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2PM – Professional Situation Analysis

Antist to Hottest, is it possible? Professionals analyze the situation

“Not 2PM but 6PM, not Beastly Idols but Traitor Idols.”
“We will show you that fans turned antis are the scariest.”

Omitted summary on situation.

JYPE attempted to settle any doubts and suspicions through their conference. The fans have revealed their stance, stating that they are clearly unable to support the decisions of the 6 members and have instead turned into antis. Hundreds of fan cafe’s have deleted themselves and a fancafe with over 100k members, Hwansang, has turned boycott. There has even been a new cafe created named ‘Antist,’ a play on 2PM’s official fanclub, ‘Hottest.’

It’s an exceptional, never before seen situation where the fans of an artist and a company have turned into anti’s, not because of a group’s disbandment, but because of one member’s withdrawal. Professors of societal studies at Joong Ang University, Lee Nayoung and Jung Minwoo, compared the situation through a ‘family relationships’ model. This study was released last October entitled ‘The fandom that manages the stars, the company that manages the fandom,’ explaining a model relationship that can be explained through ‘Fandom-Star-Agency’ translating into ‘Mother-Son-Father.’

  • The first generation fandoms were not able to prevent the disbandment of HOT.

The professors marked 2000 as the date of birth of fandoms in Korean society, a time where the first generation idols, HOT, Sechskies, SES, FinKL, and GOD, were actively promoting.

For the first generation fandoms, the stars they adored took all of their full attentions. Because of that, they would focus on one group and ignore the others. Bae JiEun (29), an HOT fan during her teen years, revealed, “In our class, the HOT fans and the Sechkies fans did not get along well.”

As the first generation, the fandoms did not get influenced by the agency. According to the study mentioned above, “The first generation fandoms were angered and enraged over the agency’s way of handling things regarding the stars they loved. However, it was not enough to change or divide the fandom.”

The first generation idol groups disbanded early 2000 whether their fandoms could help it or not. This effectively started the movement of fandoms, a time where change could be seen. A first generation HOT fan that participated in the study stated, “In order to prevent HOT from disbanding, the fans gathered to try a variety of things, but ultimately, none of it worked and we failed.” However, she went on to state, “Some time later, the GOD fandom bought stocks in order to obtain rights and were able to prevent the withdrawal of one of their members.”


  • The second generation fandom that has entered in a close contract with the agency.

After the disbandment of the first generation idols, the second half of 2000 brought up about the second generation of idols, DBSG, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, Girls’ Generation, and 2PM.

CD’s turned into mp3’s, changing the way agencies ran their companies. A professor stated, “It’s now changed so that the aim of companies are to get their idol stars on a straight path to stardom, and then cash in on all of the opportunities in that short amount of time.”

In order for the companies to bring in income, they’ve resorted to selling ringtones, photobooks, balloons for the fandom, etc. From this moment on, they began to see the fandoms from a different angle. They went into a contract, so to speak, with the fandoms in order to drive up their income.

The second generation fandoms call themselves the ‘customer.’ Because they have the purchasing power, fandoms are now able to demand ‘customer satisfaction’ from the stars.


  • The mother (fandom) that raises the child (star) to become the best.

Another attribute of the second generation fandoms are the ‘support’ they give for their stars. Their aim is simple: to bring the stars they like to the top of the top. It’s easily compared to a mother’s feelings for her child to be raised in the best possible way. The professor has stated, “The star is the son, the fandom is the mother, and the agency that gives life to the star plays the role of the father.”

The father (agency) sets up the groundwork financially while the mother (fandom) raises the star to be ready to set forth in the entertainment market. They are also the ones that must map out the futures of the stars, taking into account all of the stars’ conditions and qualifications. They are the managers that put it all into action.

However, problems easily arise from the fact that the level of the father and the mother aren’t equal.

As much as the mother raises the son, she wants to exert that much more influence. Unfortunately, the father only accepts the mother’s proposals, such as new products, at his convienance. The fandom plays the role of the mother but the agency does not view them as anything more than a ‘sister customer.’


  • JYP is the patriarchal father that does not listen to the opinions of the mother.

The 2PM controversy is born from the same context.

September of 2009, JYPE withdrew Jaebum from the group and put him on a plane to America within four days. Fans against his withdrawal gathered at the airport and protested but the situation did not change.

Professor Lee stated, “If it’s a private matter, the father leaves it to the mother to manage it. However, when it advances into a public problem, the father steps up and handles it from there. When that happens, the opinion of the mother (fandom) becomes ignored. Jaebum’s controversy can be explained through this exact simulation, making JYPE look like the patriarchal father.”

She went on to criticize, “When Jaebum’s controversy first exploded, it became a big issue because of the issue of nationalism. However, the actual issue was only a mere episode. The company had to have stayed back and waited for the reaction of the fans and ask for their opinion before making such a drastic move.”

Since it was the fandom that raised the idols themselves, it is also the fandom that is the most hurt with the controversy, making it that much more important to seek out their opinion.

She expressed her disappointment, stating, “JYPE only views the idol groups as a tool to develop the industry. The agencies raise the idols from a young age as a family. However, if JYPE truly saw Jaebum as a part of his own family, he would not have thrown him away so easily.”

  • The fandom threw away 2PM? 2PM and the agency threw away the fandom?

Omitted summary.

Professor Jung Minwoo stated, “After the conference, the fandom became split.” Before the conference, there was belief. Belief in the fact that the members would not have really agreed to Jaebum’s complete withdrawal. However, the truth was revealed at the conference and that belief shattered.

The belief of the fandom was ‘2PM is 7’ or ‘The members are brothers.’ Professor Jung stated, “It’s not the physical attributes like the beastly male image or the muscles the fandom was attracted to, but the brotherly love. That’s where the focus was.” Because of that belief, the fact that the six members agreed to withdraw Jaebum came as betrayal.

The conference became a place where the father was telling the mother that the son was on the father’s side the whole time. The mother realized that there was nothing left she could do. Because of that reason, it is not the mother that threw away her son, but rather the father and son that threw away the mother. By releasing the members’ private social lives, it is the mother’s last attempt at showing the injustice of it all.”

A pop music critic, Producer Kim, made a statement regarding the ‘Son-Mother-Father’ model, saying, “It’s very convincing. The way JYPE treated the fans, it’s easy to see that they are being ignored. The fans probably felt that a psychological share was stolen from them. The deprivation was probably harsh.”

“Looking at it from an industrial standpoint, the agency holds the power but the fans like to believe that their power lies in their star. However, when the only one with the power, the agency, steps up and begins to control Jaebum’s fate, fans are forced to admit reality of the power struggle. That’s when such an explosive reaction occurs.”

Pop culture critic, Lee Moonwon, agreed to Professor Lee’s model, stating, “The fans are the ones that raised the the stars. The feeling of betrayal that they feel is that much greater. Ever since the disbandment of HOT, the fans have increasingly began to feel repulsion towards the company. The 2PM controversy is happening because the fans feel that their opinions weren’t heard and instead were rejected.”


  • Antist to Hottest, is it possible?

After having changed from Hottest to Antist, will it be possible for them to change back to Hottest?

Jung Minwoo stated, “Fandoms are known to grow and disperse. If this was like any other normal situation, it is a possibility. However, I consider it difficult to change back in the case of such a torn fandom like 2PM’s.” Although there are still personal fans that exist within the fandom, the majority of those that followed a 7 membered 2PM have now become ‘Antists,’ and as predicted by Jung Minwoo, they will remain as ‘Antists.’

Pop culture critic Lee Moonwoon also stated, “It’s easy for love to turn into hate, but not as easy for hate to turn into love.” Pop music critic Producer Kim added on, stating, “When Jaebum first left Korea, the protest that was demonstrated by the fans were acts of love. However, what the fans are doing now as Antists are acts of revenge. The possibility of them returning back to Hottests are low.

Professor Lee emphasized, “JYPE probably predicted the fans’ reaction. If they are able to get the rest of the members under control and develop them as singers, they will obtain a new fandom. However, they must self reflect in order for the same mistakes to never happen again.”




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