Recently, Kwak Do-won (left) was accused of drunk driving, and Park Min-young drew attention to her dating rumors. Both show how vital the official positions of their agencies are.
Not many celebrities can continue their activities without a single controversy or negative rumor. Most celebrities’ responses to disputes are through the official position of their agency. The company will step up on behalf of the star by expressing the star’s position on their wrongdoing or explaining the unfairness they are facing.
Of course, agency responses are not always the same. Some companies finished grasping the situation and clarified their position in less than half a day after the controversy broke out, while some remained silent despite the long waiting time. Some agencies explain why they do not immediately reveal their official position, which usually is that the artist is recording/filming or cannot be contacted at the moment.
The official position announcement solves the public’s curiosity about the whole story of the incident or delivers an apology from the celebrity who caused the problem. If the announcement is too late, fans will stomp their feet. This is not only because it is difficult to know the truth until the main character reveals it through their agency, but also because the public will unfairly criticize the celebrity for false rumors that spread before the official announcement.
The content of the official position announcement is also as important as the timing. The agency might deliver the star’s words and the company’s position, or might only briefly explain that the artist is reflecting on themselves. In the latter case, the public often reacts in discontent. Recently, an official position from the agency of an actor, who had been embroiled in a controversy, was shared online. The agency only explained that he felt responsible without a direct apology from the person concerned. Regarding the statement, netizens showed their disappointment, saying, “I see no direct apology from him,” “This is only an official position of his agency, while the artist’s apology is still nowhere to be seen.“
How to deal with a controversy after it breaks out also greatly influences the public’s perception of stars. Pop culture critic Jung Deok-hyun said, “The agency’s response method greatly affects the image of a star. They need to deal with problems quickly. It is not desirable for management companies to respond by losing contact.” He added that it is better for the people directly involved to make their position clear to the public that they are reflecting. Critic Jung shared, “Some stars apologize by handwriting letters, while others don’t want to step up. The public feels more sincere when the people directly involved apologize in person.“
There is no one who never makes mistakes. However, it is difficult to see acts that involve one’s will, such as drunk driving and drug use, as simple mistakes. However, if it is not this kind of wrongdoing, it is right for the people directly involved to honestly express their remorse and ask for public forgiveness. The agencies should also support the stars who decided to step up without hiding. This is the best way to reduce image damage when a controversy arises.