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K-pop singer Jung Joon-young was arrested on suspicion of secretly filming and sharing sex videos and gang rape. The whole world was pointing a finger at him, but on his fan sites, there were fans who still protested his innocence. I couldn’t feel disgust or even laugh at them. When there was a similar case in 2016, one of his fans was also on his side without asking important questions. That person was me. I was a fan of Jung and I believed myself to be lucky to be one of his fans.
It is easy to meet fanatics who blindly advocate their idols. Still, there are fans who continue to support K-pop star Seungri or Park You-chun. Also, Park-Samo (the name of the fandom which supports former president Park Geun-hye) still claims the illegality of her impeachment. Once, I was extreme fanatic just like them. Now, I will meet and ask them from a distance. Do you still feel lucky to be a fan of your idols?
In March 2019, the ‘Jung Joon-young Group Chat’ was disclosed, and I shed tears not even knowing why I was crying. It had been ages since I was a Jung Joon-young fanatic, but why I was so mad? Who might know the reason for this anger? To whom could I possibly talk about this? Other fans, or former fans like me, came to my mind.
I want to talk with others who got as mad as I did, to explore and release our anger. Once, such fans may have been fanatic about a different celebrity and they must have thought they were lucky to idolize such people. With them, I want to talk about our unpleasant past and discuss how the present is different. Through their testimonies, I will deal with the problems on idolization, extremism, and fandom culture.
The history of extreme fandom continues to occur all around us, as it always has. I want to ask the blind advocates of fallen idols - How did you come to advocate such people regardless of reason, logic, or moral values? For what do you advocate? Do you believe you are a true fan?