And here we were just talking about the difficulties of living a life under public scrutiny…
With the autopsy results showing Daesung was responsible for a motorcyclist’s death, the Big Bang idol has decided to take off the remainder of the year. That time will be spent on reflection and atonement, as well as to face the court for whatever charges are filed against him.
While Daesung and those close to him will go through a great deal of emotional turmoil bevause of the autopsy ruling and its consequences, there are also business concerns that I’m sure are lurking in the back of many minds. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – it’s actually paramount to consider business at this point, especially when you consider how quickly the idol industry moves. With so many new Kpop boy bands waiting in the wings – and some making rapid incursions into the Japanese market, wanting to capitalize on the hallyu wave – can Big Bang hold onto the top spot even in the best of situations?
G Dragon stating that Big Bang will return as five can’t help but remind idol watchers of similar pledges from 2PM when Jay Park left. The situation was drastically different, but the point is that any such statements of solidarity are flawed at best, more hopeful than promisory. A lot of things can happen from now till the end of the year – assuming Daesung will return to activity at the very start of 2012 – so Big Bang and their management should be prepared for most any contingency. At the very least, some solo activity or the return of GD & TOP is more likely than before.
As it stands, the other Big Bang idols will still have to answer for Daesung just by remaining in the public eye. Questions will always hang over them – Have you heard from Daesung lately? How is he doing? – and, answered or not, they can cast a pall over the kind of music Big Bang like to do. Performing a sexy new dance song on TV may not feel so sexy when you anticipate being asked about your friend’s possible manslaughter charges afterwards.
For another example of how personal tragedies can taint the spirit that idols embody, consider the fan reaction when a reporter thoughtlessly asked Dream Morning Musume’s Iida Kaori about her child, unaware he had died. Now imagine if the media in general didn’t want to be thoughtful of Iida’s feelings and are simply determined to get the “scoop” on what she endured with that loss. This isn’t far-fetched, and this may well be what Big Bang faces now, on top of the actual emotional trauma caused by the accident.
Big Bang – and Daesung in particular – face difficult times and must rely on the discretion of the media and the sympathies of their fan base to remain intact. I don’t think this signals the end of the group, by any means – but I won’t be surprised if things will be different from here on out.