Hello. This is the chief admin of IkaDong.
Although it was more difficult than expected, 2010 has already come and gone and we are now in the new year. I wish everyone a happy and healthy year ahead.
And to all our registered members of this fan café that is for fans in their 20s who have been with us for the past seven years, I would like to say I am sorry to be coming before you today with this kind of public announcement.
I would have liked for all our registered members to have been together with us until the very end. ‘All five members are Dong Bang Shin Ki’ has been the founding cause that has maintained this café, but since it now seems that cannot be the case I am coming before you now with this public announcement.
In truth, this public announcement is no different from the one previously released by our admins but reflects the added weight of the opinions submitted by our members, which we predicted would be in accordance with ours. Therefore, one could say that this announcement won’t come as a surprise, that this public announcement simply follows naturally from our previous steps.
Then, I now present the collective position of the admins and the majority of the registered members of AkaDong.
Early last December.
Jung Yunho, Shim Changmin declared that the two of them would begin activities as ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki’. Through this action, AkaDong, which was founded and justified its existence as a fan café for all five members of Dong Bang Shin Ki fell into a crisis of identity and came on the verge of losing our identity altogether….because now the name Dong Bang Shin Ki in public only acknowledges Jung Yunho and Shim Changmin.
Of course, because by the looks of things the agency (SM) and the two members have unilaterally occupied and monopolised the name Dong Bang Shin Ki, it will be difficult for them to gain legitimacy or acceptance as ‘the genuine and meaningful Dong Bang Shin Ki’ in front of the other three members, the fans and the greater public through sheer persuasion.
The legitimacy of Dong Bang Shin Ki lies in the fact that Dong Bang Shin Ki is an idol group made up of Yunho, Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu, Changmin, and ultimately for the greater public, including the  members and fans, to ‘acknowledge’ them it must happen through natural and gradual processes it to be considered legitimacy.
Just because the two members, without consulting the other three members who have also rights to the name Dong Bang Shin Ki and against the wishes of the fans, declare unilaterally that they will use the group name doesn’t make the 2-member Dong Bang Shin Ki ‘legitimate’ automatically.
However, the current situation is that the two members are using the term ‘legitimate/authentic’ and declaring themselves ‘the true meaning of Dong Bang Shin Ki.’
This is tantamount to the two members and their agency unilaterally excluding the other three members [from the group].
There have been a number of idol groups that have disbanded in a similar fashion to Dong Bang Shin Ki, but this is the first I have seen a portion of the group unilaterally declare that they will continue to use the group name. [Such a case is rare] perhaps because [most idol group members] are aware of what it means to be considerate of their fellow members and fans.
The two members like the three members could have easily continued their activities without using the name Dong Bang Shin Ki.
In addition, they would have undoubtedly known that there still exists within the fandom of Dong Bang Shin Ki fans of the three members. So, it is only common courtesy that they at least first seek the consent of the fans who have supported them for the last seven years about the decision of make such a declaration.
However, the two members have not said a single word of apology to the fans but instead sought to aggressively establish a shaky legitimacy; this can only be interpreted as a lack of consideration or respect toward their fans. The only possible result of this is a large number of fans who are left disappointed and confused.
Moreover, if you are a fan who remembers the incident involving the agency’s decision to ‘rotate’ the Dong Bang Shin Ki members, the declaration made by the two members can only be all the more disappointing.
There will also be those who remember the negotiated document released by the agency and the five members. That document expressed the desperation of trying to keep the five-member group intact even in the face of the existence of 13-year unfair contracts.
The fans of the two members have chopped out the part mentioning the 13-year unfair contracts and are using it to distort the truth, which truly renders one flabbergasted.
The five members for sure, but also the members’ parents who requested the fans help in protecting the members, the fans who didn’t sleep in order to watch over the five members in the Yonhap Home (sorry, dunno how to translate this…literally means collective home), will remember the core idea of that document, which is as follows: ‘The group Dong Bang Shin Ki and its meaning is composed of Jung Yunho, Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun, Kim Junsu, Shim Changmin. And whatever value or influence created will be attributed to all five members. Because of that if even one among the five is excluded or a new member is added, the result cannot be Dong Bang Shin Ki.’
Also, there are those who remember that the negotiated statement above in that document was requested to be made legally binding by both the agency and the members, and Jung Yunho’s father et al. directly requested the admin of AkaDong to put up the content of that document on the Yonhap Home/collective homepage (?).
It is an understatement to say that the declaration that the two members will use the name ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki’ has left not only the three members but also the fans dispirited. If fans ever have to use the term ‘betrayed’ it would be for a situation like the current one.
Clearly, when [fans] remained silent at the unbelievable situation where the three members came out of the agency whilst the two remained, [the agency and the two members] have flung the word ‘betrayed’ all too freely upon concluding that the three left due to ‘cosmetics’.
All the current fan cafés carrying the name Dong Bang Shin Ki are supporting the position of the three members, criticising SM for their unfair contracts, and continue to do so. This is to say that the fandom is not accepting the position of the agency and the two members.
“Why? Because there are still a lot of registered members within the fandom who are fans of the three.” Those who say this have no right to talk of ‘truth’ or ‘justice’.
If you [SM] truly believed in your position, you would have demonstrated to the Dong Bang Shin Ki fandom openly in a justifiable manner backed by evidence that you never imposed unfair conditions upon the members.
However, the fans of the two members posted on the Dongnaebangnae domain a demand that the three members take full responsibility for the current situation, stating, ‘although the agency is at fault…’ as their premise. This is because even the fans of the two members cannot support the claim that the agency is trustworthy.
Even when the five members were active together [in one group], the majority of fans regarded SM with deep distrust, and the controversy surrounding the rotation only made it deeper still. Notably, at the time, the fans of Jung Yunho were especially well-organised in airing their distrust and dissatisfaction of the agency and led the way in opposing it; this must not be forgotten.
The fan community centered around the two members have posted all sorts of distorted information on the three members attacking their characters; this is no different from strengthening the side of the agency by diverting attention away from the central issue of unfair contracts and betraying their very selves.
In addition, the court has clearly decided that there are reasonable grounds for upholding the request of the three members [regarding contract suspension] so that while the lawsuit is ongoing the three members are free to pursue independent activities and their agency cannot hinder them. Also, the Fair Trade Commission has issued a warning to the agency regarding its unfair contracts, and the agency says it is in the midst of rectifying their errors in accordance with this warning.
In light of these facts, one can only conclude that the agency cannot support its claim in an honourable way that it never issued unfair contracts when faced with the strictly legal standards of truth.
Through a formal interview, the three members revealed a year and a half before they filed the lawsuit that they were considering leaving the agency. Moreover, they said it was not just because of the unfair contract but also because of insults against [the three members’] humanity, which was even more severe [than the unfair contract].
Also, even before the lawsuit became a hot controversy there were more and more fans aware of this. Through this, many fans have come to not understand the position of the two members who stayed in the agency and felt they were betrayed.
However, the fans of the two members have labelled the three members and their side as the traitors and have taken it upon themselves to convince others of this. The distorted account of the 625 meeting is their only evidence, as far as I know. I have heard the correct and comprehensive account is in the process of being formatted before being put up.
What is certain is that there are fans who say that the two members were betrayed and there are fans who say that the betrayers are the two members, since it was already well-known a year and a half before the lawsuit that the other members wanted out of the agency. (this part is slightly confusing…I’m not sure I’ve got it completely right)
In effect, a lot of complicated reasons converged into actions. This is to say that none of this was a conspiracy on the part of the three members to turn the tide of public opinion overnight.
Then, as everyone knows, the two members proceeded to attack the three members through official documents and statements. To this day, the representatives of the two members continue to attack the three members non-stop in writing. They are trying to severely ruin the image and reputation of the three members.
In light of all this, no one can take seriously the agency’s position that [the agency] is doing working to encourage the three members to return to the agency.
If you [the agency, aka SM] truly desired to reunite [with the three members], you wouldn’t have used the long one and half years to cripple them with your attacks.
And because SM has a history of losing in court against its signed artists when in such conflicts, the fandom is supporting the three members all the more in this context.
And, notwithstanding the evaluations of the press on the matter, the value of Dong Bang Shin Ki in terms of internal and external economic impact exceeds many billions of won, which leaves one in no doubt of the value and power of the name Dong Bang Shin Ki. At the time, Dong Bang Shin Ki’s fame in Japan was at its height.
So the idea that only the three members ignored this fact and for the sole reason of a cosmetics business desired to leave the agency and give up their group is so ridiculous that one wonders how much persuasion would have been needed. Even the three members revealed in an official interview how frustrated this idea made them.
Furthermore, the reason why the fandoms using the DBSK name—even whilst criticising the agency, even in light of the position of the two members who stayed with the agency, even in the light of the fact that the group is de facto broken up—have thus far not taken a path that compromises the independence of this fandom is because ultimately the fans clearly understand the value in the name Dong Bang Shin Ki….Because a fandom that supports each of the five members in their activities, understanding that it is these people that make up ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki’, will project more power.
At this point we were willing to cover up the internal divisions happening within the Dong Bang Shin Ki fandom with formalities in order to coexist despite the factions.
It was also because the fans recognised that each of the five members had the right to claim the ‘value’ in the name Dong Bang Shin Ki that the fans didn’t step forth to break up the fandom.
Although we can’t put the nail in the coffin with regards to the chances of a reunion, the group as it currently stands is in all practicality broken up, but the fans were not willing to break up this fandom because under the banner of the ‘Dong Bang Shin Ki fandom’ we wanted to benefit all the members equally and be considered their gain.
However, when the two members announced that they intend to use the name Dong Bang Shin Ki for themselves it became impossible for this fandom its current format to equally support all five. In other words, with that declaration this fandom lost all means to persevere under the current cover of formalities.
At one point the three members stated that while they still considered themselves Dong Bang Shin Ki members they would continue activities under the project group of JYJ because they are aware Dong Bang Shin Ki signifies five. I would like to ask the two members what they think of this conduct by the three members, if they can’t see that this is the way to show respect to the fandom.
Also, another thing that added to the disappointment is that the two members are promoting a title song that is attacking the three members. Although fans are seen as ‘mindless bufoons’, we can’t be expected to ignore the veiled attacks members of a group make to their fellow members and leap for joy; we are not such thoughtless people.
It is possible that the three members who are trying so hard right now to convince themselves that what they see the two members doing was forced upon them by the agency, it is possible that these three will be one day able to understand the actions of the two. Because they were at once friends and colleagues. And it’s possible they will all forgive and forget.
However, for the fans and the general public, the conduct of the two members will leave ‘such an impression’ (this is being used sarcastically) that it will billow into a big controversy.
It is too much to think of…that within the same fandom, fans of the two members will be singing a song attacking the three members. This is something that cannot be tolerated.
Until when the other Dong Bang Shin Ki fandoms will continue uphold the original cause even in light of these facts and until when they’re going to try to maintain the current situation, I do not know. But even if we all continue in this manner with the way things are, our AkaDong is revealing now that we simply cannot.
Last year December, when the two members announced that they would continue activities under the moniker Dong Bang Shin Ki, our café closed off the majority of our menus and posted a public notice calling on all its members to deliberate together our identity.
And in order to receive all the opinions and comments of our registered members, we moved to a new board and even thought of removing the name Dong Bang Shin Ki from our page.
Yet, upon hearing the song sung by the two members attacking the three members and feeling an overwhelming emotion, we came to the decision that we could neither support nor represent the two members who dismissed so easily all notion of respect for their fans whilst using the Dong Bang Shin Ki name.
Henceforth, this café will erase the names of the two members and continue as a café for the three members.
And because the three members have every right to the name Dong Bang Shin Ki, which the fans acknowledge in accordance with the court, we will highlight that by not taking the name Dong Bang Shin Ki down [from our page]. Therefore, our foundational concept will be either ‘JYJ from Dong Bang Shin Ki’ or ‘JYJ in Dong Bang Shin Ki’.
Though it is true that there will be no references to the two members within the café coming from the café administration, we will allow discussions about the two members that do not veer into profanity and personal attacks because we realise that the agency and the two members’ representatives will continuously attack the three members, so it will be impossible to avoid bringing them up entirely.
This means we are going to put our best efforts into supporting the three members. Depending on the circumstances, our methods will be public and aggressive.
Finally, I would like to ask SM Entertainment. Even if they are artists who have brought public criticism upon you, if you use other artists (who are colleagues) to attack the artists that brought you public shame, public opinion on those other colleague artists cannot be positive. Undoubtedly, as a professional entertainment agency that fosters human talent into starts you are well aware of this.
So what is this? Using members of a group who for a long time shared the same meal to attack and belittle their fellow members in such a inhumane manner. Why is it that we’ve come to expect such behaviour only from SM Ent.?
And using the two members like this to bring down the three members, is this really for the good of the two members? Is that the best you can do? Have you completely abandoned thinking about the image of the two members in your pursuit to protect your corporate assets/investments?
If you truly do not think of celebrities as products, and as an agency that fosters idol groups to capture the majority of the teen fan-eligibles, it would have been nice if you could at least pretend to take on the responsibility and position fitting of this society.
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