It has become known that JYJ’s participation in KBS’s Jeju Island special episode, created to promote Jeju Island in hopes of the land becoming one of the “New 7 Wonders,” was suddenly cancelled 4 days before the event. Instead, JYJ’s presence was mysteriously replaced by girl groups from SM Entertainment, JYJ’s previous entertainment company.
This controversy suggests that JYJ are still “blacklisted” by various terrestrial broadcast stations. A representative of KBS Jeju stated, “SNSD and f(x) had previously stated their unavailability, but responded to us one day before JYJ’s cancellation notice.” In some media interviews, KBS Jeju has also claimed, “The reaction to JYJ’s cancellation is regrettable, but SNSD and f(x) are more popular than JYJ.”
To this, JYJ fans have voiced out, “They have countless fans [of Hallyu]. Their album sales from last year ranked within the Top 10. It does not make sense to say that JYJ have less popularity than f(x).”
From accepting the offer to become Jeju Island’s ambassadors, to actively promoting Jeju Island, to being scheduled for a broadcast appearance, JYJ has worked tirelessly to fulfil their duties, so it is no surprise that JYJ’s agency is angry at the situation. JYJ’s representatives said, “They did not give us a clear reason for the cancellation nor did we receive an apology.” They added, “Regarding KBS, with the addition of the Government of Jeju Island’s response, the Fair Trade Commission will review the lawsuit we filed.”
In May of 2010, KBS faced a similar situation. Because JYJ are in the midst of a lawsuit with their former agency, SM Entertainment, JYJ were not allowed to perform on KBS’s music program, “Music Bank.” The ban of JYJ’s appearance prompted countless messages to be left on the program’s online message board.
KBS replied, “This is not the official stance of the company” and one day changed their policy, but was not able to avoid the backlash and anger directed towards them. The very happening of this Jeju Island controversy has proved that KBS’s policy has not changed, and they have once again dug their own grave.
KBS’s representatives added, “The line-up of performers is entirely up to the production team. They will make an official announcement after the broadcast on the 20th.”