Before every concert, different idols have different rituals to prepare for performances. Whether it’s alone or together, it will differ depending on the artist. One company that has always been praised for its sense of community is SM Entertainment and its founder Lee Soo Man.
Recently, a video was shared by SM Entertainment following the groups’ performances in Japan for SMCU Express. During the video, the company showed clips of the performances and preparations.
Yet, one part of the clip has gained mixed reactions from both Korean and international netizens. After the rehearsals, Lee Soo Man gathered all the artists in a room to give them a talk before the show started.
The idols could all be seen holding hands and closing their eyes in a circle as Lee Soo Man said some words of support and encouragement.
It’s SM’s humanity. Let us be what we wanted to be. Let us be humble, be kind, and be the love. Many fans today will show us with joy and love. Help us to give back even greater love and joy to those who have given them to us.
— Lee Soo Man
After the comments, Red Velvet came up to Lee Soo Man, adding, “I couldn’t pray with you,” which was met with the SM founder doing his own circle with the members.
Although many pointed out that it was something Lee Soo Man often did, with some pointing to other SM concerts, the recent video sparked mixed reactions from netizens on the concept of “Praying.” Alongside Korean netizens sharing their own opinions, the video made its way onto Reddit and was discussed by international fans.
While some explained that the issue was being taken too seriously, adding that it seemed like it was more of a pep talk without religious connotations and was just to wish them all well ahead of the concert.
Others explained that although it shouldn’t be a big deal, it wasn’t something they felt right about seeing. Some netizens even added that they found it uncomfortable that something that was seen as religious was being brought into the workplace.
For many, Lee Soo Man has always been praised for his treatment of his artists. Whenever they’re performing, Lee Soo Man is always waiting for them when they come off stage and many believe this gesture was to make all the artists feel more confident and part of something as big as SM Entertainment.