BTS Star V Speaks Out About Stalker Fans — ‘It’s Really Scary’
BTS has had a meteoric rise to fame worldwide, gaining visibility across the globe. The supergroup has helped to popularize K-Pop in the U.S., making it more of a mainstream music genre than it was before with appearances on The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
However, as their fame and fanbase grows, they’ve had to contend with the subsequent challenges. And, unfortunately, that can mean overzealous fans. In fact, some fans take it a new level, basically stalking their favorite band members. BTS member V has had enough, and just recently spoke out about these invasive fans.
What is a sasaeng fan?
When it comes to pop idols, fans can get a little obsessive. One of the hallmarks of a talented idol group is its ability to make fans feel as if they’re a part of the idol group’s life. Idol groups are appealing to many fans because they give the fans a sense of friendship, kinship, or belonging — however they typically do this without revealing actual facts about their private lives.
Sasaeng are fans who take their obsession with idols to the next level. These fans are the types who might be caught camping out in front of their idol’s door.
Soompi explains the complex relationship that idol groups have with saesaengs, reporting that, “As it is, normal fans contribute, in various ways, financially to their favorite group. They may hire food trucks, buy albums in bulk, or simply buy expensive presents for the idols themselves. However, sasaengs take this support to the next level with more extravagant financial contributions. Although sasaengs may just seem like crazy fans to most westerners, they usually tend to be very strong, if not the strongest, financial supporters of their group – making companies, and to a certain extent, idols, reluctant to crack down on them.”
Sasaengs are also the type of fans who will track every movement of their idol, showing up at restaurants where they’re eating, even trying to take the same flights are their idols when they travel, among other activities. To say the least, it’s an invasive practice.
BTS’ V speaks out about sasaeng fans
As a major icon in the K-Pop world, BTS surely has had their fair share of run-ins with sasaeng fans. And it seems as if it’s gotten to be a little too invasive for V, who recently spoke out about this sort of behavior from fans on VLIVE.
In fact, V revealed that BTS has recently taken to flying privately to avoid these stalkers. V explained, “I should say this on our team’s behalf. You know how we get on planes by ourselves? We fly on a charter flight. We actually want to fly on a regular flight. But when we travel long distance or short distance, fans may know beforehand that we will be boarding and sit next to us, or in front of us.”
V added, “In those private spaces, we don’t get to relax as much as we want to. So we were a bit uncomfortable. [And] to be frank with you, we don’t want you to do that. […] It’s really scary.”
It’s only natural that BTS would want privacy of their own — while to some they may be larger-than-life idols, they’re still young people who are trying to live their own lives. Naturally, they don’t want to have to be on the lookout for stalkers.
Many BTS fans have been supportive of V sine his statement. One fan wrote on Twitter, “Listening to Tae talk about people buying seats on planes to sit near them, and how uncomfortable and scared it makes him, makes me so sad. But what makes me angry are those who support these people, and make excuses for them. Respect BTS’ rights.”
Another fan reacted with, “If I had the money to do so, every time they go anywhere far from home, I would buy up all the seats around them and put normal people there that respect others…or leave them empty.”
One YouTube user commented, “Saesangs aren’t true fans… if they were true fans then they wouldn’t hurt their idols by invading their privacy… sometimes I feel bad for kpop idols… Army lets keep BTS safe yeah?”