News / Features / OP-ED

EXO: Their Popularity & The Long Term Effects Of Kris' Lawsuit

By Adrienne Stanley | June 03, 2014 09:24 AM EDT


It is undeniable that EXO is one of the most successful male K-Pop groups in recent years, with countless awards and stellar album sales. However, the recent allegations made by Kris against SM Entertainment and his alleged impending lawsuit, could spell long term trouble for the group.

SM Entertainment and the members of EXO have remained vague in their descriptions of the alleged impending lawsuit, which was launched amidst heavy promotional activity for the album "Overdose."

A lack of on-going communication from SM Entertainment representatives regarding the alleged lawsuit has left many fans disillusioned and distrustful.

This communication barrier has also allowed Korean and Chinese tabloids to dominate media output, with dubious sources and headlines that read like the American publication “The National Inquirer."

In addition, former EXO-M leader Kris has yet to release an official statement to the media regarding the alleged lawsuit. Rumors ranging from hospitalization to the fact that Kris is in hiding have plagued the artist.

According to the online publication allkpop, a representative for YUEHA has acknowledged a visit from Kris' mom.  The YUEHA representative stated,"Kris' mom did come to consult us about her son's future." 

As someone who has followed K-Pop news for quite some time, I am reminded of the chaos which surrounded Big Bang in 2011 following a motor vehicle accident involving Daesang and a marijuana scandal involving G-Dragon.

While the situation with EXO and Kris may share more similarities with Han Geng or JYJ, the way in which tabloid media has dispensed unfounded rumors is very similar.

During 2011, it was a struggle to remain a fan of Big Bang amidst the on-going slanderous headlines that plagued readers on a daily basis.

However, in 2012 the group emerged from this dark period to release the album “Alive." With the success of “Alive," Big Bang was able to shed the negativity which had began to surround the group as whole and its fandom.

Amidst all of this, EXO remains without an official fandom. While the group continues to maintain an united front as eleven members, there have not been outward displays of support from one main fan group.

Whereas VIPs (fans of Big Bang) rallied behind the group during their dark period in 2011, the current situation of EXO has appeared to create a divide within its numerous fan groups.

Bad publicity against SM Entertainment and EXO has the potential to ward off new fans who may have been open to checking out the group and “Overdose”. Most telling, was the outcry by some fans who urged Kris to explore a career with YG Entertainment, the chief competitor of SM.

As someone who immensely enjoys the music of EXO, it is my great hope that media attention will focus back on their music and the group.

In the meantime, EXO continues their promotional activities as eleven members. The group refrained from participating from weekly music chart programs last week, citing the need to prepare for upcoming live performances. This period also allowed EXO to regroup in preparation for what will undoubtedly continue to be an onslaught of questions regarding the future of the group.

On June 1, EXO-K received first place on “Inkigayo”, a win which will hopefully set the course for this week. EXO will be promoting during a contentious time in June, which will pit them against Big Bang member Taeyang, VIXX, INFINITE, ZE:A, B.A.P, and U-KISS in the fight to round up additional music sales and music chart attention.

Tagged :  EXO-K, EXO-M, Kris, SM Entertainment


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