I told myself days ago, that no matter what happened, I wasn’t going to write about this. Seriously, this issue has been a very sensitive topic for me and I told no one about my real feelings regarding this matter – just a couple of REALLY close friends whom I trust enough (best friends in short; best friends who know my matters inside and OUTSIDE EXO). I don’t know why I suddenly felt the itch to write about this; perhaps I wanted to know my feelings better as I write this, and perhaps I also wanted to share what’s going on in my head.
To be quite honest with everyone, (after all, I decided to write already, why not spill everything out?) what drives me insane about this issue isn’t Kris’ actions itself – but the interpretations of the people who are not even involved in the issue.
I don’t know why I keep scrolling through Tumblr (A.K.A the pandemonium) where people go crazy about every little (sometimes just a pathetic phrase) ‘information’ that go out about Kris. It’s funny, and equally amusing, how much of chaos ensued in the fandom just because he’s gone MIA. No, who am I fooling – the chaos is understandable. I, myself, found my inner thoughts tumbling up and down, left and right and to wherever knows. It is indeed enough to cause alarm – especially when rumors like ‘defecting from EXO’ float around in every damn little corner.
So, what do I really feel about all of this? I feel hurt. Of course I do. I’d be lying if I said I was totally ok with it. The young man is the primary reason why I’m here after all. The hell that has been unleashed since he disappeared affects me more than an ordinary EXO fan out there. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but perhaps I AM ONE OF THE MOST AFFECTED AROUND THE WORLD. I can confidently say that – and no one has the right to judge me for it. Why? simple – because you don’t really know what’s going on inside my head. Only two people know how much I’m affected with this, and like I said earlier, these two people are best friends I have basically entrusted my life with, without joke.
And if you, the reader, know me personally, I don’t spill out 100% of my thoughts on-line. And when I refuse to speak, it’s red alert. When I’m frustrated, I blabber and utter out all the profanities in the world. And when I stop swearing and cursing, and write and speak in a tone that’s like this, I mean business. I really, mean business.
So back to Kris – we really don’t know for sure what is up with him. No one knows. No one, absolutely no one, knows. Not even a person working in SM Entertainment may know. You don’t know Kris enough if you believe his life is actually an open book to all random people walking on the same building as him. I even actually believe that some EXO members don’t know him that well, too. I can firmly say that I believe that the only ones who basically know about Kris more than anyone else is Tao and perhaps Lay. Lu Han can do, too – basically the China line. Go ask yourself – these three are people whom he’s been most of the time, yes, simply because they’re Chinese like him. It’s enough of a reason if you ask me. And even these three people may still not know very much about him. So how can someone else, a random person, or someone in Tumblr, or a sasaeng fan, or even someone working in SM Entertainment (unless maybe if you’re Kim Young Min or Lee Soo Man) absolutely know about what’s happening about the guy? Simple. No one knows for sure. And the fact that no one knows, means ‘keep your paws out of it.’
This is all coming from a Kris-biased fan. As much as I want to know what’s up (because it’s killing me inside, of course), I’d rather let everything be. For the past 2 months, I’ve been trying to get a hold of what’s happening with him, lurking around RenRen, Weibo, Baidu and anywhere else where the existence of EXO is of importance. I’ve been racking my brains connecting this and this together – like solving a puzzle which always has missing pieces. And these last few days I’ve learned to accept that perhaps I should just stop trying to figure out. It’s hard to bear with the black hole that is the reason why everything is happening, yet in the end, we should accept it. We cannot do anything about it.
I do know some things about him and his past, and probably some of you do, too. I wouldn’t be a Kris-biased if I didn’t. And these little things may have something to do with why he’s gone MIA. And yet, nothing is concrete enough.
Some people say this and that. Some say he’s leaving EXO, and that he’s gone around different companies in mainland and Hong Kong seeking for companies to take him in as an actor. Some say he’s stuck in an arranged marriage and his parents want him out of EXO for it. Some say he’s misbehaved and he could be suffering punishments for whatever rule he’s broken. Some say he’s injured and all that.
I’m honestly disappointed with all of these.
I, like many others, do not have a grasp with what’s real and what’s not. The situation has taken a turn for the worse where no one knows who can be trusted or not. It’s that grave. However, I do believe that one thing is real – whatever’s causing him to disappear like this, is something that is so grave.
I said this before: being a Cassiopeia (in case you don’t know, a TVXQ fan) for some years has taught me a lot of things about fandom, about artists and about SM Entertainment. Kris leaving? It’s not that easy. JYJ (do some research if you don’t know about the JYJ-TVXQ issue) had to lose a lot of things: rights, money and even friends. You can’t deny that they can’t go see their old friends at SM Entertainment freely now. And they even had to file a lawsuit just to get out of the contracts. But JYJ had power already – they have been a veteran for almost 8 years and they were at the peak of their fame with TVXQ when they decided to defect from SME. In short, they had chances to get out. And Kris? He’s been what, a rookie for a year – in a group that consists 12 members and the fans’ attention have to be divided between all of them.
And you don’t have to tell me that Kris actually wanted to be an actor and not an idol – I KNOW THAT. I knew that since the very beginning, that is why I know for a fact that there could be a hint of truth about him ‘leaving EXO.’ So why am I saying all of these then? I’m stating the facts. I’m stating that if he’s indeed planing to leave EXO, he’s not that stupid enough to push through it with pathetic tantrums and go on misbehave all he wants – because there will be repercussions. If you’ve been an SME stan for a long time, you would know that breaking from a contract requires billions of amount to be paid – especially since EXO is kind of ‘special.’ You’ll have to pay an estimated amount of earnings the group you’re leaving would earn for the rest of years in the contract (in this case, since SME’s contract years is around 10, I think? Kris would have to pay an estimated amount of 9 years’ worth of earnings since he’s only been in the group for a year), as well as pay all the investments SME did to him (like all the lessons, training materials, dorm, allowances and all that preparations for him to debut). He would also have to pay for damages to the image of the group and the company. All of that. Unless he files a lawsuit about some wrongdoing SME has done to him (like JYJ’s unfair contract terms, like Han Geng’s) – but he’ll need evidences for that, a good lawyer and again, money to sustain him in the battle against the company. I’ve seen all of that. And I’ve seen how it is basically suicide to break free from SME. Actually, for any entertainment company for that matter – because they’re all the same. It’s a norm in South Korean music industry. To fight against the norm is go against the world. You can ask any other Cassiopeia about this. We suffered a lot. And we are still suffering.
So, let’s go back to Kris. Let’s say he really does want to leave EXO. I don’t know how he’s going to do it – but certainly, seeking entertainment companies in China and Hong Kong won’t do the job. I don’t even believe that – because honestly, I believe that during the time he was away, SME still kept an eye over him. And some people honestly think that SME let him seek someone else’s help so that he could leave SME? That’s like a rapist watching his prey calmly call for police – and that’s downright stupid, really stupid I must say. Ok, so again, since I’m being open since I don’t know anything, let’s say that was true – and because of that, he’s being punished. Could be. But what could not be, is the fact that EXO’s comeback has been delayed just because they wanted to punish him for his actions. SME is losing bucks of money each time EXO’s comeback is delayed – because some fans hate waiting; and when they get tired of waiting, they leave, and stan another group. There are loyal ones, but one fan gone means a decrease in the album sales in the future. KPOP is business – it’s one of the fuels that runs the industry. You can’t make any wrong moves, lest SME wants all of their investments in EXO (which is an awfully large amount, you’ll have to agree with me, the way SME promoted and marketed EXO is quite expensive. 23 filmed teasers, 2 prologue MVs, veteran composers and songwriters, heavily-tattered with effects title MV). EXO has only released one mini album, and it’s common sense that the sales haven’t covered for everything, yet. I don’t know the ins and outs of business, but my mom owns her own company and I know for a fact that investments don’t return in just a snap of a finger. It takes years.
And then people are saying EXO’s comeback is being delayed further because Kris is being punished. And that he may not be included in the next album. Think this – SME is losing money each time the comeback is delayed, and they’re going to lose further because some fans will go badshit (like me) when EXO returns as 11 only. Some may even not buy anymore, like Kris fans (And I don’t judge them. Biases are biases). That’s bad for the business. Especially in a business like entertainment, where the key is to give your clients what they want so they support you.
I still believe that his absence has something to do with some family matters. Canada and China: both are places that held witness to the growing up of a young man named Wu Yi Fan. Both places held a piece of him and his family. What else could it be? As we all know, Kris didn’t exactly have that happy family – and there are still some grey areas about his family background. But of course, we are just fans so we shouldn’t stick our noses into his business. And that’s one of the things are pissing me off – for their own selfish desires and self-assurance, some fans are trying to get into the bottom of everything. I hate it. I don’t like it. But I’m not going to rant about that here. I’ve posted some thoughts about that already so I’m not going to repeat them. (Note: If you want my piece of mind on this issue, there are some links from my Tumblr posts at the end of the entry.)
And I’m getting tired, like really. So I’ll stop talking about these speculations now. I’ll talk about what I feel now.
What do I feel? Like I said, I’m hurt. I’m scared.
But you know what, I’ll just choose to sit back and watch things unfold. Because I’m only going to make my life miserable by trying to sniff out everything, and get hurt by every little rumor that comes out.
Being a Cassiopeia has taught me one thing, too. Believe only in what the members themselves say. Because at the end of the day, only the ones involved in the issue are the ones that know what’s really happening. And so far, no one involved in the issue has said anything. Well, Kris did say something, and that is, ‘He’ll come back.’
So, why would I believe every rumor out there? Heck, why would I believe myself more than what he said? Sure, he has that privilege to take back his own words – and I’ll get hurt for that. But then again, he has his reasons. And I’m sure that whatever those reasons may be, they’re enough to support his decision, because no one is that stone-hearted to leave the people who cares for him for his own selfish reasons. Not all idols are real, but I believe that they all have a soft spot, even just a little for their fans. I’ve said this before – idols train for years, without the assurance that they will debut. And when they finally do, there’s still no assurance that they will survive the market. That is why every fan they gain is a blessing to them – because it adds to the percentage of their survival. Every album bought by the fans is a blessing to them, and every year that they stay in the industry because fans support them is a blessing. Every penny fans spend on their stuff is a penny added to their savings so they could pay off their debts from the companies that invested on them. That is why the KPOP fandom is special. Because of the idol-fan relationship you can’t find anywhere else. Idols basically live because of their fans, so idols do live for their fans.
No one knows what the future may really hold, but you know what keeps me strong? The members look at least happy. The members still smile. It’s a small assurance that everything still ok, even just a bit. When manager oppa came to pick Kris up at the airports, they hugged and smiled. It’s just that, but it keeps me going, even if just barely.
This 31st, EXO M is going to perform in Thailand for the Super Joint Concert. The flight details list 6 people under the name of “EXO M.’ Sure, this is not enough of assurance, but I’ll stop thinking too much for now. What happens on that day, or the succeeding days and weeks – we’ll never really know.
But I’ll just trust. Trust that Kris will be back – either permanently or just to say good-bye for good, he will be back to clear everything up. If he chooses to stay, thank you. If not, then move on. Although I myself don’t know which move to make. But I’ll think of that later on, when it really does happen.
His happiness over mine.
Added these here. Here are some of the Tumblr posts I posted in attempts of sharing my two cents over the course of Kris’ absence: