Following Joy receiving criticism for her inactivity on the DearU "Bubble" app, a pop culture critic comments on the issue, describing it as an "emotional labor."
Keep on reading to know more.
Red Velvet Joy Draws Criticism for Inactivity on DearU 'Bubble' App
On October 14, a netizen called out Red Velvet's Joy for not being active in communicating on the DearU app, "Bubble," a paid subscription service where fans can exclusively receive messages from an artist, with fans able to send a private messages to the artist in return.
According to the SM Entertainment service platform, the monthly subscription fee is 4,500 won (around $3.8 USD).
The netizen pointed out that Joy's last activity on Bubble was back on September 15 - almost a month of not interacting with fans on the app.
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As Bubble is a paid service, many have expressed their disappointment that Joy has neglected the app for too long.
They also note that those who are subscribed to an artist who hasn't posted content in over a month are eligible to request for a refund. In fact, many revealed that they have already cancelled their subscription.
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Although the original post of the netizen did not specify Joy as the idol they were talking about, they later confirmed that it is indeed Joy, and pointed out that the rest of the Red Velvet members are active on Bubble, whereas Joy would only send two to three messages on average every month.
In addition, netizens also criticized Joy for posting the same pictures that she posts on Instagram - defeating the purpose of providing exclusive content for paid subscribers.
Pop Culture Critic Says Red Velvet Joy's Recent 'Bubble' Issue is an 'Emotional Labor'
A few days after the criticism came, Joy sent a few messages on Bubble. However, it was met with mixed response. With some welcoming her back, while others accused her of only posting after being criticized.
Following the issue, pop culture critic Kim Heon Sik shared his thoughts on idols having to be active on platforms offered with Korea JoongAng Daily.
"Before criticizing the individual artist, we need to look back on what things can be monetized and what shouldn't be," Kim Heon Sik said.
He added that labels have been monetizing numerous content that their artists have to offer. However, he points out that we can't know for sure if the artists themselves fully agree with it.
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"In the case of one-on-one messaging, this is actually a great deal of emotional labor on the artist's part," the critic points out.
However, he points out that Joy is also in the wrong as she did not properly fulfill her business obligation. Kim Heon Sik also questioned the level of sincerity between a celebrity and fans' interactions if such services were monetized and made into an obligation.
"If she does send messages but only because fans are outraged when she doesn't, is that genuine fan service? How sincere is that interaction? We must ask if the industry should continue launching similar parasocial services. It's best to let willing stars do it voluntarily without payments involved," Kim Heon Sik said.
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Robyn Joan wrote this.