Super Junior is gearing up for a comeback this October that will mark their return after a two year hiatus as members have entered the army to serve mandatory military service. Although Kyuhyun and Ryeowook will be serving their term in the army when the group returns later this year, the eight remaining members are still expected to make a strong impact on the music industry
However, with just a few months remaining before their comeback it has become apparent that Super Junior is still being affected by scandals involving Kangin and Sungmin.
Over the past few days SM Entertainment announced that both Kangin and Sungmin will not be participating in SMTOWN in Seoul on July 8. Later they also released a statement announcing that Sungmin will also not be participating in Super Junior’s comeback.
What did these two members do that can overshadow the return of this extremely popular and arguable legendary k-pop group, and does it warrant the removal of these members?
In October of 2009 Kangin was involved in a hit-and-run accident around 3 AM with a vacant parked taxi. Five hours after Kangin fleed the crime scene he admitted the crime and turned himself over to police. He was charged with a DUI and fined ₩8 million by the Seoul District Court.
CCTV footage of Kangin’s 2016 accident
Five years later in May 2016 Kangin was once again involved in a hit-and-run accident and was consequently charged with a DUI and fined ₩7 million. As a result of the negative press that these accidents generated SM Entertainment released statements following both incidences announcing that Kangin’s activities would be postponed or cancelled for the rest of the year.
The second incident made it seem, to fans, that Kangin had failed to seriously change his behavior from his first accident. Fans feared that at this point Kangin’s association would negatively affect the other members and the Super Junior brand as a whole and a desire for him to leave the group mounted.
While these are not the only incidences that Kangin was involved in, these were the most significant and damaging for the singer’s image.
Sungmin is also facing the challenge of repairing his damaged image in the media and to fans of the group. He is currently facing a protest from one of Super Juniors online communities that is calling for his removal from the group. The reason for this protest originates with how Sung-min released information about his engagement and marriage in 2014.
In the first half of 2014 Sungmin had approached Leeteuk to ask for permission to marry during a time when Leeteuk was dealing with sever depression, the recent death of his father and grandparents in an apparent suicide while serving in the military. This was critiqued as being selfish and inconsiderate of his group member’s situation.
In September of the same year rumors emerged of Sungmin and Saeun dating. While their relationship had been speculated about in the Super Junior fandom it was never officially confirmed. Fans who asked about the rumors were true during a fanmeet were silenced and threatened with not getting a signature from Sungmin if they continued to ask questions.
One of the more decidedly controversial incidences took place on Sungmin’s Naver Café, a type of blog. Fans used the blog to ask Sungmin about the dating rumors and comment on the possible relationship. In response Sungmin deleted comments, blocked some users, and blocked the term “Korean fans” from appearing on his blog.These series of events left fans feeling betrayed and mistreated.
It is because of these incidences that Kangin and Sungmin are receiving pressure from a large portion of their Korean fans to not participate in group activates with Super Junior and to even leave the group.
Ultimately the decision is up to the Super Junior members and their label, but the pressure from fans may definitely be apart the discussion, should that discussion even take place.
Do you think of the scandals that Kangin and Sungmin were involved in warrant that they not participate in activities with the rest of the members of Super Junior?