As long as America has had Hollywood, there have been people making a living by following around the celebrities, selling photos of famous individuals taken while they attempt to do their everyday tasks. Frequently, paparazzi go above and beyond the bounds of privacy to capture photos that they can sell to tabloids and gossip magazines. Some relate their methods of business to that of stalking, and in a lot of cases, the comparison is not far from the truth.
By now, the buzz about paparazzi from a platform called The Hollywood Fix has spread through social media following their controversial encounter with K-Pop stars, BTS. While they were in America for the AMAs, the group from Big Hit Entertainment was falsely accused of canceling a fan meeting which Big Hit never announced. They were also treated rudely and aggressively by the staff from this group. Big Hit staff repeatedly asked the paparazzi to back away and not to interfere and were met with resistance by the reporters. Naver later released an article in which Big Hit denied the existence of any scheduled fan meeting while BTS was in the U.S.
Regardless, as international fans, it is not unusual for us to see instances like this occurring between well-known stars and overzealous reporters and photographers. America and several other countries have passed laws to keep paparazzi from trespassing, exposing pictures that violate the privacy of individuals and even chasing celebrities in cars. However, some of the rules are repeatedly pushed to the limits by paparazzi despite the regulations around certain circumstances that should prevent such activity.
With the rise of K-Pop in the U.S. and the arrival of more groups doing tours all over the world, the paparazzi are sure to follow the buzz. Some would argue that the staff from most Korean companies have experience dealing with these things often enough. Sasaeng fans have been a part of K music culture for a long time, and in some cases, these fans have gone to more extreme lengths than typical paparazzi would. From stalking to causing car accidents, paparazzi reporters and sasaeng fans seem to have a lot in common. Reporters in America, however, tend to be less polite and more aggressive than they might be in other cultures, which could cause a stir in the future. In Korea, when idols go out somewhere privately, a fan might take a picture quietly and put it on social media. In most cases, these pictures are not used to damage the reputation of any idols. The Paparazzi are more notorious for trying to capture stars in unflattering moments and use it to their advantage in the media.
Do you think K-Pop is ready to greet the world of paparazzi trying to benefit from them in ways Korean citizens typically wouldn’t? Do you think fandoms can help prevent the spread of scandals during overseas activities? Talk about your thoughts in the comment section below.