|Singer Henry Lau / Courtesy of Monster Entertainment|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Several K-pop stars have declared war on internet trolls.
Chinese Canadian K-pop singer Henry Lau's agency Monster Entertainment said Thursday that it will take strong legal action against anyone who distorts the truth, spreads malicious rumors and defames its artist.
"We tried not to respond to all these distortions, rumors and attacks, but now we feel that we should not turn a blind eye to these acts," the company said in a statement. "Some of them even commented they would stab Lau's mother and younger sister, which made him feel so miserable. So from now on, we will take strict legal measures without being lenient."
Lau, who debuted as part of K-pop act Super Junior M in 2008 prior to his solo debut in 2013, has been attacked by some internet users for allegedly showing his support for the "One China" policy. This policy claims that there is only one China represented by the government in Beijing and that Taiwan and Hong Kong are parts of it.
|K-pop boy group BTS / Courtesy of Big Hit Music|
On the same day, HYBE, the record label behind K-pop juggernaut BTS, said it caught a person who had been spreading malicious rumors about BTS.
"A suspect was specified after a police investigation and this case was recently sent to the prosecution," the company said on fan platform Weverse. "We want to emphasize that there will be no settlements or clemency for any suspects."
A few days before HYBE's announcement, another K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment warned of legal action to protect its singer BoA, who has been appearing as a judge on Mnet's dance competition program "Street Man Fighter."
|K-pop star BoA / Courtesy of SM Entertainment|
Numerous viewers left hateful comments on her Instagram account after BoA ruled in favor of dance crew Bank Two Brothers (BIIB) on the fifth episode of "Street Man Fighter" that aired on Sept. 20. They insist she made a "biased and unfair" judgment that eliminated PrimeKingz, one of the heavy favorites.
"The judges do not decide who will compete against whom," BoA wrote on an Instagram Story. "I wonder if you guys would be less (angry) if BIIB had been eliminated. It is exhausting to think that this kind of thing will repeat (until the program ends)."
SM said it will take a hard line against online trolls. "What they have been doing is an illegal act and we will not tolerate to protect our artist," the company said. "We are preparing to lodge a complaint and there will be no leniency."
Over the past few years, K-pop stars and their agencies have been taking a tougher stance against internet trolls. But a lot of people point out that the punishment is still too weak as they are often slapped with fines of about 2 million won ($1,700).