JY Park, founder of JYP Entertainment, has come under fire for his approach to handling the emotional well-being of his artists — a sentiment shown by the reactions of fans across social media platforms.
The outrage stems from JYP’s philosophy that, despite personal struggles, artists should maintain a cheerful demeanor to keep the atmosphere light for everyone around them. This advice, intended to promote a positive environment, has been criticized by fans for encouraging artists to suppress their true feelings. Advocates for mental health argue that such an approach could exacerbate the artists’ internal struggles by not allowing them a healthy outlet for their emotions.
In his recent appearance at PSICK SHOW on YouTube, Park shared what advice he gives to artists who are having a bad day, emotionally or physically.
That’s why I tell my artists like Stray Kids, TWICE. I say ‘Okay there can be a bad day, but if you look depressed, blue, and sad you’re gonna make everybody uncomfortable. So that’s who we are, even in our toughest days we have to go make a joke, make sure you make everybody comfortable.’
— JY Park
uuhh this is terrible “advice” to give your artists i- pic.twitter.com/s0I60W7jF4
— jay 🍓 (@penguinstrawb) November 19, 2023
Many fans feel that expecting artists to constantly put on a brave face is akin to treating them as emotionless robots, designed to perform without falter. They worry that this could lead to a dangerous precedent where artists push themselves to the brink, ignoring signs of mental fatigue until it’s too late, evidenced by the growing number of idols taking hiatuses for mental health reasons.
no wonder his artists take hiatuses like it's an annual leave… hello?! you're just asking your artists to not acknowledge that they're depressed until it's too late that they have to take hiatuses??? https://t.co/7SLpv6bT3I
— dahyun's eyelash (@kelpdubu) November 19, 2023
The recent hiatus of ITZY‘s Lia, for instance, has become a focal point in this debate. Her break from ITZY’s activities, juxtaposed with JYP’s advice, highlights the potential consequences of a work culture that prioritizes public image over personal health. Fans are concerned that the pressure to appear unfazed in the face of hardship could lead to a neglect of serious mental health issues until they reach a crisis point.
i understand that some jobs demand to put your real feelings aside. that's how it is in the entertainment & any service oriented industry. but how inconsiderate of him to say this with his whole chest when one of his artists was recently diagnosed with anxiety & is on a hiatus?? https://t.co/LgzEOaVOo1
— stansquaredd SAW TWICE & JEONGYEON! (@stansquaredd) November 19, 2023
Conversely, other fans suggest that there is a practical aspect to JYP’s advice. They argue that in the highly competitive and image-driven world of entertainment, public perception is crucial. For performers, maintaining a positive front can be part of the job, affecting not just their own careers but also the collective dynamic of their teams. They assert that while it’s important to manage mental health actively, there’s also a need for professionalism that sometimes requires setting personal feelings aside for the greater good of the group and the production.
I've been following jyp artists for a long time since 2008 but i wonder why the kpop stans nowadays tryna force themselves to make jyp look like a bad guy with every he said or what he did, like imo what he said here is basiclly legit tho that it's a reality
— FREE PALESTINE 🇵🇸 (@bbuyoMom) November 19, 2023
As bad as it sounds he is right. If the artist looks sad or depressed it will make everybody feel worried or depressed as well. But imo it’s sad they need to hide it
— ZyosMiMoghini (@MinarisMinaA) November 19, 2023
The idea of ‘the show must go on’ is ingrained deeply in the culture of performance arts, where personal sacrifice is often glamorized.
The mixed reactions from fans show that there’s a big discussion about how mental health is dealt with in the K-Pop industry. This is especially true for jobs, that of an idol, where people have to balance being themselves with their professional duties. As more light is shed on the importance of mental health, especially in high-pressure environments, it’s clear that a balance must be struck between maintaining a productive work environment and ensuring the emotional well-being of everyone involved.