The K-Pop community has been left reeling after a recent episode of the Philippine news show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) aired, claiming that a Filipino K-Pop fan named Bea had stolen 2.7 million Philippine Peso to feed her fangirling addiction. The episode sparked a wave of outrage from K-Pop fans, who claimed that the issue may have been a lie. Who knew that K-pop fangirling would lead to an alleged theft? Let’s dive into what truly happened.
K-pop, short for Korean Pop, is a musical genre that originated in South Korea and has taken the world by storm with its catchy beats and stunning visuals. K-pop merchandise, on the other hand, is a whole other beast that includes everything from albums, posters, and photo cards, to lightsticks, clothing, and even face masks.
The Story of Bea, the fangirl
According to the episode, a young K-Pop fan named Bea had stolen money from her grandmother’s plastic bag business to buy merchandise from her favorite K-pop artists. She works for her grandmother’s business and earns a pay of P350 a day.
- It’s a story that many K-pop fans can relate to – the thrill of collecting merchandise featuring their favorite idols. But for Bea, that thrill came at a cost.
PAALALA: maging disente sa ating komento
— KapusoMoJessicaSoho (@KM_Jessica_Soho) March 5, 2023
- Her love for K-pop drove her to spend more and more on albums, photo cards, and other merchandise until she found herself in debt to the tune of P2 million, approximately USD36,200.
The K-pop fans’ outrage
But after the episode aired, several K-Pop fans expressed their doubts about the story, with some claiming that Bea came from a rich family and that the episode was a marketing ploy to help sell K-Pop merchandise.
An appeal to @KM_Jessica_Soho please can your team atleast make a new episode to clarify about Kpop merch? And na hindi lahat ng PC ay 50k ang price? This is just a day after your episode about "Bea" but look at the result of your feature that lacks so much information. pic.twitter.com/eV4IUYAGQb
— Tofi ً^_^💎 (@Yihyuntokki) March 6, 2023
- Fans used the power of social media to search for the family, and some may have succeeded. Some users reached the possible personal accounts of the family and pointed out how they live in luxury.
- Also, some noticed how did the family miss out on a 2 million PHP deficiency in their business, which some fans did agree with. It’s most unlikely to happen if you run your own business, which led fans to think that there’s in no way that the story isn’t scripted.
anyway im 100% sure the whole bea photocard kmjs segment was scripted or planned bc theres no way u can miss 2 fucking million missing from ur business 😭 and its pissing me off bc now ppl not only see collectors in a bad light but we r being targeted by snatchers too damn
— 💬 (@kuromihaul) March 6, 2023
- The backlash on social media was swift and fierce, with the hashtags “#CANCELKPOPJAGIYAPH,” “Bea,” “KMJS,” and “Jessica Soho” trending on Twitter. K-Pop fans expressed their rage and disappointment over the alleged incidents of theft. Many blame the show Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho for perpetuating harmful stereotypes about K-Pop fans.
- The KMJS also dropped an NCT Special Year Book Card (SYBC) photo card and the price Bea was able to buy it. For starters, photo cards distributed in limited quantity happen to be mostly sold at a higher price. Take the PHP50,000 photo card that Bea bought as an example. Remember that not every photo card receives a similar price when sold.
How Filipino K-pop fans became at risk
But the outrage didn’t stop there. Another tweet went viral about an alleged stealing of an expensive photo card of the K-Pop group ENHYPEN while a fan was traveling.
- With this, more Filipino K-pop fans also shared almost the same experiences of having their photo cards robbed. Some happened on the streets, some in establishments, so keep yourselves safe, K-pop fans.
GUYS BINEBENTA NA NUNG MGA NAG NAKAW YUNG PCS GRABE ANG LALA TALAGA :(( pic.twitter.com/85CEs2Cdhn
— Lyn☀️❄️;SAW ENHA (@enhalynnie) March 7, 2023
- Other fans quickly shared tips on how to keep their valuable merchandise safe. Some urged other fans to be more cautious when wearing and displaying their photo cards. While some chose Twitter to share their knowledge about photo cards and K-pop merchandise, in general.
DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT KPOP PHOTOCARDS, ITS PURPOSE, AND PRICE RANGE
A THREAD FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE KPOP BNS COMMUNITY:
(pictures not mine, all came from Pinterest) pic.twitter.com/mga3HNhthX
— sky ☁︎ (@uribooslatte) March 7, 2023
- The incident has sparked an important conversation about the harmful stereotypes that continue to plague the K-Pop fandom. Some fans may indeed go to extreme lengths to support their favorite artists. But it’s important to remember that the actions of a few do not represent the entire community.
KMJS team’s statement
In response to the backlash, the KMJS team issued a statement condemning the harassment of Bea’s family and reports of theft within the K-Pop community.
- The statement ends with, (translated in English), “We made “Bea’s” story not to judge, but to serve as a lesson and warning. The show has no intention to hurt, harm others, or create any division.“
- Let this Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho episode of Bea be a heads-up to be responsible fans. If you purchase more than what your money or allowance fits, make it a habit to think through things before you order.
As K-pop continues to grow in popularity around the globe, we must break down these harmful stereotypes. Let’s show the world that being a K-pop fan is about more than just mindless obsession.
Being a K-pop fan should be about being part of a supportive community that celebrates creativity, diversity, and the joy of music, not theft and other crimes.
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