Soompi recently named the top seven most shocking scandals of the year, and as if to speak to how boring Asian entertainment news can be in comparison to other regions, it mainly consisted of celebrities announcing that they are dating.
One thing that caught the eye of many though was the last entry on the list, which was the Anti-Hallyu Wave movement in Japan.
7) Japanese Anti-Hallyu Wave
In July, Japanese actor Sousuke Takaoka’s anti-Hallyu comments sparked a huge controversy that fueled an anti-Korean Wave movement in Japan. On July 23, Takaoka wrote on his Twitter account, “I don’t really watch channel 8 (Fuji TV) anymore. It sometimes makes me wonder if it’s rather a Korean channel. Japanese people want traditional Japanese programs” Later he added, “It feels like Korean programs brainwash you, and it really makes me feel bad. Broadcasters need to realize its negative effect,” which later resulted in him losing his contract with his management agency.
After this news spread online, the “closet anti-Hallyu” Japanese fans came out in public and held protests at the Fuji TV headquarters. Fuji TV is known for showing lots of Korean TV programs, and some accuse them of having a pro-Korean voice. The Japanese protestors claimed it’s not the Korean content or pop culture they’re against – it’s the Fuji TV’s biased broadcasting style. However, this whole movement caught fire and later grew into other forms of protests, as some Japanese fans even attacked Kim Tae Hee’s appearance on Fuji TV drama, “99 Days with a Star.”
The whole anti-Hallyu movement caused more controversy when it took a turn and started accusing 2NE1 of being anti-Japanese. Their argument? 2NE1’s “Hate You” music video, which is made in animation, allegedly depicted Japan in a negative way. The exploding nuclear reactor is supposed to mean the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that was made inactive after the tsunami attacks in March, and the red dot on the giant evil monster is to portray the Japanese flag. The accusations seemed to stem from a Korean fan’s poster during a soccer match between Korean and Japanese professional teams that said, “We celebrate the earthquake in eastern Japan.” The poster is indeed despicable, but to accuse Korean celebrities anti-Japan on the basis of that seems to be a bit of a reach. K-Pop is a form of art and it should work as a channel to improve the two countries’ relationship—and that’s exactly what all these K-Pop artists are trying to promote through their activities in Japan. Stop the hate, just appreciate!
My problem with this characterization of the situation is three fold.
1) The coverage of the controversy is far from a complete picture. I actually managed to cover (and mock) almost every step of this drama and it was quite apparent that there was rampant stupidity on both sides, which shouldn’t shock anybody who keeps up with moronic netizens (here, here, here).
2) The fact that three K-pop idol groups are mainstream successes in Japan (Kara/SNSD/TVXQ) and that Korean dramas/films are of immense popularity should be ample evidence that the psychopaths out protesting are just that: an insane minority. The ironic twist in all of this is that had the opposite been happening (Japanese idols coming to Korea in an attempt to spread culture) the backlash would be worse.
3) Netizens always do insane shit, it isn’t controversial to have a small faction lead some protest nobody cares about. Whether it’s Japanese, Korean, or international netizens, it doesn’t matter because it’s all the same. Besides, Asians protest about every goddamn thing. For the most part, you’re increasingly likely to find the insane people out there because they’re the ones most likely to try and take over.
Point being, it’s a story mostly trumped up because of Korea/Japan political relations, but in terms of netizens doing or saying stupid/insane shit, it’s pretty standard. In fact, a Soompi editorial basically pointed that out as well.
As I said before, it’s crystal clear that the Japanese netizens involved in the protesting are fucking morons, but to only paint the issue as a one sided problem does no favors to anybody with a vested interest in the Hallyu Wave. In fact, it’s slanted coverage like this which ironically provides the fuel and justification for many Anti-Hallyu Wave netizens to begin with.
Something to think about as you watch media outlets basically spread propaganda.