Announced this week was the news that the almost forgotten JYJ Law was actually signed into law. Was anyone else surprised that this was floating around out there? When it was defeated earlier this year, I figured that would be the last we’d heard of it. (And trust me, we listen pretty hard for anything Junsu related.)
While the idea of this ruling is a good one, the question is, will this change anything at all?
Background for those of you who don’t know, a story:
A long, long time ago in a land far, far way, there was a group boys called TVXQ. Now these boys were young and innocent, and of course, very, very beautiful. All this collection of boys wanted to do was bring fun and hotness to the masses through the power of song and dance.
Unfortunately, TVXQ was ruled over by the dark and powerful management company SM. Now, SM, realizing that these boys were indeed very young and eager, knew they could make lots and lots of money from their talent and desires to bring happiness through song. SM were happy to sign these young boys to their company, but in return made them sign a slave contract, forcing our boys to sing and dance for long periods of time with no rest, very little money, and no time to visit home for 13 years. The boys, thinking they had no other option, signed the contract.
Before long, the boy’s dreams were coming true, they traveled the land singing and dancing, and going on many a television program. Soon though, the boys became very tired, and very sad. What were they working so hard for they asked? With every CD, their debt to the evil SM just got bigger and bigger! They were not even allowed to choose our own songs. While they loved their fans, they missed their families.
One day, they hatched a plan. They would run away! They would leave SM and go out into the world to find another management company to help them in their quest to share music, but this time in a way which made them happy. The boys knew that the battle would be long and fraught with difficulties, and in the end, only 3 of the boys, Junsu, Jaejoong, and Yoochun boldly made the jump. These new brothers formed a new group called JYJ and found a new management company who promised to treat them with dignity and respect.
Once the evil SM found out the boys plans, they took them to court, fighting hard to get them to stop making their music for others for many years. Then they decided on a bigger plan—they had their minions go to all of the tv producers in the land and made sure that JYJ would never be allowed on another television program. The boys were sad, and fought back spending years and years in court. With all this they remained cheerful, glad that, while they couldn’t partake in any variety show shenanigans, they were still able to make their own music and make all the fangirls in the land happy.
Yep, so that’s it in a nutshell. JYJ split from SM, joined another company and allegedly SM got the boys, both solo and as a group, banned from all variety shows. Junsu actually said with Flower, he was surprised how well it did considering he couldn’t advertise it anywhere. The networks seem to be towing the line, not signing them for music programs or shows like Running Man. There was also the time where Junsu was headlining a performance that was being filmed and just as he was about to do his set, the cameras packed up and left. Bad form guys, bad form.
Now, SM and the music producers are all in agreement that SM had nothing to do with JYJ disappearing from the airwaves, that it’s up to the show producers themselves do decide as to which talent gets signed on. It’s all just a little bit…fishy. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who noticed. There has been a big outcry by fans against this action, and lately, the JYJ law was proposed, defeated and then just this week, finally passed.
The JYJ law(from Soompi):
The amendment prohibits broadcasting companies from preventing appearances of an individual or group on a show due to a third party’s request that is unrelated to the production of a show, or due to a request that comes from a third party even after a certain individual or group has been legally cleared to appear on a show.
Yay, right? Time to celebrate! Ding Dong, the witch is dead? While I’m happy for our boys and pray to all of the Gods of Kdrama that this means an imminent Running Man visit for Junsu, I’m leery to think that this will actually make any changes at all. SM already said that they had no hand in one of the biggest male groups not being invited to do any TV appearances. What’s really to stop them now? If the decision is up to the TV producers, whats to incentivize them to choose JYJ over another band that won’t make one of the biggest management companies ‘unofficially’ mad at them?
It reminds me of the movie, Wonderful Radio, in which the studio kept bowing to the desires of the music company because they said that if they didn’t they would pull all of their talent from the shows. It wasn’t until the radio network stepped back and said “we had enough” that the management company was forced to realize they have a symbiotic relationship—one doesn’t have power more power than the other.
I guess what we need is for one brave production team to stand up and say “We’ve had enough.” and schedule whoever they want for their shows. Just a few months ago a smaller network show did feature Junsu on a program of theirs, but I think to truly be effective a Running Man or an Inkigayo needs to be the ones to do it. With more and more artists trying to break way from these giant companies, attempting to stand up for their rights as artists and people, this is going to become a bigger issue—and here’s hoping this is a step in the right direction.