Authorities draw connection to past bomb threats targeting girl group Apink.
At 4:45 PM on November 15, an anonymous person called local police reporting that explosives had been installed at the Seoul Jamsil Indoor Stadium. The Gymnasium was the location of last night’s Asian Artists Awards where Apink participated.
Jamsil earthquake and military bomb squad units went to the scene to investigate after the call. The report turned out to be unsubstantiated, but the identity of the caller remains unknown. However, authorities were able to trace the location of the call to Vancouver, Canada.
Furthermore, due to the nature of the call and Apink’s attendance, authorities believe that is the same person behind other bomb threats. Moreover, Apink’s agency, PlanA Entertainment is currently working with international authorities to coordinate an investigation on this suspect.
After months of a general strike along with the cancellation and hiatus of many shows, the strike has officially ended.
The Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) general strike will officially end November 15 at 9 AM (KST). This comes directly from the MBC Headquarters of National Press Worker’s Union (MBC Union) that announced that they would “temporarily suspend” the strike. However, although the strike is suspended and employees will be returning to work, some union members will not be returning to MBC.
The strike start started in September in response to political meddling done by the then CEO Kim Jang-gyeom. Both Kim and the CEO of the Korean Broadcast Station (KBS) Ko Dae-young were accused of meddling in media production to modify broadcasts in favor of former Park Geun-hye administration.
Furthermore, Kim and Ko were accused of putting an alleged blacklist created under former president Lee Myung-bak into action. The blacklist contained a selection of artists, journalist, entertainers, and other public figures known for their outspokenness and liberal views. People listed were apparently banned from broadcast appearances and other media activities.
Other than demanding for the resignation of Kim and Ko, union members want justice for mis-treated employees and a path to restore public trust in media. Because of these issues many expected the strikes to continue for much longer. However, with temporary suspension put into place should not be mistaken for complacency.
On another note, “Infinite Challenge”, “I Live Alone”, “Show! Music Core”, and other shows affected by the strike will resume recording this week. The “Infinite Challenge” production team said on the November 14, ” The first recording with the show members will be this Thursday, which is the 16. We will try to resume broadcasting by next week”. Production news for the other shows has not been released yet.
Lovelyz and Gugudan have returned with sweet that will keep you warm in the fall weather.
Lovelyz made a surprise comeback on November 14 with the mini album, Fall in Lovelyz. In comparison to their second album R U Ready and Now,We that came out earlier this year Fall in Lovelyz has a new synergy. This is a result of the album being a collaboration with the up-and-coming producers 1Take and TAK.
Likewise, Gugudan invites you to a quaint chocolate factory in their comeback song “Chococo”. Interestingly, the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was the inspiration for the concept of the video. Each member becomes their own Willie Wonka demonstrating their different charms.
The verdict reached by the Seoul Central District court that rendered MADTOWN’s contract with GNI null, freeing the members to choose their path.
MADTOWN’s path as a group teeters on the edge of dismantlement. A legal representative of the group commented on the future of the group saying that, “We are collecting opinions from the members…although they have only been in the entertainment industry for a short time there is some reluctance in the group.” The members certainly have good reason to feel reluctant and even disillusioned with the industry.
After debuting in 2014 the group had relative success with albums YOLO, and MAD TV in 2014, Welcome to Madtown and OMGT in 2015, and Emotion in 2016. However, the single comeback in the summer of 2016 pointed to a larger issue with their company. Their agency at the time, J.Tune Camp, was quickly going under.
After Emotions the groups was paralyzed as J.Tune Camp dissolved. In January 2017 the group transferred their contract from the now obsolete J.Tune Camp to GNI Entertainment. Unfortunately, the group would have to suffer through another misfortune. Just two months after transferring their contract when police arrested the CEO for a variety of charges. The company started to go down and MADTOWN was in limbo with no valid agency to support album preparation and other activities, but still in a binding contract. These series of events motivated members to file a lawsuit.
The resolution of their contract allows the members to decide what they would like to do. Thus far, four out of the seven members have expressed that they want to continue being entertainers.
Jota and Heo-jun plan to continue acting and will likely search for a company that will support their ambitions. Conversely, Dae-won and Lee-geon are currently appearing on KBS 2TV “The Unit“. The intend to work hard on the show and want to continue as singers.
On the other hand, Buffy has decided to enlist in the military. On November 10 Buffy posted a handwritten letter on his official fan cafe, a type of blog. In the letter Buffy apologized to fans for releasing information in this way and said that he plans to still be a singer after he finishes his military duties.Further, he admits that he had “been worrying about [his] future for a long time”, and after speaking to MADTOWN members decided to leave the group to enlist.
Moos and H.O have not their intentions public at this time.
It was clear when SISTAR amicably separated that Hyolyn had some big plans in mind.
On November 13 Hyolyn announced the official establishment of her company, Bridge. Bridge is the brain child of Hyolyn and her creative director to create a hub and venue for collaboration. However, the two were not just thinking of musical collaborations — but collaborations across various fields involving people from all over the world. Like its name, Bridge will not only act as a link between different artists and creative persons, but also as link of communication between consumers and the artists themselves.
As a founder Hyolyn will also be the flagship artists under Bridge. Hyolyn also made it clear that she has plans for full-fledged solo activities in the announcement. Hyolyn expressed her desire as a solo artist to begin working on an album with a sound that would be uniquely her’s. The singer’s unique sound will be a combination of collaboration and experimentation with different musicality.
After the announcement Hyolyn took to social media to send a heartfelt message to fans, SISTAR, and Starship entertainment. She wrote,”Today was made possible because of Starship Entertainment and the SISTAR members. I am pleased to announce that I will be able to express my gratitude with the company (Bridge).”
Like the Wonder Girls it seems that Miss A’s time is drawing to a close.
The Wonder Girls, Miss A, 2PM and 2AM were important and transformative groups under JYP Entertainment. Combined, these groups changed the K-pop industry and helped power the Hallyu wave, the globalization of Korean popular culture. However, as of this year Wonder Girls have disbanded, 2PM is focused on solo activities and military enlistment, while 2AM refrains from just admitting they have disbanded. Now Miss A is taking the steps to dismantle like the Wonder Girls, or so it seems.
On November 9 JYP Entertainment in an official press release that Min decided not to renew her contract after it expired. The expiration of the contract marks her departure of the agency and Miss A. Min’s departure from the group follows Jia’s decision to leave early last year. With only two members Miss A does not qualify as a group.
In addition to Miss A losing members, the group has had no activities or promotions since the 2015 hit “Only You“. Instead, members (former and current) have focused on solo activities: Fei and Suzy released solo albums last year; Suzy continues to act and be a brand model. Meanwhile, Jia is currently focusing on growing in the Chinese market. Likewise, Min is expected to return as a solo artist under a different company.