A Manager’s Perspective on Sasaeng Fans
Sasaeng fans are currently being brought up as a societal issue in South Korea. In particular, JYJ and their incidents with sasaeng fans have come under the spotlight. Celebrities are not the only ones that have to deal with sasaeng fans. The managers of celebrities are in the forefront when incidents occur.
An anonymous manager “A” talked about his experiences with saesang fans while working for a popular idol group for a Newsen interview.
“A” said, “I don’t’ even want to think about sasaeng fans.”
He started off by describing certain incidents while living with idols in a dormitory. He said, “In the morning when I would open up our door, there would be excrement lying right in front of the door. Imagine starting your morning to that, it was very stressful.”
“The sasaeng fans that follow you around in taxis are actually on a cute level. Other sasaeng fans will break into the dormitory and steal the food. No matter how many times we changed the numbers for the idols they would somehow figure it out. Those fans are like 007.”
“A” was asked if he had ever hit sasaeng fans. He replied, “I did a long time ago. Sometimes we would be swarmed by fans and had to use physical force to block them. I couldn’t help but hit them. However, nowadays we can’t hit the fans because a lot of people are watching and fans are always recording everything. Spraying mosquito repellant or swearing at them does not work.”
“A” described the psyche of saesang fans. “Some fans would have pride at being hit by their favorite celebrity’s manager. There are some fans who think that getting hit or being on the receiving end of profanity is actually a way of getting closer to celebrities. Nothing works against them.”
“A” described of sexual harassment that celebrities receive. “Some young fans will run to celebrities and touch their private parts or stick to them.” He even had an incident where he tried to educate a sasaeng fan by making her parents come. However, “A” was the one that became the victim in the end by getting the police called on him.
“A” stated that these incidents continue to build up and eventually people will explode in anger. He ended by saying “Saesaeng fans are evolving. Now they are very systematic in sharing information. I heard that money goes back and forth as well. Now managers can’t even use physical force. Celebrities have a hard time, but their managers have a difficult time as well.”