Ever since KARA’s dispute broke out earlier this year, the music industry has been focusing on the possible negative effects it might have on the Hallyu wave.
Fortunately, the majority of industry representatives have assured that the issue has not in any way directly impacted their personal success, nor has it affected the Hallyu wave overseas.
OSEN spoke with an anonymous representative who had recently interviewed Japanese reporters and revealed, “The Japanese staff and reporters do not directly ask about uncomfortable situations. The same goes for the KARA controversy. The reporters did not directly ask about it, but did show interest when the issue was mentioned amidst general discussions on agencies.”
Another representative who recently returned from visiting Japan added, “Nothing has changed regarding the direction of the girls’ promotions, as well as their contractual relationships. The KARA controversy gained a bigger response than predicted, but that won’t change or get in the way of other artists advancing into Japan.”
Despite the positive assurances, some did express that the controversy would inevitably lead to side effects. A representative working with artists preparing for Japanese advancement commented, “Regardless, it’s definite that this controversy gave some new material for those who have been trying to bring down the Hallyu wave. Negative news reports about KARA were aired on TV daily, and I’m sure there were many people who were exposed to KARA only through such news, and not through their music.”
Korean celebrities such as Won Bin (and more recently, SNSD at their “E-ma“ press conference) also received questions from the Japanese media about their thoughts on the KARA controversy. One Hallyu representative commented, “For now, KARA has been working as five members, so the interest from the Japanese about this issue has been settled somewhat. I don’t predict any further issues arising, and they will not be asking about KARA anymore.”