Today, AKB48‘s company (AKS) released the following terrifying statement:
“Today, Takizawa, Iwate: At a handshake meeting in Iwate Sangyo Bunka Centre Apio for the 33rd Single Electric Heart and 35th Single Mae Shika Mukanee, AKB48 members Anna Iriyama and Rina Kawaei along with one member of the organizers’ staff were attacked by a blade-wielding fan. They suffered injuries to their hands. Currently, Iriyama, Kawaei and the staff member are being treated in the hospital. None are in a life-threatening condition. We deeply apologize for any concern this may have caused to fans. As soon as Iriyama, Kawaei, and the staff member’s conditions are known in more detail we will report again.”
This is beyond scary! So this attacker apparently attended the event and took out the blade while standing in line to shake the members’ hands. I think this is bringing to light the huge issue of insufficient security at promotional events for idols. Bag searches should be mandatory if fans are going to get close enough to touch and potentially harm the idols. The downside to fame is that you’re exposed to obsessed stalkers and violent sociopaths with dangerous fantasies.I mean, who can forget when poor Taeyeon was dragged off stage mid-performance for a totally-out-of-place marriage proposal by a stranger?
Which brings me to Korea and saesang fans. What really disgusts me about saesang fans is how proud they are to be creepy stalkers who invade the private lives of idols. Simply because someone chooses a career in entertainment that doesn’t entitle you to know everything about their personal lives. I hate it when media uses the excuse “well, they chose this career” to justify their disgusting breaches of basic civility as well. So, back to saesang. Some of their hobbies include: racing after idols in taxis while putting the lives of various people at risk, putting cameras in their idol’s balconies and parking garage, buying persona information (e.g. phone numbers so they can terrorize idols at all hours), and defecating on doorsteps, to name a few.
All of these are failed attempts at intimacy that are surprisingly common in the Korean music industry. I think the police need to become more involved in these scenarios. I mean, sure, a group of girls follows you around everywhere without saying a word to you—how on earth could that be dangerous? Obsessions escalate. If the saesang fans continue to grow in numbers, the peer pressure to prove their stalking abilities increases. They become bolder, more dangerous. I just find it so irritating that in Korea, they’ve basically become an acceptable part of the K-Pop industry. It is NOT okay to be a saesang fan.
I just hope Anna and Rina are okay and that their company increases and improves their security measures. Stay strong!