Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, K-Pop idols and their companies have been finding ways to adapt their promotions and comebacks to suit the varying restrictions, particularly when it comes to interacting with fans.
One of those ways is through fansigns. In the past, the only way to speak to idols was through fan meetings in-person, which would normally only be in Korea. Yet, the pandemic introduced the normality of online fan calls, allowing those from across the world to interact with their favorite idols.
With the ability to have these online fan calls, with less organization and planning, K-Pop agency RBW Entertainment has come under fire for their poor treatment of their group ONEUS during their recent comeback for the album TRICKSTER, with the single “Bring It On.”
Since debuting, ONEUS has gained attention for their amazing stage presence and this comeback has been no exception, with a powerful track and concept.
However, the group’s company RBW has come under fire for overworking the members when it comes to the huge number of fan signings and online events. A day hasn’t gone by without some sort of fan event.
In particular, the schedule for the group on June 19 has shocked fans, with the group having four different schedules for fan events at 4 PM, 5 PM, 8 PM, and 9 PM.
According to fans, the total number of fan events for this album since the track’s release in May is over 100, including lucky draws, online, face-to-face, and commemorative calls.
Even on June 14, RBW continues to announce fansigns with the members both online and offline, with many coinciding with other schedules or music shows. The recent tweet shows five fan events in one day.
<[TRICKSTER] 발매 기념
사운드웨이브 팬사인회 #22📢>
📍 영상통화 팬사인회
✔ 220618 (토) 19시
✔️ 220618 (토) 22시 30분
📍 대면 팬사인회
✔ 220618 (토) 20시
📍 판매 기간
✔ 220614 (화) ~ 220616 (목)
📍 상세 안내
— ONEUS (@official_ONEUS) June 14, 2022
While some netizens thought it was to raise the first week’s sales, fans pointed out that it wouldn’t have an impact, adding that it was just RBW trying to capitalize on the group to gain more money than focusing on the members’ health.
If it wasn’t enough, many Korean ToMoons (ONEUS’ fandom name) have raised concerns about the treatment of the members during the events. Various clips have been shared on social media showcasing this poor treatment, and a thread was compiled for international fans.
In one clip that has been watched nearly 50,000 times, Hwanwoong was seen showcasing his playful personality. While the idol was seemingly reaching out for something, the staff was seen pushing his arm back quite aggressively.
Another video shows Keonhee speaking to a fan while signing the book. The staff was seen prodding him to hurry up. After Keonhee ensured the fan had his undivided attention, when it was time to move, the staff seemed to roughly grab the album to move it.
Another staff even kept their hand on the album while Keonhee was writing on it and wouldn’t even let the idol finish.
Considering the amount of time and love the members want to give to their fans, the lack of consideration for the group by the staff has angered fans and even those who are casual listeners.
For them, RBW has shown a disregard for the group’s well-being alongside the fans who have paid a lot and want to make the moment meaningful with the members.
Yet, it isn’t the first time RBW has come under fire for their number of fansigns. Last year, the same issues arose when the group released their track “LUNA” from the album Blood Moon.
Even two months after the track was released, the group was still doing fansigns when most artists would’ve stopped much earlier. By mid-January, the group had done over 51 fansigns both online and offline.
Although fans love the chance to interact with ONEUS, they would much rather prioritize the health and wellbeing of the members, especially after seeing the treatment from the staff. It raises the question of whether K-Pop companies are prioritizing making money over the happiness of the idols.