SM Entertainment warns cyberbullies targeting boy band NCT members

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 5, 2024, 13:12 Updated : June 5, 2024, 13:12
This file image captured from the YouTube channel FieryAunt shows NCT members Johnny left and Haechan right
This file image captured from the YouTube channel FieryAunt shows NCT members Johnny (left) and Haechan (right).

SEOUL, June 5 (AJU PRESS) - SM Entertainment, one of Korea's iconic entertainment powerhouses, sent out a stern warning against cyberbullies on Wednesday, pledging to take legal action against groundless online rumors without leniency, regardless of who they are.

The announcement came shortly after social media posts written in Japanese were uploaded early this week, accusing two members of the boy band NCT -- Johnny and Haechan -- of visiting a hotel with a fan in Japan. These posts along with explicit images and messages were spread rapidly by other online users.

The agency of the 26-member multinational boy band vowed a strong response to malicious rumors spreading through social media and online fan sites.

"Currently, there are baseless and shocking rumors about Johnny and Haechan, involving allegations of prostitution, drug use, and other scandalous claims, being indiscriminately spread and reproduced online," the agency said in a statement.

It made clear that none of the claims made by cyberbullies were true. "Through a thorough investigation, we found these rumors to be entirely false, and they constitute criminal acts that severely tarnish the artists' reputations," it said.

SM warned that it has collected sufficient evidence regarding numerous social media posts related to these rumors and it will pursue legal action against cyberbullies without mercy.

Cyberbullying has long plagued Korea's entertainment scene with some entertainers having committed suicide due to depression aggravated by malicious online comments.

K-pop band Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, who endured similar rumors, are now one of many K-pop acts that actively take legal action against cyberbullies. In December 2017, Jong-hyun, a member of SM Entertainment's boy band SHINee, committed suicide, and experts agreed that cyberbullying played a role in his death.

SM Entertainment now leads the frontline battle against cyberbullies to protect fans and artists. With the launch of its own online platform "Kwangya 119" last year, it aims to swiftly counteract to cyberbullying, allowing fans to report malicious online activities or cyberbullying targeted at SM artists.
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