A: The things circulating around this awards show.
P: Where to even begin with this…? The day started off so well. The boys were so excited as were all of us for their 5th anniversary and I think we were all trying to make peace with the fact that Yixing couldn’t be there physically (though he certainly was in spirit)….and then this happened…
A: Ok, EXO usually performs near the end of awards shows because they shut it down and turn the damn thing into a full on EXO concert. So by now we’re used to that but the way they made them wait this time was ridiculous. And then they change the number of songs in the set last minute, unprofessional. But that’s just the beginning. The entire exchange is caught on video by multiple fans from different angles. You can see Suho trying to calm himself and make his case even though he’s clearly frustrated and stressed by the news. What really pissed me off was the way they dismissed him. You don’t put your hands on people. Especially not twice. The man shoved him a bit the first time then when Suho was moving to sit down he pushed him. That was uncalled for. You don’t shove someone and you don’t give them this kind of information last minute. This is something you tell people ahead of time. They didn’t have time to rework the performance. What if they hadn’t been able to go smoothly through the transitions that they needed for the set? Grant it, they made it work but you need to know these things in advance to prepare accordingly.
P: Ex’actly. And then what was the point of showing Yixing’s acceptance speech (again congratulations Xing bby for your awards of Best Male Artist and Album of the Year!! 🎉🎉) if he was just going to be interrupted? Why give an award this year randomly which simply could have been mailed last year (Baekhyun was awarded his Most Popular Artist 2016 Award backstage) and if you still intended to give it…then why was it awarded like that?
A: And don’t even get us started on the Popularity Award. First of all, why the hell do I need to spend money just to vote?!?!?! Where is all that money going?!?!?!? But to watch the live feed of the votes coming in you could see that something wasn’t right in the last few minutes leading up to the award being presented. And AllKPop can go straight to hell with that bullshit article about EXO-Ls being mad at ATF for winning the award. No, boo boo the fool we’re mad an YinYueTai. Get your facts straight before you’re faced with a defamation suit. Trust me, I’m petty enough to file one.
P: Just complete foolishness. Knowing EXO-L’s a lot of money was spent trying to put EXO in a good position to succeed…we certainly (many of us anyway) are at the maturity level where we accept the reality that EXO will not win everything. But you asked people to pay for votes and then suddenly things don’t match and not only that…but the general lack of professionalism otherwise? I realize that things happen and even with rehearsal that mistakes are made…but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I don’t understand and I’m trying to understand it.
A: That’s the thing. Why does questioning these actions result in people calling the fans immature, entitled, butt hurt, etc.? We just want to know how and why these things happened. It was their 5th Anniversary in a place they (and all other K-Pop artists) have been banned from and were finally able to be around a part of their fanbase that they had missed. Honestly, they were there for the CEXO-Ls. That was the only time they could see them and the awards show used them for ratings and ticket sales and mistreated them the whole night. For what reason though? Why?
P: This is why we all need to be tuned into current events to understand what is happening in our greater world. China has been steadfast in their ban of the Korean entertainment industry and does not seem to be concerned with the money we all observe them losing as a result of it. This THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) issue is bigger than the collaboration of countries and artists we all tuned into Yin Yue Tai to celebrate. There were other groups representing their respective companies who were in attendance that evening as well so we understand that EXO wasn’t the only group there. And I really don’t want to insinuate that a point was trying to be made with EXO specifically because again other companies are also being affected by this ban (please bear with me. I realize that many of these details and points below appear unrelated or perhaps beyond the points that we are discussing of this post but I provide these references to give further perspective into what’s going on simultaneously in the social/political spheres in which EXO navigates that have led up to Yin Yue Tai V Chart Awards. The details (especially about MIXX’s disbandment) provided below are some of the reasons Yixing could not be in attendance for these awards and also at recent/near future performances. The location of the venue for the 2017 awards had to be changed from its usual location because of the details listed below as well (from Beijing to Macau so that Korean Pop Stars could even attend the ceremony and possibly to alleviate any other preventable issues.) The details listed below also drives home the importance EXO and CEXOL’s felt of being able to see EXO perform the entire set list (For Life, Lucky One, Monster, Lotto) they had prepared since currently we are unsure of where the situation will lead between China, South Korea, North Korea, and other associated countries as well as when if ever the ban will be lifted so that EXO (as OT9) can interact with their dear fanbase in China once again at concerts, fan signs, award shows, and other media forms)
- Adam Taylor of The Washington Post illustrates that “According to Lockheed Martin, the U.S. company that manufacturers the system, there are four stages to its operation. First, a radar system identifies the incoming threat; then the target is identified and engaged. An “interceptor” is fired from a truck-mounted launcher, which destroys the missile using kinetic energy. Because the incoming missile is destroyed at a high altitude, the effects of weapons of mass destruction can be mitigated with the device. The system is designed to be highly mobile, and it consists of four main components: a truck-mounted launcher; eight interceptors on the launcher; a transportable radar system; and a fire control system that links the various components with external command centers. Last year the Defense Department announced it would deploy a system to South Korea, where it would be operated by U.S. forces stationed in the country. The Pentagon described the move as a “defensive measure” against North Korea after the country continued to pursue nuclear weapons and tested a number of ballistic missile systems. This week, the situation on the Korean Peninsula escalated dramatically. On Tuesday, North Korean state media reported that the country has practiced attempts to hit U.S. military bases in Japan with a number of recently launched missiles. The number of missiles fired suggested that North Korea was training to see how quickly it could set up its extended-range missiles in a wartime setting.”
- Jethro Mullen and Paula Hancocks of CNN Money and Taehoon Lee report that “Lotte has seen 87 of its 99 stores in China closed and work on a theme park in the country suspended since it agreed to hand over a golf course to the South Korean government to house the THAAD missile defense system. Chairman Shin Dong-bin told CNN that his company was unable to refuse the government’s request for its land. “I think there’s a lot of misunderstandings about our position, and we have nothing to do with the missile deployment,” he said in an interview Monday. “I would like to explain that.” Lotte would ultimately have had no choice because it was a matter of national security, a senior South Korean defense official told CNN. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly denied any knowledge of restrictions being placed on South Korean businesses over THAAD. But the country’s state media made clear in advance that providing land for the missile system wouldn’t go down well.”
- Shuli Ren of Barron’s Asia explains that “China’s travel ban can shave at least 20% off Korea’s GDP growth this year, says Credit Suisse. The bank currently forecasts Korea to grow at 2.5%. The reasoning is very simple. Chinese tourists, who come as part of tour groups, contribute $7.3 billion in tourism revenue to Korea’s economy, or 0.5% of its total GDP. Individual tourists from China, contribute another $11.3 billion, or 0.8% of its total GDP. So if China just cancels travel groups alone this year, 0.5% of Korea’s GDP is gone, or 20% of overall GDP growth estimated by Credit Suisse. And things could get worse. China has asked for a boycott of Lotte Group’s products, but China’s displeasure has so far only been directed at cosmetics, duty-free shops and Korean casinos.
- Christopher Woody of Business Insider clarifies that “Lotte was also ordered to stop construction on a $2.6 billion theme-park project in northeastern China after Chinese authorities suddenly uncovered safety issues. Cyberattacks targeted Lotte websites, shutting them down, and protesters in China’s northeastern Jilin province marched with banners reading, “Lotte supports THAAD, get out of China immediately.” Lotte said on March 19 that 79 of its 99 stores in China were facing business suspensions and had been forced to shut down temporarily. Lotte is heavily invested in the Chinese domestic market, spending nearly $9 billion on its operations there since 1994. The Chinese market makes up nearly 30% of Lotte’s sales outside of South Korea. At present, it has 22 subsidiaries in China, with 26,000 employees and annual sales of about $2.6 billion. Lotte’s duty-free business in South Korea pulls 70% of its sales from visiting Chinese tourists. “Lotte’s decision has lit a fuse. When foreign firms touch Chinese consumers’ nationalistic feelings, it can spark a boycott,” Fu Guoqun, a Peking University business professor, told AFP early this month. “This will have quite a huge impact on the company.” China has also reportedly targeted tourism, pressuring travel agencies there to stop selling group-trip packages to South Korea. Businesses in South Korea’s tourism and other industries catering to Chinese visitors also took hits in the days around the THAAD deployment. Chinese companies have blocked South Korean music videos and TV dramas on streaming services in the country. Chinese broadcasters also reportedly canceled appearances by South Korean bands — moves that garnered support on Chinese social media. At least one K-pop band, MIXX, has reportedly broken up over the THAAD dispute. A Chinese agency managing the band (it had two agencies representing it; the other was Korean) withdrew its investment, making the band unable to continue its promotions. Three of the group’s members, all Chinese, returned to China. “Money spent on K-pop stars will turn into bullets that point towards you and your family in the future,” a posting on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service said, according to AFP. In response, Seoul has gone to the World Trade Organization. A South Korean official, stressing that it was not a legal action, told Reuters that it was a request for the trade bloc to examine if Beijing was upholding trade agreements fairly. Beijing, which has not directly linked trade and commerce restrictions on THAAD’s deployment, did not respond specifically to South Korea’s complaint, instead invoking the role of the public in such trade dealings. (The Chinese public has targeted goods from other countries amid international disputes in the past.) “We support normal business and other exchanges between China and South Korea,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told a news briefing this week. “But everyone knows this needs a corresponding basis in public opinion. Both the US and South Korea have repeatedly stated the defensive nature of the THAAD missile system, and Chinese military officials have said they have the means to neutralize THAAD batteries. South Korean lawmakers have stepped up criticism over what they see as a lack of response from Seoul, but direct discussions between the two governments have not been forthcoming, with Beijing declining a request from Seoul to meet at a Group of 20 meeting in Germany this weekend. Twisting the screws on South Korea’s business interests may be a prelude to future deployment of such measures against others. “What’s happening to Korean companies now is a pretty good playbook for what might happen to US firms over the next year,” Andrew Gilholm, director of analysis for China and North Asia at risk consultancy Control Risks, told Reuters in early March. “Rather than the big dramatic trade war, everything goes to hell scenario under Trump,” he said, “it’s probably more likely to be manifested as regulatory harassment of companies — one of the lower intensity tools for China.”
It’s just…what happened with EXO was unfortunate and shouldn’t have taken place but with all of these other factors playing a role and no explanation nor an apology being given….it makes many of us wonder just what in the world was Yue thinking?