On August 24, IZ*ONE member Wonyoung‘s fansite by the Twitter handle of @staydelight0831 shared some pictures snapped from the time she visited the United States.
The pictures captured Wonyoung on the streets of and around the town in New York…
… as revealed in the tweets that read, “Wonyoung in the summer in New York” and “The happiest moments shared with [her]“.
While Wonyoung surely looked like a gleaming goddess in the pictures…
… some K-Pop fans grew concerned by the proximity from which these seem to have been taken. One fan commented, “Seeing from how close up these are, I initially thought they are agency-released official pictures.”
As more fans came to realize the “unnaturalness” of the pictures, they claimed that this behavior constitutes borderline “stalking“…
- “This fansite followed her into the market and photographed her? If this isn’t sasaeng behavior, then what is?”
- “My bias went overseas and had all the fansites following around like this too… It’s pretty much impossible for idols to be out and about without being trailed. That’s why they stay in their hotel rooms all the time.”
- “I seriously despise all sasaengs.”
- “I honestly thought these are official photoshoot pictures from the agency. Why didn’t she have anyone blocking her off from the cameras…? T-T”
- “Did this fansite really stalk her all the way to the United States?”
… and it eventually sparked a heated debate over “sasaeng” fans. While it is unverifiable whether the fansite is indeed a sasaeng with malicious intent, many became convinced that the tweeted pictures “only prove that Wonyoung’s privacy isn’t important to the fansite” and hence is “sasaeng all the same“.
- “Wow, but I naturally figured this is some photoshoot in a supermarket…”
- “This gives me the goosebumps. This is insane!”
- “The pictures give off a weird vibe though. I knew it’s a sasaeng‘s work.”
- “I hope the girls had their security guards with them… Right?”
- “This is creepy AF. How far will these ‘fans’ follow?”
- “You mean these are not official agency pictures? Holy crap.”
- “They got followed? All the way to New York? She’s a minor! My goodness.”
Some even agreed that “fansites in general” are constantly “crossing the line” and “making things difficult for idols” who deserve better than “to be pestered every second of their lives“.
- “The pictures are one thing… The captions in the tweets are even creepier.”
- “This is crazy, she’s underage! Stop this. Sasaengs are disgusting.”
- “Okay I hate when sasaengs trail my bias… but she’s gorgeous in these pictures.”
- “I can’t believe she had to smile at the camera. Being a K-Pop star is rough.”
- “I’m heartbroken that she smiled so beautifully, despite the situation.”
For ages, K-Pop has been troubled by sasaeng fans who know no limits. As the genre grows more global though, fandoms are unitedly pushing for the protection of their artists — to be prioritized by both the agencies and the fans. The battle against sasaengs continues, but with such raised awareness, the industry has hope.
Read more about the problematic sasaeng behavior below.