IVE's Wonyoung imitates a "sasaeng", leaving K-pop fans worried

IVE made its debut on December 1 (Image via Starship Entertainment)
IVE made its debut on December 1 (Image via Starship Entertainment)

While being a K-Pop idol brings with it fame and wealth, sometimes it also brings with it over-enthusiastic fans, or sasaengs, as IVE’s Yujin and Wonyoung depict in a short clip.

A sasaeng, or sasaeng fan, is an obsessive fan who constantly ignores the boundaries of celebrities and often stalks or invades their privacy. While the concept of an obsessive fan is universal, Korean sasaengs are particularly notorious for their single-minded pursuit of an idol, regardless of the idol’s lack of comfort with the situation.

IVE's Wonyoung and Yujin imitate a sasaeng interaction on YouTube

Two members of the rookie KPop band IVE, Yujin and Wonyoung, recently appeared in a YouTube video titled Idol Human Theater, which KBS’ Kpop channel shared. In the short video, the duo recreated a dan meet event, where Yujin pretended to be an idol, not unlike real life, and Wonyoung took on the mantle of a die-hard fan to get an opportunity to meet her idol.

Despite being a singer, IVE’s Wonyoung impressed with her acting skills as she pretended to be Yujin’s fan. Wonyoung asked Yujin questions and made comments that resembled those caused by a hypothetical sasaeng, saying:

Wonyoung: Don’t tell me you forgot who I am…?
Yujin: No, I know you! I even remember your name!
Wonyoung: What it it, then?
Yujin: Vicky…?
Wonyoung: With a V or a B?
Yujin: V…
Wonyoung: You’re right! Gosh, for a second, I really thought you forgot about me!

Wonyoung's “hyperrealistic imitation” of a sasaeng convinced most viewers that the portrayal was from her personal experience. Given that Idol Human Theatre claims to not have any scripts for their YouTube videos, the suspicion was only made stronger.

The two IVE members continue:

Wonyoung: Wait, Yujin. You have to make that a heart. Remember?
Yujin: Oops, I forgot about that!
Wonyoung: You promised me that you would turn the Os in “TO” into hearts. Only for me, though. Right?
Yujin: Right, right.

While the short skit ended on a light note with Yujin, the idol running away from Wonyoung, the fan, who claimed to have known the former for years, it was also made evident that such fan-idol interactions are not a rarity and occur on a daily basis.

Several IVE, and K-Pop fans, took to the social media site Qoo to sympathize with the IVE members for “having to put up with ‘fans’ who do this to her and other idols in real life.”

Watch the IVE members act it out here:

“This is common behavior among fans, though. The sad part is that the fans who do this never, ever realize what they’re doing is ridiculous.”
“Wonyoung is adorable and all… But this gives me goosebumps. Being a K-Pop idol fan myself, I know she’s not exaggerating and fans like that do exist.”
“All idols have fans who are exactly like that… This is not unusual in the industry. Plus, someone of Wonyoung’s fame would most definitely have fans doing that to her IRL. So this is unfortunately some hyperrealistic acting. It grosses me out.”
“I thought the video is cute until I saw the comments talking about how real it is. Must be hard for idols who have to deal with difficult fans like that.”
“I don’t know, this just breaks my heart. Idols can’t catch a break.”
“She’s so cute, I really liked the video. But to learn that there are fans out there who actually do this to their idols… (Shudder).”

While the shade on sasaengs may or may not be intended, there is no denying that K-Pop idols and actors, especially in South Korea, have had a long-standing problem with sasaengs.

Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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