LE SSERAFIM Sakura’s Live Singing Controversy Sparks Debate On Whether Criticism Should Be Allowed Towards Idols


LE SSERAFIM’s Sakura recently came under fire for her live singing skills. During an encore stage, she had to sing without any backing track. She looked visibly nervous and frightened.

sakura……… https://t.co/bfv2uzT4dS

— (@HNK4I) February 29, 2024

Many believe that the building pressure of encore stages being put under scrutiny led to Sakura’s aversion towards it. What used to be a fun way to interact with fans became another way for the public to measure one’s talent.

encore stages were never about how good you sing live that’s what the actual stages are for. kpop stans ruined something that used to just be the artists having fun with their fans https://t.co/UgWDSbBO9j

— ai⁷ WONBIN DAY (@shaniize) March 1, 2024

Sakura’s incident sparked an ongoing debate amongst K-Pop fans about the topic of criticism. While many fans of Sakura shielded the star, they coddled her for being nervous and turned against those who dared criticize Sakura. They blamed those who tossed criticism her way, claiming that it only resulted in Sakura being more afraid.

Sakura literally looked like she was about to cry on that encore stage. The bullying that woman has received is so fucking evil. It’s truly heartbreaking to see her scared on stage because she knows people will over criticize her. Kpop fans are absolutely disgusting. pic.twitter.com/qiBOxt5n14

— EZ (@LeSserafimTokki) February 29, 2024

On the other hand, many believed that criticism should be allowed. After all, being an idol is a job. It is not just a way for singers to fuel and fulfil their passion. It is also a job that they must do, and do well. Just like any other job in society, idols may have to bear the weight of grading and judgement if they fail to live up to expectations.

Being an idol is a job. She chose that path so she should find ways on how to excel. Just like a normal employee, you get criticized and receive feedback if you are not doing well and worst they get fired. We should not normalize being okay with small improvements. https://t.co/4DD3J39uJD

— 킨kynn (@kjleexxvii) March 1, 2024

Criticism, when delivered without malice, is not a form of hate. It can help one identify their weak spots and improve. It is also part of the public’s freedom to express themselves and their opinions. About Sakura’s case, many felt that she had failed to improve despite her many years of experience. While fans defend that her time in AKB48 did not include formal training, others did not see fit to excuse her lack of improvement without guidance. After all, she did continue to perform during those years.

criticism isn’t hate, sakura has been in the industry for 12 years that is three years less than taemin, if taemin went from a god awful singer to being comparable to main vocalists, what’s stopping her?! https://t.co/d9g7lmevs6

— 기 (@oujumbotron) March 1, 2024

The coddling of idols has become a severe phenomenon in the industry with later generations. As K-Pop grows bigger and the number of fans internationally increase, a large proportion of the fans are extremely defensive of their idols and immediately attack anyone who disagrees. Some feel that this has led to a less dynamic industry.

The reason kpop is so dead rn is because of people like you. Y’all can’t criticize idols whose primary job is to be at least a decent singer. They train many years & all they can do is look pretty & dance? & i’m not saying this only bcs of le srfm but in general. https://t.co/XGZOd2Grts

— ₄Mαɾ⁷ (@ROSIEJKSJ) March 1, 2024

when can we criticize kpop idols who can’t sing live without being called a ‘bully’ https://t.co/UciM0bP8Dr pic.twitter.com/dzhFyIi5x3

— horang is seeing jeno on aug 11 (@chatjwipt) March 1, 2024

Call it “toxic positivity” if you will, like this netizen did.

someone said toxic positivity is killing kpop cos nobody is allowed to criticize these idols anymore while they are making millions and def enjoying doing the bare minimum or having below-the-average performing skills and yet being heavily protected by their rabid fans https://t.co/0IVGj4tn3s

— Sasha Eternal Sunshine (@roseftariana) March 1, 2024

Without appropriate criticism and feedback, the industry and the idols will not grow. The dilemma comes when fans themselves blur the line between the idol as an idol, and as a person. It is right to say that idols are indeed humans and people offstage. But onstage, they are part of an ecosystem and industry where they have jobs to do. A part of this job is also becoming a “product” of the company. As much as fans do not wish to hear this, the industry is run on consumerism and the idols are there to provide. They have to fulfil this basic part of their job when they are on the hour. Perhaps it is the fans sometimes, who fail to differentiate between “the idol” and “the person.”

 What are your thoughts? 

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