SM Entertainment Criticized For Attempting To Profit Off Selling Masks During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
SM Entertainment‘s global shop has come under fire of netizens after they uploaded a post, selling 5 KN95 masks for $30 USD.
The global shop uploaded a post on their Twitter account announcing the sale of 5 KN95 masks, which are equivalent in efficiency to KF94 masks that are commonly sold in Korea.
Stay healthy and protect yourself from Corona Virus!
FDA certified KN95 masks are now available on SM Global Shop.
Link ➡️ https://t.co/EOoIXwKHc1#ProtectYourselfAndOthers #KN95 #FaceMask pic.twitter.com/cvdpMvhTdU
— SMGlobalShop (@SMGlobalShop) March 23, 2020
However, what triggered the negative outcry against SM Entertainment’s global shop was the price the masks were being sold at. At $30 plus tax for the price of 5 masks, each mask would cost over $6 a piece. This is in stark contrast to the average price of ₩2000 KRW ($1.60 USD) a singular mask costs in South Korea through the government provided program.
The price of the masks, and even the sale of masks in general prompted outrage from international fans, calling for SM Entertainment to donate the masks instead.
profiting off a pandemic…….
— elise#₁₂₇ (@okayelise) March 24, 2020
$30.00????!!! really ????? you are a big company, send these to hospitals
— MisterPanda (@heymisterpanda) March 23, 2020
Poor taste to be selling these…..
— leala 🦄 turkey (@lealaturkey) March 23, 2020
profiting off of a pandemic, are you fools? who approved of this?
— * . (@midzywols) March 24, 2020
I mean…who wants to report this exploitation!?👀💢 pic.twitter.com/xnEgM7hUBl
— GABS 🤍 I MET 카이 & 백현 ♡𝓛𝓮𝓽'𝓼 𝓛𝓸𝓿𝓮♡ (@MyPuppyBaek0506) March 24, 2020
i’m sorry but this is so disturbing. donate them. please do NOT profit off of a global pandemic. you’re an entertainment company, not a medical supplies company. of all industries, entertainment should NOT be profiting from this crisis.
— lex ⁷ loves yoongles (@moonlighty00ngi) March 24, 2020
30 dollars for 5 masks are y’all serious rn stop playing w all of us
— Ellie ₁₂₇ (@nctbussyy) March 24, 2020
Around 2 hours after their initial post and the public backlash, SM Entertainment’s global shop took down the listing from their online shop, and apologized for their actions, promising to donate the masks they have to the workers at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Hi everyone. We are donating masks for 'Children's Hospital Los Angeles' workers and are selling very limited quantity for people who doesn't have mask yet. This is about caring people and helping our society. We are really sorry to everyone who have felt any uncomfortable. https://t.co/S8lY5qmzOh
— SMGlobalShop (@SMGlobalShop) March 24, 2020
While the initial reaction was negative, international netizens are glad with SM Entertainment’s final decision to have the masks donated to those working in the front lines of the hospitals, instead of selling them to fans.
Thanks for the update. In the future, you should clarify this beforehand.
— Proxy (@ProxyPvP) March 24, 2020
thank you for the update and donating
— 𝐜 𝐚 𝐥 𝐞 ₀͓̽₀͓̽ ☁️ (@xuximoons) March 24, 2020