SM Entertainment reveals their 1st Hong Kong trainee and future NCT member Lucas!
For those who follow SM trainees closely, he is a well-known trainee called Wong Yuk Hei. Born in 1999, he is known for being really tall, his resemblance with B.A.P’s Daehyun and for being a Red Velvet Wendy fanboy.
Truth behind Asian Media & Entertainment companies
First of all, I decided to be anonymous because of course, I don’t want to lose my job. Any people I know in real life might find me in no time, so I don’t want to take the risk. I will be stating some examples, I’ll try to be less specific as possible so I wouldn’t give in the identity of the artists I’ll be talking about. Anyway, if ever I don’t make any sense explaining things, I apologize because English is not my first language.
Second, why am I writing this? I’ve been seeing indirect arguments between some Kaisoo shippers and some Kaistal shippers regarding SM Entertainment, etc.
I will have to be honest here: it kind of annoys me when some people drop statements about Asian media as if they know everything about it. Also, I feel really bad for the people who are manipulated. So, I decided to reveal what I know. But I wouldn’t be shocked if there are still people who will chose not to believe in what I have to say, so, I’m not here to force you to believe. I just wanted to share some truth behind BIG entertainment and media companies like SMent. (I emphasized BIG because not every companies does this because of the risks & because they’re not powerful enough like the BIG ones). I want you to be open minded about this, I don’t want everyone to be totally fooled.
Third, yes, I’m a fan of EXO, SNSD, f(x) and Shinee. They’re the only groups I thoroughly followed since the beginning. But I will not state who my biases are and who do I ship because it doesn’t matter, I will not be biased on my statements. I will be stating facts from real life experiences I have from studying and working in Asian media & entertainment industry. I won’t be on Kaisoo shippers’ side, nor Kaistal shippers’ side.
Lastly, I don’t work for SM Entertainment or any entertainment companies in South Korea. I work for a big media and entertainment company somewhere in Far East Asia (East and Southeast Asia, I’m sorry I don’t want to be very specific about this for obvious reasons). I’m not going to claim that everything I’m going to say about media companies are 100% evident and true in SM, but everything I’m going to say is a common practice among media and entertainment companies in East and Southeast Asia.
I will answer questions/arguments/assumptions that frequently come up because of the Baekyeon & Kaistal issue and this insider info in 2012. This is just an eye-opener for those who are not familiar w/ how the media & entertainment industry in Asia works. My purpose is to let you guys be aware of some of our practices, I don’t intend on going against any companies and any people.
Is everything scripted? What they say on interviews are scripted?
Not all the time. Expected and general questions are usually half scripted, half scripted because we only say the gist of what they have to say, we don’t require them to memorize everything, of course. This is for PR purposes, it’s for their image and the image of the company. The artists know it anyway, that they have to keep their reputation good no matter what. Also, it’s the company’s decision if the artist will have to keep quiet about a certain topic.
Are artists really packaged? Aren’t they showing their true personalities?
Not all the time. We only do this to artists who are considered important for the company, or the company’s favorites. One example is this actor-singer under our company, we debuted him with a manly image, a lady’s man type (because he really is handsome & looks manly). But in real life, he’s actually gay. There were scandals about him being gay because he was caught two times (he’s so stubborn about going out at night, I’ll talk about this later), 1st: w/ another actor from the same company, 2nd: w/ a male singer from the same company, but our company remained silent about it (it’s actually a strategy as well, keeping silent about a scandal, because if we refrain from talking about it, then people will forget eventually). So the company continued on giving him projects as if no scandal has ever happened. The journalist who reported both incidents later apologized in public, she/he received a lot of hate actually because the public really loves this guy whom they truly believe is straight. There is also this one singer whom we debuted as a “sexy-type” lady. But she’s actually the girly and shy type in real life.
Are artists really paired beforehand?
Again, not all the time because we only do this to important and favorite artists of the company. We choose those who look physically good together. Actually, there’s a certain pair that has no chemistry at all in real life, like they don’t even care about each other (but they became friends eventually since they’re always together). They each have their own private romantic relationships w/ non-celebs, but since they look physically good together, they were paired. So our company reported & confirmed that they are dating in real life (I’ll talk about fake dating later). But fans saw the guy with another girl recently (even took a picture), but the company remained silent about it, as always. Probably soon, they will release a statement that “they’re only friends” if the issue is still alive for a long time. BUT! There are paired artists who eventually started real romantic relationships because they actually fell in love. Like this dancer couple (who got married) and these two singers (who, sadly, broke up). ALSO, there are a few real relationships whom we took advantage of IF and only IF they are famous & are loved by fans as a couple (this is kind of rare though).
Is fake dating really a thing/marketing strategy?
Yes. If we learned that a lot of people loves seeing them together, then we will show what the public wants to see. But we mostly do this to create hype for both artists & their future activities, and of course, the profit that the company can get from it. But what if the public suddenly doesn’t want to see them together? How about the fans who would be brokenhearted? This will be bad for both artists! Honestly and unfortunately, the company doesn’t care. It’s true that we consider all publicity as good publicity. We actually have this phrase: success from scandal. After the scandal (any kind of scandal actually) arose, we will not bring that up ever again. We’ll continue giving the artist their activities to still promote them, & proceed as if nothing happened. This is very effective actually. Anyway, I saw someone said that why would they do this to get attention, they’re already famous! Because we only use the “reporting/confirming a fake relationship strategy” for artists who are already famous. We will never get the attention we want if we suddenly report that there are two not-so-famous artists dating.
Do entertainment companies have control over what other media reports?
Yes. But only those big, influential & powerful companies can do that, especially those who have partnership w/ other media companies. Those who have the money. Even the government and powerful politicians can control what the media reports. Media practitioners actually have this code of ethics like others have, but there are still people who chose not to follow (journalists who accept bribes!!!). But that’s a different story. You know, money is such a powerful thing. You can’t underestimate money when it comes to businesses.
Does the company have control over everything involving the artist?
Basically yes, since the artist have to ask permission before doing anything that the company didn’t ask them to do. Like, even if the artist has free time, they still have to ask for permission if they can have a vacation on a certain place, or if they can hang out with this person. There are artists who are stubborn about asking for permissions actually, they sneak in and do what they want. Because of their stubbornness, scandals may arise (it happened for a few artists actually, like what I mentioned earlier). If that artist is very important for the company, we will still keep him/her even if he/she is very stubborn. But of course, we will warn him/her, but we will offer some benefits for them to obey and stay w/ the company. If the artist is not so important, we will have to ask him/her the question: “this or the company/contract/career”. So yeah, company favorites are pretty much treated very differently than the others.
In conclusion: here’s a famous saying, “truth is stranger than fiction”, w/c is true in so many different cases. Remember thatNOT EVERYTHING shown is TRUE especially about celebrities who are under a contract w/ very big companies and agencies. We will never fully know every truth about these artists, especially their true feelings, personalities, relationships, sexuality, and their private lives. As for Baekyeon & Kaistal and others, since the insider info was posted in 2012 and what stated there are actually practiced in the entertainment industry, there’s a high probability that the couples are fake. There’s also a possibility that they’re real and SM just took advantage of it, but it’s less likely. BUT, we will never know if they actually felt something for each other or not. Maybe they did fell in love w/ each other, or they actually have other romantic relationships that the public doesn’t know. Or they’re actually single. Who knows. There are many possibilities but they only know the truth themselves, of course.
I have nothing against SM, any people, any ships. The sole purpose of this is to be an eye opener for those who are not familiar w/ the media & ent industry in Asia. I am not claiming that everything I said are 100% evident and true in SM Ent, but everything I said is a common practice in Asia, and is true in my country and our company. What I said is true & are based on my experiences.
I didn’t include links, pictures, other proofs because I don’t want to give in my identity, my nationality, and the company I work in.
I’m a lazy but busy person, I wouldn’t waste my free time writing this if they were all lies. But I know that there are still people who will chose not to believe, but who am I to force you? Just remember this: themedia and entertainment industry is very manipulative, DON’T let media control and fool you. There are many studies, research, and theories regarding the media and its effects on the public (when I was in college, we memorized a lot of theories regarding media and its effects, just search about it if you’re interested, you’ll understand media even more!). And even though media has negative effects on the public, they will still continue with their doings. Because it’s business. It’s the industry. It involves money.
So yeah, in general, don’t be fooled. Also, there’s nothing wrong w/ questioning the media because you have the right anyway (because remember? media claims to “serve” the public, entertainment companies claim to “do this for the people”).
Have a good day! Let’s have peace w/ one another :)