3 years ago10,000+ Views
So recently in Korean entertainment we have seen plenty of lawsuits and struggles by non-Koreans in the industry.
These idols are not only under the normal pressures of Korean idols, but they're also far from their homes and families, in a foreign country, and usually being watched like hawks by netizens for any slip up.

Here are a few Kpop idols that aren't Korean, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on how the industry treats these artists:


The three most famous cases: Kris, Luhan, and Tao in that order.
All 3 of them are Chinese members part of EXO-M, the Mandarin-speaking group within EXO. With various reasons for their departure (I won't go into all the details) the one factor that applied to all was the mistreatment or the lower quality of attention towards the Chinese team members.
Since the three members left there has been pressure on Lay to see if he will leave too. He has said over and over again that he wants to stay not only because he is happy but because he wants to protect the image of Chinese stars in Kpop. That they aren't all going to abandon their teams.


The small four member group suddenly dropped to a two member group with the departure of their two Korean members who wanted to pursue acting. The other two members were actually Thai and continue to promote in Thailand. Personally, I think it's great that the company didn't just drop the group all together - and they're able to work from their home country.

Super Junior

Hangeng left Super Junior for similar reasons as the EXO boys. He felt over worked, under appreciated, and felt his contract was unfair. He went back to China, became a super-celeb, and is still close to Heechul. This happened right when I got into Kpop so I don't remember too much of the media storm about his departure.


Victoria and Amber are Chinese (Amber is Chinese American) but I haven't heard too many issues with their work in Korea. I know that people got nervous when Victoria opened a private studio in China during the whole Tao breakdown, but that seems to have blown over.


Nichkhun is one of the most popular 2PM members with a background of Chinese-Thai-American and a bunch of other things (he's fluent in a gazillion languages) so people refer to him as the Thai Prince. I haven't noticed any issues with him as a foreign idol either - though I might have missed it as I'm slow in 2PM news.

Of course now there's Seventeen, JJCC, GOT7, etc with non-Korean members. How do you think the industry is changing and are some companies worse than others?!

Let's be honest, though: the companies like whoever is making them the most money and who is the most popular.
I feel like most problems revolve around SM, but there is lower respect for anyone not native to SK. However, if someone, such as Henry from SuperJunior-M, has a lot of talent and stands out to their entertainment company, they will probably have more opportunities than lets say Bambam from GOT7. (I'm only getting into GOT7 now so I may be wrong about the Bambam thing-sorry)
The foriegn idols make the group...because for example Bam Bam speaks Thai and Korean and has improved in his English he's able to do a lot for Got7. Same with Mark and Jackson...who speaks 5? I think? So far I love how JYP is with foreigners.
It mostly depends on the company...I love SM artist but its seems as if the company is harsh...I once thought of doing an audition but thought better of it because of all of the issues...and it also depends on what kind of person you are and how you handle it..if I was in the industry and someone was rude to mouth would have no filter...I would probably be like Heechul but being that I wouldnt be Korean it would seem like I have no manners because of my country...its hard
I guess it depends how the idol views their work. Like Amber has mentioned before, (I think in ASC) not sure if she felt pressured to say this, but she says she loves her work and what she does. So it seems she's okay in SM. And like you said how Hangeng "felt" overworked and "thought" his contract was unfair, so we can't say he wasn't treated appropriately. Could be the stress or feeling homesick that make them thinks a certain way. Not really gonna say that the idols are just crazy and hate on them for their choices since I wasn't present, but that's just my opinion.
View more comments