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Ladies Code and Car Accidents in Kpop

September 8, 2014

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Hey everyone. Sorry that this week’s Kpop Music Monday isn’t very playful, but considering the gravity of the situation, with Ladies’ Code fatal car accident, we thought that this was an appropriate time to talk about this accident and our thoughts on the industry as a whole (because, after all, we always talk about the industry as a whole, don’t we?)

We did a video a while ago about Why Dongho Quit Kpop and Why We Would Too, and in that video we talked a bit about how idols are overworked. And – for a lot of kpop fans – that usually translates to them thinking “oh, my oppas are in the dance studio practicing for hours everyday!” but that’s not the only way the artists are overworked. It’s a lot more insidious than that. Training hard for a performance is one thing; performing on every available show and performance is another, and it’s the latter that borders almost on the unethical.

Companies invest a lot of money in making a kpop band, and these artists don’t get that money for free. They have to pay it back, which is why you see so many of them doing tons of things outside of music. Commercials. Talk shows. Radio shows. Other things. The company needs to make that money back. Don’t even get us started on Kpop contracts.

We talked a bit about how we don’t even think unions or regulations can stop the industry from endangering itself. Workplace regulations, from our experiences, aren’t really that well enforced. An example of this can be seen in after school programs in Korea, called “hagwons.” The government passed regulations that forbid some of the hagwons from operating after a specific hour of night. We know people working in hagwons in which the manager just tells the staff to turn off the lights, so that the hagwon looks like it’s closed, but the teachers have to keep teaching and the students have to keep studying, in the dark. I expect no difference in the Kpop industry if regulations were passed, as creative ways to skirt those regulations will surely pop up.

I don’t know what can be done to change the situation. I’m not saying that the #BuckleUp campaign is a bad idea. Please, if you see your favourite idols on social media in a car without a seatbelt, tell them to buckle up. It’s a great start, and hopefully will make their inevitable injuries from future car accidents more manageable. But how can we get kpop companies to work their artists less? How can we get them to stay at a motel for the night instead of driving back through a tsunami? How can we get idols to sleep in their beds in their homes rather than the floors of their change rooms? How can we get idols to call it a day and not push it through a 50 hour music video shoot?

Really, the more we’re exposed to the industry, the more disenchanted we are by it. And there’s a fuckton more to it than we can openly talk about. But we see so much more of the wrong practices in place, and it really poisons the way we perceive the final product. Some people have commented on how our Music Mondays aren’t as lighthearted as before, and it’s true. When we first got into watching Kpop videos all we saw was pretty boys and girls dancing to flashy lights, and we laughed and clapped and cheered. Now, we know so much more about how the industry works. Diamonds are made out of coal, flowers grow out of shit, and kpop videos are produced by the industry. Idols quit. Actors flee. And in this situation, kids die, and this Chuseok parents will be honouring the graves of their ancestors while crying over the graves of their daughters.

Our deepest condolences go to the families of Ladies Code. Our sincerest condolences go to the surviving members of Ladies Code, who will be traumatized for life by that car accident. Martina suffers to this day from the car accident that could have killed her, and I’m sure that the many people in the industry who have been in accidents from trying to keep up with their crazy schedules have wounds they’re hiding on stage. Here’s Ladies’ Code last video. Give them a few more views, while you can.

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  1. I doubt anything would change. Asian society is known for holding the Asian values for example the value of hard working. I think in most cases, it is not that the companies force the idols to continue their schedule, but the idols themselves want to continue working so as to not disappoint their fans or break the promises to their company and other companies/organizers in attending their schedule. Just like you said, they can be replaced anytime and for that fear, for the need to be well-known, they would continue working no matter what others may feel. Putting myself in their shoes, if I were them, i would do the same and continue working hard. Since I would be still alive, I would make the most out of my time. There is no need for me to rest if I deem my body capable. I would be dedicated to my job and work hard no matter the circumstances. I am not going to stay at home if I can achieve something better and more productive some place else. That’s what I think the idols will feel too. This is just a thought of mine. I have realized that many are criticising the Korean Media Industry and yet few realise that because of these values that the idols hold, they are able to gain the hearts of many. It is because of these values that they have became so successful. I’m not saying that we should not point out the bad things about the industry at all, I am just offering my view on the positive things of the industry so as to maybe balance the pessimism and anger and sadness I have been reading from all the comments these few days. I’m sorry that its too long. It’s my first post here.

    3 years ago
  2. I was really shocked to hear about the seat belt laws in Korea and how lack they are in enforcing it. I live in Texas and we have the “Click it or ticket” rule if you are caught not wearing a seat belt, you will get a ticket with a minimum fine of $500. Where I live, it’s close to $1000. I really enforce people I know to wear seatbelts because I lost a friend in high school when they were speeding and no one had a seat belt on. The sad thing is, even though there are strong laws like this to help you, people still find it a nuisance and there are still plenty of accidents that could have had a better outcome if someone was wearing a seatbelt.

    3 years ago
  3. I don’t know what could be done to change such a competitive industry, but I was wondering what kind of action the government takes to promote safe driving, if any? In the UK there are some really hard-hitting ad-campaigns – one I particularly remember showed the very real danger of an un-buckled person in the back seat flying forward and killing the person in front of them as well.
    I’m hopeful that dangerous driving all over the world can improve with time – I’m pretty sure that it’s only in the last ten years or so that wearing seatbelts in the back of taxis became standard in Britain. I definitely remember it not being expected when I was younger – in fact, I think it might have been an ad-campaign from the government that shifted that attitude as well.

    3 years ago
    • On our drive back from our road trip we did notice a couple of things that raised awareness. There was a big sign on the highway that had a picture of a mother, father, and daughter, and it said that they died in a car accident because they didn’t wear their seatbelts. Also, at the rest stop, there we’re pictures of car accidents and signs telling people to be well rested before traveling, or else the same could happen to them.

      3 years ago
      • That’s interesting – and good to hear. I suppose a step-up would be to air tv campaigns in prime-time advert breaks. As leigh_darling mentioned above, the campaigns in the UK are awful to watch. The most recent one being a real-life headcam of a fatal motorbike accident. The idea is that even if people only watch it once – and then change channels whenever they see it after that – it will stay in their minds from then on. And I think it works.

        3 years ago
  4. At first I was like “Oh no, not another non-KMM”, but when I saw what it was, I was like “Right on! Totally Timely” and frankly, I was also really upset by this tragic accident so way to go EYK, I will totally support this kind of KMM, even if it’s the only kind you do…..though I hope it’s not.

    Here are some of my (random) thoughts:
    1) SEATBELTS: I was a youngster when the Canadian mandatory seatbelt law came into force. To me as a kid, I thought that this was the worst thing ever, no longer free to roam in the car, but tied down to the seat, barely even able to turn (before booster seats existed). Later on, we had a truck with a cap in the back where the back had a couch and carpeting…but no seatbelts. Freedom again! I have to tell you though, I look back on those times now and feel super lucky to be alive, even more so than the time my Dad accidentally transported dynamite and blasting caps together with a 2- and 3-year-old (me) crawling all over them. I had a job during university typing up car accident investigations for an engineering firm, it was a TOTAL eye-opener! If you are in anything more major than a very slow speed bump, that seatbelt will save your limbs and life, otherwise, your chances for survival are really extremely minimal. If all it takes to save your life and future is a short length of fabric, USE IT! Case in point, 10 years ago I was in a very bad car accident where I was driving in very bad weather (I had already missed 2 days of work due to bad weather and was threatened to be fired if I missed another, totally not worth it btw) which is why I was there. I am a very experienced driver but I took my fiance’s SUV, thinking it would be safer but because I was unfamiliar with its quirks, even at low speed, I ended up TOTALLING IT! Short version: I spun out, hit a snow bank while sliding backwards at around 50km/h, apparently sailed through the air 150 ft upside down and the slid another 100ft, filling the cab full of snow since the windows/roof were smashed with the impact. I was super lucky that someone stopped right away to help me get out of the cold (the headlights facing backwards into traffic helped) and that I walked away with only a small cut to my arm from glass, a nasty cold and bruised from head to foot. It’s taken me 10 years to even partially get over the PTSD of winter driving though. Honestly, I was soooo glad to be wearing my seatbelt and huge fluffy long winter coat, my life was saved. Even though I walked away with hardly a cut, I stayed home for a week to recover and I could have used more. The OPP officer that let me stay in his car for a while told me there were over 365 accidents in that small area that morning, more than he’d seen in his life and another woman in the exact same vehicle died in an accident just 1km further down the hwy than me. Don’t learn the hard way, for the love of Pete, please stay off the roads when the weather is poor, no job, money, or fame is worth your life or future. My heart goes out to the families and coworkers of Ladies Code but especially to the survivors of the accident because now they will be hurried to move on and it will be so so hard.
    2) LADIES CODE: I’m extra sad because I really liked their music, style and videos. I hope the surviving members are given enough time off and can come back in a year or so doing something they love.
    3) HOW TO IMPROVE THE KPOP/KOREAN WORK 24/7 CULTURE: I don’t have any easy answers but I am really happy with you Simon and Martina, how you treat your employees/friends. I think that you are a great example and I hope that you start a trend where kpop artists will feel more free to demand better working conditions. While they can always say “there are a million others who would gladly replace you”, that is never as true as they make it out to be. The entertainment industries invest pretty heavily in their artists, it’s not “nothing” to them if you go elsewhere (if you are free to). Maybe the next EYK collaboration will be an entertainment industry company? Heh. That would be SUPER MAJOR work but kind of interesting. I would fear for your lives though, so take care if you try it.
    5) Never underestimate the good that you do, Simon and Martina and th EYK crew. Even as an island example in the sea of S. Korea, you still give others something to aspire to and give people the ability to see that there is another way that DOES work.

    Anyhow, the linking is still broken, but I made the multiple clicking/surfing effort because I really wanted to comment here.

    Cyber_3 – Cheers! BIG HUGS!

    3 years ago
  5. As much as the working conditions in Kpop industry are bad, I think it’s not just them that needs to change. It is apparent in most Asian countries that workers rights (in general) do not exist and profit is greater than money. Cutting corners often helps to increase their profits. I can’t truly explain it, but working to the point of exhaustion is imbedded in many Asian cultures. So is working to the point of mental instability.

    While it would be great for the industry to change, I think the bigger root of the problem is to change this mindset that working to the point of exhaustion or to the point where you are mentally unstable needs to change. I can’t fully blame the Kpop industry for causing accidents to happen. At most, they are 80-90% to blame.

    3 years ago
    • The problem is also that this crazy work mindset is invading the western world too as more workers are imported/used for their cheap labour and slavish mentality of acceptance. It is well worth the effort to try to improve conditions in Asia because otherwise, we may all be in that boat within the next 10 years and that is a scary concept for me, and for the world as a whole.

      3 years ago
      • The sad thing is that coming from Canada, we had a scandal where many employers were taking foreign workers over Canadian workers because of their cheap labour and slavish mentality. This happened like 4-5 months ago. It’s really bad in that teens, who need a first job to get experience, were being turned down at Mcdonalds or Timmies whereas those who were less likely to complain about working conditions or hours were being accepted…

        3 years ago
  6. “Diamonds are made out of coal, flowers grow out of shit, and kpop videos are produced by the industry. Idols quit. Actors flee. And in this situation, kids die, and this Chuseok parents will be honouring the graves of their ancestors while crying over the graves of their daughters.”

    This is a powerful statement. Goddamn. :(

    My deepest condolences to the surviving members of Ladies Code, as well as the families of EunB and RiSe.

    3 years ago
  7. I love how passionate you are on this topic and thankyou for being respectful. Companies treat their idols like products and not humans which upsets me. I think Korea sees idols who overwork themselves, go on unhealthy diets for fans, getting up after an major incident as a praise, ‘Hard working’ when it’s not, it’s dangerous. The lack of rear seatbelts, the whole driving ways and when you spoke about Park Shin Hye scared me. I was tearing up. I hope they see the flaws from your video and want to change however unless a huge public backing is behind this or a law, i don’t think it will change anything. (If one company cancels events for a band, the other will see this as weakness and probably overbook theirs – If that makes sense .

    3 years ago
    • (Not sure how to edit previous post) but wow i 100% agree with that whole paragraph on The ‘Disenchantment’ of Kpop. I still love Kpop but with a lesser intent then i used to for the same reasons you stated here. The more you get interested in the Korean entertainment industry, the more you realise how vain and dangerously manufactured it is. Sad reality ha.

      3 years ago
    • (Not sure how to edit) but wow i 100% agree with that whole paragraph on The ‘Disenchantment’ of Kpop. I still love Kpop but with a lesser intent then i used to for the same reasons stated here. The industry is too vain & Manufactured mostly. Sad reality ha.

      3 years ago
    • Every great enterprise starts with the first step. Without it, we go nowhere.
      –Cyber_3

      3 years ago
  8. Another thing too is that the artists that have been in car accidents should be speaking up more. Not that long ago, Heechul (who has permanent leg damage from a car accident) took to intstagram and once again asked people to wear seat belts and retold as he has said many times that if he hadn’t of been wearing one that day he probably wouldn’t still be here. Yes seat belts are only a minor thing but the point is that artists are the voices we listen to and if they started speaking up more I think that really could impact things. Also another cause for car accidents in the industry are sasaengs who would purposely cause the artists to reck for a chance to get noticed by them. I don’t know if that’s still a problem but there has been reports of it happening.

    3 years ago
  9. As someone working in the entertainment industry in North America I can tell you straight up this isn’t just Korea. Also as someone who ALWAYS wore her seatbelt even though her parents didn’t, I don’t when I’m in transport vehicles on set. I’m pretty sure its covered under the seatbelt exemption (like taxis) at least the P.O’s working with us have never said anything.
    I’ve seen actors on set get hurt for various reasons and we continue to work using makeup or angles to cover up the injuries, possibly shift the schedule so we shoot close ups a few days later while the swelling or bruises go down. To stop production for a day costs a LOT of money. There is huge fights in the industry about whether it would cost more to pay us all overtime or to extend by a couple of days the overtime seems to win out (mostly because of insurance but also working around actors schedules). Many crew members get in car accidents from falling asleep while driving home and the unions still cant seem to do anything about it. http://www.whoneedssleep.net/Site/more_articles.html You hear about celebrities but the public doesn’t care enough about regular crew members. Asian workload always seems to take it to the extreme but this is what the regular industry workload is! Until we change things here and make an example I don’t see things changing over there

    3 years ago
    • I always wear my seatbelt in a taxi or 15-person crew van. There really isn’t an exemption, even in the U.S. but people tend to skim over them for expediency or “efficiency” even if it’s technically against the law. (New York cabbies – I will MAKE a seatbelt if I have to riding in those deathtraps).

      Every delay on set costs money but like you said, shooting around or further back, etc. can be done, people are just too lazy, it’s more that than the money, OT is definitely not cheaper.

      3 years ago
  10. I don’t even know what to say. It’s so heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us as always. Prayers for the families and the remaining members of Ladie’s Code, I can’t even imagine what they’re going through.

    3 years ago
  11. I think you guys did such a great video covering this horrible trajedy and the key points that exist in this case as well as others. I’ve been living in Korea for a year now and I’ve noticed all the same problems you listed when it comes to the Taxi Drivers and the seat belts, even to the horrible car accidents I’ve seen in front of my own eyes. Since I’ve been in Korea I’ve developed a fear and a motion sickness to cars and buses, and prefer to take the train or subways whenever possible. I also agree that the industry responds to its audience and if fans spent half as much time following their favorite kpop stars, and contributing half as much money to the cds/concerts etc then they could put that money and time towards advocating for their idols safety. I think the entertainment industry is a good place to start, since often in Korea the entertainment industry and its idols bleed into almost every aspect of the Korean lifestyle. Activism is needed on the part of the fans both domestically and internationally, without it the industry will never have the incentive to change. Blaming it on the industry, while justified directed anger, doesn’t attack the core of the problem since the reason they exist is for Profit. Thanks for taking a step to advocate for not only kpop idols safety in Korea, but all driving safety in Korea and the work conditions as a whole. It puts the rumors and bickering aside for a better cause.

    3 years ago
  12. overworking is seriously a problem in korea as well as japan. i dont know why but it could be the reason why these 2 countries are able to maintain their economy and high standard of living compared to the other countries in east asia. even here in singapore, we’re facing the same problem too, especially when working in a korean, japanese or local company. american and european companies here offers better welfare but at times that small sign of overworking can be seen. probably also due to our need to drive the economy here to maintain that high GDP.

    i’ve had a handful of korean ex-colleagues who’d rather stay in singapore despite being retrenched and had difficulty finding job here, than to return back to korea where they can find another job easily. they told me that though we have long work hours here in singapore too, but at least they can spend the weekend with their kids, if they were to go back korea to work, they wouldn’t have that luxury.

    this is a difficult problem to handle, it is a result of many problems snowballing into this giant mess. the economy, the debt crisis, population greater than number of jobs available, the asian “must be hardworking” culture, capitalism, etc. even if governments are willing to take a step to change the overworking situation, they will face problems with big corporations who wants to keep the money rolling

    3 years ago
  13. It is sad that Korea & fellow artists are only now thinking about what can be done to stop accidents like this. Seeing this kind of news from an American stand point, the whole thing just boggles my mind. I agree, the entertainment industry cares more about promoting their employees, & making that money, then their health. It is a shame that companies don’t want to spend a bit more to properly feed their staff. At times American actors and singers will have only doughnuts & coffee.
    A couple of solutions that I have thought of:
    1) definitely get driving laws & start enforcing them. I hear to much about people walking in the cross walks but cars will turn into the pedestrians. Or buses run red lights. It’s difficult to hear these unenforced laws (if there are any) are hurting people when there needs to be something that protect everyone’s safety.
    2) GET DRIVERS!! If the industry wants their employees to be safer why not hire drivers & that is all they do. Drive a group or solo artist or a couple of members to & from places. This way even is the artist(s) & manager are tired, there is someone else driving with a clear head. It is ridiculous what is expected from singers/actors & their managers. Clinical they would be considered mentally unstable from lack of sleep.
    3) better scheduling. They shouldn’t have one TV show here & then get across town in 20 minutes for a radio show & then what is an hour drive be down in 30 minutes for a performance. I get exhausted just thinking about it.

    I almost would like to see a combination of what other countries entertainment industry does but still keep it Korean. Other celebrities get at least 8 hours of sleep typically & have drivers so they can sleep a little more. Other countries feed their stars, even if it is snack food until lunch or dinner arrives. It seems like there is less pressure everywhere else compared to Korea. I understand that groups & artists need to promote, but why the late hours to be on a TV show when there should be dramas on, or prerecorded shows featuring our favorite stars?
    A small part of this is the weather. I have been driven & drove through very bad weather where I couldn’t see, literally, less than 5 feet in front of me. I feel that Korea started to westernize to fast. It’s like they are behind in some areas but advanced in others. No country is perfect, but why not at least attempt to consider how & what other countries are doing to keep their citizens & celebrities safe.

    My heart goes out to the family & friends of EunB & RiSe. I’m sadden that it has taken this long but I hope that some good will come from this & small things will change. Rest In Peace Ladies. & to a full recovery of the rest of Ladies Code.

    3 years ago
  14. First off, thank you for making this video. I really liked how in your blog post you mentioned, “the more we’re exposed to the industry, the more disenchanted we are by it.” I think it is really awesome how you guys talk about the ‘other-side’ of the kpop industry, the side that most of us don’t get to see. I think a good number of kpop fans know about the lack of sleep, ridiculous work hours, etc that idols have to go through, but they may not realize to what extent. Or they might not be aware of some of the crazy antics that music companies put their idols through and would rather keep hidden. So thank you for sharing your experiences.

    As far as changing the conditions of kpop, that sounds like a pretty daunting task. Like you guys mentioned, the difficult work environment seems to be embedded into the Korean culture. The only way I could see anything changing is if kpop idols, as a united whole, refused to continue working with the way things are and demanding changes be made. Like asking for better working hours, regular pay (I know a lot of idols have had major issues with not getting paid), improved living conditions, etc. However, that could be tricky since as you guys mentioned, there are always new kpop groups coming along that are willing to deal with crazy schedules and everything that goes along with it. I agree with you both though, I really hope that things can change for the better.

    3 years ago
  15. The industry is the only one who can change everything. Especially the big 3 (JYP, SM, YG). If they decide to take a stand and make conditions better for their artists then they can make a huge impact and change the industry. Some things that I think can be realistically done – hiring drivers for late night activities. Using the managers may save money but they are the managers so they are working just as hard as the group sometimes and yes, they are probably super tired too. Hiring drivers will help with that.

    Implementing via satellite interviews or performances when driving conditions are bad. If the conditions on the road are bad, the manager will know (hopefully) in enough time to call the radio/tv/ music show and say “hey, we can’t make it back from _____. We can still go on. We have the equipment for the via satellite and will perform/do the interview/talk show/ from here.” If it’s something like Running Man or a variety show that simply CANNOT be handled this way – then SUCK IT UP! As cruel as it will sound, I feel this is the only way the industry will understand: don’t risk losing your money makers by trying to make money. If it’s not safe, then loose the $500 so that they can live another day to make $1000.

    As you said, there are always people ready to take the opportunity. Rookie groups would be really glad to send one member to replace a more experienced group’s member FOR A DAY and it will help out everyone!

    Fianlly – start getting back up performers! I don’t know if this is something that they do or not now, but like theater’s have understudies, these entertainment shows need to have a back up group or performer. If the group can’t make it to their destination – then the show can use the back up groups (again, probably rookie groups needing that chance) and say “hey, we need a last minute fill in for _______. Get on stage.” This one would need a lot of work to make it right (I’m sure management companies wouldn’t want to have their groups wasting time sitting to MAYBE perform/go on air so they may turn it down or be out elsewhere and then still have to rush to make it to the location.)

    Anyway – TLDR – if anything is going to change, it has to be within the company first. Laws will be broken or ignored by greed. Only the people who are the problem can help fix it. And I hope that they are able to see this as a chance to do so.

    3 years ago
  16. To fix the problem of of Idols being overworked I think you need to go directly to the idols. Actually not just idols but also students and workers of Koreans companies, anyone who is being overworked. They need to make a campaign or strike and be willing to put their foot down and say no to being overworked. If people want change to happen they need their voices to be heard. The only risk with standing up to the big man is that you could loose your job. If idols and the public do a campaign or strike, I can promise you they won’t be alone as they have the whole kpop fandom behind them, but I don’t know if that is enough :(

    3 years ago
    • I think consumerist culture is the worst thing. Cause fans just “eating ant eating” and those factories working 24/7 and become more greedier and they make more, more… Fans wants much more and so on… Need that band’s fans make big protest by the agency, need to show that it is a big problem, but i don’t think that will ever happen :( they do as usually go to the corner to cry and everything will be the same

      3 years ago
  17. so sad, that companies don’t care about humans, i wish that those girl’s families get that company to court. >< Remember that bigbang's Daesung was in 2 car accidents, he wasn't so lucky like GD with Taeyang. After first accident he event he wasn't in few episodes of "Family outing" when i watching 62-63 episode i remembering that after filmimg he was hurt… feels so hard :(
    And second accident was very tragical :(

    3 years ago
  18. i keep reading about EunB and Rise and making myself super depressed!!! i actually get teary and i didn’t even know the group! the thing is, this was actually one of my fears, to wake up one day and someone dies from a car accident!! seriously! when i started to find out about all the car crashes and accidents that have happened in the industry i honestly had that thought!
    and i always think how i wish the industry and SK as a whole could change for the better! hope this can trigger a change….

    RIP EunB and Rise

    3 years ago
  19. What a tragic loss. I hope this will open the industry’s eyes and that this tragedy will not be replaced by yet another, on an endless conveyor belt of new groups that suffer just outside of the spotlight.

    3 years ago
  20. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m absolutely exhausted from ranting about this to my mom, so I’ll only repeat some things…

    The KPOP industry is the closest thing to slavery that you can legally get in a 1st world country. A lot of people say, “well they’re there because they want to be, everyone has to sacrifice something for their jobs” but that’s not the point. The point is, they’re treated like absolute and utter shit. Having your rights, integrity, and health stripped from you with the “promise” of becoming wealthy is NOT sacrifice. That’s a violation of someone’s basic human rights. It absolutely kills me to know that my favorite groups are under so much constant stress and so unhealthy. That should not be the case at all. I’m even reluctant to support them. Not because it’s their fault or they don’t deserve it, but because I know that that is a double edged sword.

    The managers, even…They’re under heavy stress as well and I have sympathy for them, too. I read that some managers go weeks without seeing their families and often sleep and eat at work–assuming they get the time to do those things.

    Corporate greed took the lives of two humans this week. Two women who were trying to follow their dreams. All because of money. See, idols aren’t humans to the businesses. They’re objects. Things. Expendables. THat’s why it’s like this.

    My heart goes out to the families affected…I’ve cried a lot since hearing the news, and not just because they were one of my favorites. They died in vain because people are greedy scumbags who work their “things” to death.

    RIP EunB & RiSe. And thank you for doing what you did while on Earth. I’m very thankful and you will be missed greatly. Wherever you two are, I hope you are happy and healthy. I’m praying for you. ♥♥♥

    3 years ago
  21. I think this is so incredibly sad. I can’t even imagine how their families must feel. Instead of celebrating a holiday in which a family comes together, they are most likely grieving and making offerings to these beautiful young ladies. I makes me tear up because they were people too. They weren’t just Kpop idols. For their families, Chuseok will forever have the stain of death upon it and will always be a sad occasion for them.

    Simon and Martina, I’m sincerely happy you guys get to work in your own environment rather than be controlled by these huge entertainment companies. The conditions you worked in were absolutely atrocious and there is no excuse for that. I believe there needs to be some type of guideline or labor law that need to put into action in Korea. I don’t mean just for idols, but for the office workers, day laborers, and even students. Korea has a culture of overwork and I think they should relax a little. But to change a culture is nearly impossible unless the government is involved.

    3 years ago
  22. I like when you guys do videos like this, but obviously I wish you didn’t have to. I can’t even imagine how much more dirt there is in the kpop industry that I don’t know about, in a weird way, I wish you guys could tell us. This is the type of thing that makes me frustrated and angry. What is more frustrating is knowing that this will never change. If it were to change, it would be right now, but it isn’t. ‘Cause since money is involved no one cares about the consequences, that’s why our planet is going to shit, and we’re suffering with global warming already. wow got way out of topic right there, but in conclusion there are people who are too greedy and they should be stopped.

    3 years ago
  23. This is an awful tragedy, pray for them.

    #RIPRise #RIPEunB

    3 years ago
  24. “Really, the more we’re exposed to the industry, the more disenchanted we are by it. And there’s a fuckton more to it than we can openly talk about.”

    This is exactly how I feel about Korea in general. My wife is Korean and after over 4 years of living here it’s only getting worse. The more I learn the more I don’t like about it.

    The Ladies Code crash is the result of laws existing but not followed or enforced. A culture of people being afraid to speak up due to the cultural ranking structure.

    What bothers me the most is how young people/kids get caught in the middle. Everyday I drive to work and everyday I see children in cars that should be in car seats but are not and children on motorcycles.

    Bringing it back to the more I learn the more I don’t like the culture, the other day I was in a restaurant and I watched a father play with his toddler age son’s private parts. I began to walk up to him to stop him but then I realized that no one was stopping this man. I decided to call my wife to see if this is a cultural thing or if I need to step in. She told me that it’s cultural and the police won’t do anything.

    After that I deleted my blogs and found that I can’t promote Korea anymore. I don’t know why I’m venting here. I guess it was that sentence in the blog post I quoted. That really resonated with me but about the culture in general.
    I’ve been losing sleep over about what was happening with that little boy. I haven’t been able to talk about it with anyone. If anyone has any words to get me excited about Korea again I would really appreciate it.

    3 years ago
    • That is just………ewww/argh!?????? If the police won’t step in, you would have likely been freaking a toddler out for a problem he has to live with? My mind is blown, there is no good way to handle that! The only advice I have is that if it happens again though, do what your conscience tells you, then at least *you* can sleep at night. While there are good and bad aspects of every country, this just takes the cake, completely against any kind of international child protection laws. There must be a country that agrees with your stances and enforces the laws you agree with, I hope that you can find it. I can’t say that Canada is perfect, but at least such things are considered WRONG WRONG WRONG here and anyone would have stepped in here in outrage, be it a weak old Grandma or 6-year-old kid, they would have walked up and complained.

      Cyber_3- I just don’t even know what to type here, don’t put up with what you feel is wrong, you only diminish yourself. At least leave a bad situation instead of bearing it.

      3 years ago
    • Same here. I finally took off my rose tinted glasses towards Korea and I haven’t disliked a country this much since my own country of Sweden. I mean, there are good things about every country, but Korea is truly one of the most superficial places in the world. It’s almost on America’s level when it comes to capitalist greed.

      The only words I can give you is some young Koreans are trying to change these laws and change society to make it not so shitty. They’re doing their best. What we can do is support them without supporting the heinous acts the government performs.

      3 years ago
      • Mainy, you are absolutely right about the younger generation. I think I will try and focus on them too. My wife tells me about how the younger generation is really trying hard, I just have to focus on that.

        It actually reminds me a lot of my home country. I’m from the US and I completely agree about how capitalist greed has destroyed our democracy. I’m a big supporter of The Young Turks who are working hard to change the US for the better.

        I have to remember that there are people here in Korea doing the same. I actually just subscribed to the Korean Politics subreddit to try and keep up to date with what is going on.

        Thanks for the reply, it really helps. I’m going to get some sleep now and I definitely feel a lot better.

        3 years ago
    • that is a shocking story – how is it possible that a man playing with a toddler’s private parts is a “cultural thing”???? wtf?? personally i am fascinated by korea and have never lived there so can’t say i know or understand a lot about their society, but generally speaking the more i travel the more i have come to accept the fact that it’s ok not to always completely understand or even like how a society works while appreciating certain other things (art, music, food etc). maybe you will be able to settle with something like that – but if i saw the same thing you did, i personally would also find that a serious deal breaker in my appreciation for the culture. maybe someone else can explain wtf that’s about??

      3 years ago
      • Fruity, thank you for the reply. I think I will try and do that, really try to appreciate the positives and remember what I loved about Korea when I first came here. Thank you again for the reply. I don’t get to speak with many foreingrs as I live in a satalight city just north of Seoul. It’s nice being able to vent a little.

        3 years ago
  25. I think caring more about “health than overall wealth” to quote Simon :) is really important and that really struck a chord for me since I never thought about it that way. Thank you guys for making this video at first I was looking for just information on the crash and all but I never thought this deep. Thanks so much guys!

    And I’m so sad I discovered Ladies’ Code too late I had actually been trying to find the name of a random song I heard somewhere which happened to be “Bad Girl” which I discovered too late… RIP EunB and RiSe you will be deeply missed.

    3 years ago
  26. What pisses me off the most is just the attitude in the K-Pop industry has towards maintaining its idols, from their schedules and meagre food, to the inappropriate vehicles they are transported around in. It’s mind boggling how some think that seat belts are unnecessary when they are so important in a crash. A seatbelt doesn’t just prevent you from flying forward in an accident, the technology is now advanced enough to direct energy away from your body thus reducing its effects on your body. Modern seatbelts will actually allow some slack before the pretensioners fire to secure your body in place, all to reduce the energy that is acted upon your body, thus reducing the potential for injuries.

    But the worst thing has to be the vehicles they are carried around in – the most common vehicles I see are Hyundai H-1s and Chevrolet Express Safari, cars that are NOT designed to carry passengers around. They are vans and their primary purpose is to carry cargo, NOT passengers. Thus, they are not engineered to deal with crashes like conventional passenger cars are. And what’s even worse is that with larger idol groups, they tend to stick as many as they can into one vehicle. INFINITE with 7 members take up one car, which frankly is just ridiculous because the van was not built to carry and protect seven human bodies. They lack the structural capabilities to absorb and deal with energy in a crash, nor do they have the appropriate safety equipment to protect the passengers. In fact, I just checked Ladies Code’s Hyundai H-1 – there is not a single sign of side impact and curtain airbags to protect the passengers having been deployed. In fact, the vehicle may not have even been equipped with them. For an accident as serious as that, that’s just appalling with such a lack of protection.

    You can see the wreck here: http://d2o9zv0j9qze78.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/van.jpg

    And finally, if Ladies Code crashed because a rear wheel fell off, that’s just inexcusably poor maintenance. Securing a wheel and tightening the lug nuts are one of the easiest tasks anybody can perform with either a lug wrench and if you want to be safer, a torque wrench.

    3 years ago
    • You make a very good point about the vehicles. I don’t know that the wheel necessarily came off causing the crash though, it’s possible that the wheel lost its tire when the vehicle impacted. You made me think of another point on road safety too though, road construction. It’s lucky that a lot of S. Korean highways are relatively new, having better safety standards when they are built, but you’d be surprised how many codes are “cut” in construction due to problems on the ground. If accidents keep happening at the same places, especially in bad weather, you can be sure that how the road is built is also involved. Improperly-banked turns, wrong guardrail for the situation, slight dips where water gathers next to merge lanes, slight narrowing of lanes on curves, etc. ad nauseum. I know what the roads are like in Canada and even they have problems, I can only imagine in Asia where I’ve seen construction sites first hand and if they are not safe for workers, what makes you think those workers care about the users’ safety later on after they are gone. It often doesn’t take much to make a road unsafe, especially if the driver is not an expert, well rested, or the weather is bad. Nevermind the lack of seatbelts.

      Just to give a quick example, there used to be guardrails with two sets of cables/wires between wooden posts, they were used extensively throughout North America, because hey, two sets of 2-3 wires is safer than just one set, right? Actually, wrong. As it turned out, two sets of wires were more likely to sheer right through your car (and you) at even medium speeds, rather than stop you from going over the edge into a ditch. Thus came in the steel guardrail. There are still tons of backroads in Ontario with these double wire sets guardrails though.

      3 years ago
  27. I think this was an appropriate video for what just happen. It is really important to bring more awareness to this topic. Don’t get me wrong I love k-pop, it’s all I listen to, but it is disturbing at times to hear how some idols aren’t being treated like people. Quite frequently I read in the news about K-pop idols involved in car accidents. Even though most have been minor accidents still there is something that needs to be address.

    I didn’t listen to Ladies Code a lot but I was heartbroken to hear the devastating news. They were too young and talented to die. It is sad to hear of death that could have been prevented. If only they stayed overnight and not drive in the bad weather. If only the person in charge of inspecting the van would have inspected it more carefully.

    A few years ago I had two cousins that died in a car accident as well. Again a death that could have been prevented, but unfortunately I guess it was there time. So this news hit me more to home and brought back memories I think that was another reason I was so heartbroken to hear about the death of EunB and Rise.

    I hope this incident will be a wake up call to the industries. Now I am not saying all Korean industries don’t care about their artist. I think some do not realize the hardships their idols go through. Money is on their mind and again like you mention they invested a lot in these groups so they feels they should pay them back sooner.

    R.I.P RiSe and EunB and stay strong Ladies Code members.

    3 years ago
  28. I really hope this helps raise awareness for the industry and country. 6% of back seat passengers wearing seat belts is just crazy. Just because there isn’t a windshield in front of you doesn’t mean you are immune from getting hurt in a car accident.

    3 years ago
    • It also doesn’t mean that you won’t catapult right over/through those seats into the windshield either or be thrown out or crushed out those too-close side windows if the vehicle rolls.

      3 years ago
  29. its scary to know all of this. and the car accident with Ladies Code is a tragedy. I remember watching strong heart where the Super Junior member talked about their accident and many of them barely got away with their life( i was disturbed when kyuhyun talked about how his father begged the doctors not to have surgery though his throat or something bc he was a singer, instead of beeing yes do everything you can to save his life. they build it up like thank god his singing career was saved when i was thinking more of thank god your life was saved), isn’t the reason Heechul isn’t dancing as much anymore bc one of his legs is almost compleatly build up with steel bars?

    and when GD had his “minor accident” ( we never actually got clear explanation to how serious it was) and he went straight up to the stage and performed, apologised to his fans for being late, then finished early to go to the hospital. I though omg your fans would understand, they don’t want you hurt. but then again i guess profit (or the reputation you have as an artist being trustworthy to perform) is more

    3 years ago
    • I’m nos so sure about the fans understainding. I mean yes, I think a lot of them would andbe supportive and whatnot, but stil there will be some fans who won’t care and just want to see the performance NOW, doesn’t matter if anything happened to the idols. I’ts very sad and something I totally hate. Last year Bon Jovi had to cancel their concert in Mexico City because Tico had to have an operation, and of course we fans were bummed because new broke out hours before the concert, a lot uf us understood, it’s okay, he wanted to play, he can’t we can wait, but still I was dissapointed on the amount of people getting angry because the concert was cancelled (actualy re-schedualed), I mean, what on earth? The money you payed for the show is more important than someone’s health? Someone you supposedly care about? And this is not exactly a younger generation, there were barely any teenagers in the public. So yea, I don’t have that much faith on the fans understading…

      3 years ago
  30. It breaks my heart to think about these two sweet young girls working hard trying to fulfill their dream ending up like this. My thoughts and prayers goes out to the family, and I hope they will be strong and brave.

    My Dad would not even start the engine until all of his four children had said YES about having their seat belts on. Norway is very, very strict about this, and I have never been with someone who has not buckled up.
    Thank you guys for taking your time to honor the girls and inform us about the industry in Korea. It’s important to know all sides, and I still love Korea and K-pop, but I really appreciate learning so much from you two.

    3 years ago
  31. There was Hong Soo Hyun on Roommate that talk about being in a car accident and being now really anxious anytime she’s in a car. I thought “wow, they’re letting that on the show?”, since I would have expect this kind of comment to not make the cut.

    I always remember Lee Un death too everytime I rewatch Coffee Prince. What frustrates me the most is that most idols are young. And then they’re gone in a blonk of an eye because of a car accident. It’s really sad.

    And sadly, I don’t think things will change much. But I still hope so.

    3 years ago
  32. it’s complete greediness and money grabbing by the companies that take advantage of the naivety of young, starry-eyed performers. they grab them when they are children and hardly have a moment to think for themselves and question what’s going on around them. the shallowness of kpop is a fun, plastic, shiny thing to enjoy on the surface (i know i enjoy it, that’s for sure), but it seems the shallowness pervades throughout the industry – i.e. it’s all about the money. companies consider their performers as products, not people. products to make them and their shareholders money. CAPITALISM. YAY.

    3 years ago
  33. This overworking culture is not good for anyone’s health. You’d think the companies would want to protect their investment? They put a lot of time and effort into this group. They should be doing all they can to protect them. What’s it gonna take for something to change? A major trashed worse then ladies codes accident? It’s sad that that may be the case. -_-

    3 years ago
  34. I remember when I was a relatively new Kpop fan I thought how glamorous it would be to be an idol. Now I see that there is no way you you get me into that industry. The treatment is unbelievable. Sure the oppas and eonnis look glamorous, but at what price? You soon realise that means nothing when you know how miserable they must be. And for what? To be in an industry where you’re an entertainer, but aren’t even allowed to express yourself? At least in the so called ‘trashy’ US industry artists call the shots and have more freedom over their music and image. Kpop idols are being used as tools. Its so upsetting to think about.

    3 years ago
    • Whats worse is these poor girls probably didn’t get a lot of time to see their family and friends because of their lifestyle. And now its too late :(

      3 years ago
  35. Thank you for your consideration to these girls. It’s so heartbreaking to see people also working a job, but it being so much more dangerous than mine. I am in the same mindset as you guys now, there are so many things that I didn’t see about this industry when I first got I to KPOP. I used to grumble about how I didn’t see my favourite groups at all the festivals and concerts. But now, I realized how hectic and unfair it is for us to demand of them like that. And the fact that they still are able to put that smile on their faces despite of being driven around like that, I really do respect them for that.
    And in the event of what has happened, now I realized how snsd were crying during that first award they won, the fears they and also Super Junior had, and so many more artists that have gone through this. As much as they did sign up for this life, they did not expect so much danger.

    RiSe and EunB rest in peace. Your lives may have been short on this Earth, but you have influenced so many people to be passionate about doing things that they love. Please watch over your group mates, through their sorrow and pain, and all sorts of emotions that will come to them. And Ladies Code, stay strong. Remember all the good times the five of you have been through, and stay strong.

    3 years ago
  36. This accident made me incredebily sad as Ladies Code were one of my favourite bands in the industry right now. I’ve been praying for Rise but I heard yesterday that she passed away. At least she won’t suffer now. May they both rest in peace. My second favourite idol Hana (also known as Zinger) suffered the most in Secret’s car accident. It made me extremly weak to see her suffer and I don’t know if they were wearing seatbelts. I was very angry with the comments telling that it was lucky it wasn’t Hyosung or any of their favourites. And it obviously hurt her too. http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.se/2013/01/secrets-jieun-explains-how-hyosung.html

    I hope more laws are going to be enforced after this.
    R.I.P EunB and Rise.

    3 years ago
  37. I’m so glad ya’ll touched on this. It’s very sad and tragic that two beautiful talented women died.
    #RIPEubB #RIPRise #LadiesCode

    3 years ago
  38. Thank God you did this video guise. There’s a lot of people criticizing you because, according to them, you didn’t care about the subject etc etc. When I heard the news I was really sad. I’m not a fan of Ladies’ Code but this tragic accident made me feel really upset because I remembered all your tl;dr talking about driving in Korea. I was scared with the minor accident GD had on his way to Busan. I wish companies could start to think a little less in money and more in their artists and the safety they deserve.

    3 years ago
    • People react to things a lot quicker than we do. We didn’t want to rush a video and come out with inaccurate information, while people are totally ok with speculating anonymously online. We’d rather be more careful about what we say.

      3 years ago
  39. Let’s not forget Gong Hyo Jin just suffered a pretty bad car accident during the filming of “It’s Ok, That’s Love!” http://www.dramafever.com/news/gong-hyo-jin-admits-needing-psychiatric-treatment-after-her-recent-accident/

    3 years ago
  40. RIP EunB & RiSe :( Super Sad :(

    3 years ago