Summary: Block B’s Thai Scandal

The incident:

On 30 January 2012, rookie group Block B sat down for an interview with Thai Media Outlet RYT9. From the start, this interview was marked by a number of embarrassing and childish actions such as members lounging on the coffee table, dancing in their seats and in one incident, imitating a gorilla. Watch the interview here (scroll to the middle of the page).

What disturbed most viewers and fans though was Block B’s somewhat insouciant attitude towards victims of the Thailand floods. When this topic was raised, the leader Zico said: ‘With this monetary aid, we hope that you will feel better. The only thing we have is money.’ However, when he was asked how much money he had, he replied: ‘About 7000 won‘, causing the other members to erupt in laughter. 7000 won is equivalent to around US $6.

The backlash:

Following the interview international viewers immediately condemned Block B’s actions. The original interview has more than 1.4 million views and 20, 000 dislikes on Youtube.

Some Korean idols have also censured Block B’s behaviour. Nichkhun, Junho and Chansung of 2PM tweeted in response to the incident, expressing disappointment in Block B. Chansung said: “Even if carelessness can seem inevitable even if you’re trying your best to avoid it, if you’re absent-minded and hurt others then act like you’re the best, that’s being careless. This is more than a mistake and proves that you’re that kind of person.. Shame on you.

Dongho from U-Kiss also tweeted the following: ‘Singer worth 7,000 Won ($6)’. However, his tweet was removed after criticism from netziens.

The apology:

Each member has issued an apology, acknowledging their regret and shame at hurt the’ve caused Thai and South Korean fans, as well as bowing their heads to the damage they’ve caused to Korea’s national image. The group has also released a video apology.

Click here to read their written apology.

The punishment:

There is a possibility that SBS, KBS and MBC will ban Block B’s promotional activities on music programs. The group was absent from February 24th’s ‘Music Bank’, 25th’s ‘Music Core’, and 26th’s ‘Inkigayo’. However, it is contentious whether or not this is a sign that Block B’s activities will be ‘banned’ indefinitely, or just ‘restricted’ until the controversy dies down.

Block B’s leader Zico shaved his head on 20 February in order to express his remorse. A member of the group, P.O. was also hospitalised on 24 February due to the stress of the incident.

The conjecture:

A false rumour was spread on the internet that Thai companies had broken trade links with Korea, and that an export deal fell through because of Block B’s incident.

There was also a rumour of an online petition requesting Block B to commit suicide. This was apparently what triggered P.O.’s hospitalisation. However, as there has been no evidence of this petition having existed, it must fall into the realm of conjecture.

The future:

This is not the first example of a Korean idol or band misbehaving, and in my cynicism, I don’t think it will be the last. Although what Block B did was disrespectful I believe that they have taken the necessary steps to apologise for their actions. It is now up to the media and the fans to decide whether they will forgive Block B and support them past this incident.

What are your thoughts?

xoxo 

Nic

If you want to find out a bit more about Block B:

Official website: http://brandnewstardom.com/blockb.do

NalinA Music Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grrpg_r1Nb8&feature=fvst

4 thoughts on “Summary: Block B’s Thai Scandal

  1. Pingback: Block B Aren’t Being Paid, File For Contract Termination Against Agency - Naption

  2. I forgive them. This is a time to forgive and forget. We shouldn’t dwell on what has happened in the past. Yes, what they did was stupid and foolish but they are young. Young people do stupid and foolish things. I’m not even 20 yet and I still do stupid and foolish things. That’s how we learn to grow and make up for it in the future. An that’s what Block B has done. They’ve grown. Block B Fighting!!!! ❤ ❤

  3. I love BLOCK B. Yes they make mistake but they are young. Young people do stupid things, were not perfect. They are talented, and good people I believe so. They always good to their fans. BBC love them, and keep supporting from start. Fightingggg BLOCK B.

  4. I have recently become a fan of Block B and heard about this controversy through reading their profiles. Sure, what they said or did was childish and very rude and disrespectful, but they also reflected upon it and apologized. Looking back on it, the people who started the petition for them to commit suicide were in as much wrong as Block B was. It was a bad thing to make fun of the flood victims, but it doesn’t make you any better to tell them to go kill themselves over it. The people who took a part in the petition should be ashamed of themselves, what Block B did, did not warrant for people to tell them to go kill themselves. In fact, people shouldn’t be saying that or petitioning that sort of thing to anyone. I think that’s just a step worse than what Block B did. I also don’t agree with the above (or below) two comments, being young (and tbh Block B should have been old enough at the time to understand) is not a valid excuse for anything unless you are 10 years and younger. It makes more sense to say that everyone makes mistakes (which everyone does, no one is perfect), but at least they made up for it in their own way by apologizing.

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