distancing incident. In fact, at the time the event took place, the government still allowed some businesses to operate as long as they followed strict regulations to prevent the disease. The attendees were all in a limited number, each time only 5 people entered the store, they had to wear masks and sanitize their hands. Anyone with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees would not be allowed to attend. All these rules were posted publicly on social media for everyone to know.
As for Jennie, the female idol only appeared at this event in less than half an hour. She entered the store and took photos inside, then appeared in front of the press to take a few other photos promoting the event and then quickly left. Attendees reported that Jennie had no close contact with anyone except her manager, and even reporters were required to stand far away to comply with social spacing.
Irene (Red Velvet) was exposed by Knet to hang out at a coffee shop in Itaewon during social distancing
After Jennie, her close friend Irene became the next target of criticism. This time the ‘debunker’ was not an international fan but a K-netizen. On May 18, a post on the Pann forum included a series of photos to prove that the Red Velvet’s leader went to a coffee shop in Itaewon (the area where the male idols were accused of going to a bar) during the time it was necessary to stay at home and follow social distancing.
According to the poster, Irene shared many photos on social media on May 7. This person claimed that these photos were taken at a coffee shop in Itaewon. It was said that if the time when Irene went there coincided with the date those photos were posted, the female idol also failed to comply with distancing and even had to self-quarantine because she had come to an area where the virus was spreading.
In response to this information, Red Velvet fans said that there was no evidence that Irene went to the coffee shop in Itaewon on May 7. Many people said that the female idol has the habit of reposting old photos on Instagram, so these are probably photos taken before the outbreak of new cases in Itaewon.
Moreover, if Irene actually came to the coffee shop, the photos also show that the tables and chairs are arranged very far from each other, completely complying with government measures. Some fans also defended Irene by saying that coffee shops can’t be compared to clubs – which are crowded and social distancing is impossible. Currently, this post has been deleted on Pann after being reported by Red Velvet fans.
Currently, the action of trying to ‘blame’ other idols is being strongly condemned by the Kpop fan community. They think that fans of male idols who have been reported to go to the bar need to restrain themselves and stay silent while their idols are reflecting. The more they try to “drag” irrelevant idols, the more they will affect the image of their favorite groups and start unnecessary ‘fanwars’.