CULTURE

Why K-Pop Fans Shouldn't Engage With the TWICE Stalker

Do not engage with a celebrity stalker directly. Contact the proper authorities instead. #ProtectNayeon

JYP Entertainment

Fans of the K-Pop girl group, TWICE, are deeply concerned over a stalker who seems to be targeting Nayeon, one of the group's nine members.

For the past few months, a 25-year-old German man named Josh had been posting incessantly about his love for Nayeon. While talking about admiration or even love for one's favorite celebrity might be common amongst fan communities, Josh's behavior crosses serious lines. He first caught the fandom's attention back in October when he posted a nearly 12-minute video to YouTube titled "Pls Help Me To Get This Video To Nayeon."

제발, 이 비디오 트와이스 나연 보내는 것을 도와줘 Pls Help Me To Get This Video To Nayeon www.youtube.com

In his video, which––fair warning––is very disturbing, Josh films himself at a number of locations in Korea where Nayeon had been spotted in the past. He talks to the camera, extensively documenting how he fell in love with Nayeon three years prior and decided that he needed to talk to her. He had traveled to Korea in order to look for her, visiting over 100 different nearby shops to gain information on her or her family's whereabouts and distributing a letter which he asked shopkeepers to give to Nayeon should they happen to see her. Josh also expressed a deep sadness due to his inability to properly contact Nayeon, along with a more extensive plan to return to Korea in December and dedicate two more months to his search.

As one might expect, Josh's video was not received with the communal enthusiasm and willingness to assist him that he seemed to be anticipating. In a follow-up video, Josh lamented the hatred and death threats he received in response to his initial post, while also decrying any "fake news" painting him as a stalker for clicks. Regardless, he remained undeterred in his plan to contact Nayeon.

업데이트 비디오 / Update Video www.youtube.com

Some TWICE fans reached out to Josh directly on social media, leading him to lay out his intentions in detail. Josh explained his December plan to wait outside the home of another Korean celebrity, singer/songwriter J.Y. Park, to employ his help in tracking down Nayeon. After that, he seemed convinced that Nayeon would marry him, move to Australia with him, and start a family together. Most scarily, Josh thoroughly believed this was a reasonable course of action, without an ounce of self-awareness. "I think it is very unlikely that she wouldn't want a relationship after she gets to know me," he said.

Other TWICE fans have tried to argue with Josh. One punctuated her message that he didn't have a chance with Nayeon with a clown emoji.

But while I certainly understand the inclination to argue with someone performing such ludicrous actions, there's an important point that needs to be clear: Engaging with someone like Josh online is very, very dangerous, especially to the target of his stalking––in this case, Nayeon. Let me explain.

A person who engages in celebrity stalking––i.e. genuinely attempting to intrude into that celebrity's real life––is not someone acting rationally. Clinical research has shown that celebrity worshippers are more likely than the average person to "exhibit narcissistic features, dissociation, addictive tendencies, stalking behavior, and compulsive buying" and "have poorer mental health as well as clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, and social dysfunction." To be clear, celebrity stalkers are at the furthest extreme of celebrity worshippers and are therefore most likely to display the most severe symptoms and behaviors.

This means that a celebrity stalker such as Josh is, most likely, very mentally ill. Unlike a traditional "incel"––a word that's been thrown around quite a lot in threads about Josh's stalking––Josh's behavior probably doesn't have its roots solely in male privilege or white entitlement, so much as unchecked mental health issues leading to a genuine disassociation with reality. In fact, therapy for a stalker typically involves complex psychological treatment, sometimes in conjunction with medication.

The larger point here is that when you're dealing with a mentally disturbed person whose actions are not based on an accurate model of reality, trying to logically reason with them or insulting them is a poor course of action, because you never know what could lead them to snap. After all, if they're not behaving reasonably in the first place, what's to stop them from hurting someone when they get upset?

To be fair, not all celebrity stalkers pose physical dangers to the celebrities they obsess over. Some, like the older, sickly man who stalked comedian Gabriel Iglesias, are annoying and creepy but most likely harmless. Others, like Margaret Mary Ray, who spent years stalking talk show host David Letterman, ultimately pose the greatest threat to themselves. But the truth is that some celebrity stalkers, like "Björk stalker" Ricardo López, truly do have murderous inclinations, and arguing with them directly could be like poking a bomb with a stick.

Unfortunately, there's reason to believe that Josh has the potential to become the latter. Despite his declaration that he would never hurt Nayeon because he loves her, TWICE fans have uncovered his terrifying comment history wherein he expresses a belief that he has the right to kill someone who breaks his heart.

pbs.twimg.com

It is now December and, as promised, Josh is back in Korea searching for Nayeon.

Many fans have contacted TWICE's label, JYP Entertainment, alerting them to the situation and encouraging them to protect Nayeon. JYP Entertainment responded, stating that they were "requesting the possible legal measures" and planning to hire guards for Nayeon.

Contacting the proper Korean authorities who might be able to do something concrete to stop Josh and protect Nayeon is absolutely the best course of action. But please, do not contact Josh or any future celebrity stalker directly. You're dealing with someone in a very precarious psychological state, and unless you're a trained professional in that specific field, you are risking making a very bad situation a whole lot worse.

In closing, Josh isn't someone who needs derision. He's someone who needs very serious help and, in the meantime, to be taken as far away from his target as possible. But insulting him or sending him threats online will not help that outcome and, if anything, could very easily spiral into him actually snapping. Keep contacting the proper authorities instead. #ProtectNayeon

TV Features

Every Complaint About Javicia Leslie as the First Black Batwoman Is Ridiculous

If you're mad because "Batwoman was never black," there's something you need to know...

Naluda

TV's newest incarnation of Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, is Black.

The CW's Batwoman has always had a progressive streak. In the first season, Orange Is the New Black alum Ruby Rose plays Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne's cousin who dons the Batwoman cowl to protect Gotham City. Just like every other superhero show, Kate's romantic life factors into the plot. Unlike the rest, however, Kate is an out lesbian, making her the first leading lesbian superhero in television history.

But after the first season, Ruby Rose announced that she was leaving Batwoman for unspecified reasons, allegedly related to burnout from the ridiculously long work hours required from a superhero series lead. This meant that in order for Batwoman to continue, the CW would need a new star.

Enter Javicia Leslie, former co-star of CBS comedy-drama God Unfriended Me. Prior to Leslie's casting, fans of the show wondered how Batwoman might handle the transition of actresses. Would Kate Kane just look completely different in season 2 with no canonical explanation?

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MUSIC

Vote for Popdust's 2019 Best K-Pop Group Award

Which K-Pop group is your favorite?

Unless you've been living without wifi, television, or any access to the world at large for the past several years, you probably have at least dabbled in the world of K-Pop by now.

K-Pop, simply put, is Korean pop music. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's an art form, a spectacle, a phenomenon, and a multi-billion dollar industry. K-Pop groups eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, dancing more skillfully than just about any western group and releasing pop songs so catchy that you don't need to speak Korean to get the words stuck in your head. But with so many K-Pop groups out there, is it possible to say which group is the absolute best? Well, we'll leave that up to you. Vote below for your favorite K-Pop group!

EXO

EXO is made up of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. SM Entertainment formed EXO in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, EDM, and R&B, and they release music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese.

BLACKPINK

This incredible South Korean girl group was formed by YG Entertainment, debuting in 2016 with single album Square One, which included "Whistle," their first number one hit. The group is comprised of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

BTS

Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook form perhaps the most popular K-Pop group: Bangtan Boys AKA BTS. This 7 member group formed in Seoul in 2013, and have since gone on to help popularize K-Pop across the world.

MONSTA X

MONSTA X is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney[2], and I.M.

From South Korea and assembled by Starship Entertainment, the boy band was formed through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy.

TWICE

This group of talented musicians was formed in South Korea by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The nine members of the group are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with The Story Begins.

TVXQ (DBSK)

This duo, whose name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is comprised of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They offer a wide multicultural appeal, releasing songs in many different languages. They are known as Tohoshinki for their Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki which roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East."

GOT7

Got7 is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment, composed of JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. They've been around since January 2014 when they released their first EP, Got It? They're known for their incredible stage performances which incorporate martial arts.

SEVENTEEN

Members of this boy band—which debuted in 2015 with Pledis Entertainment—are Woozi, Wonwoo, Vernon, Mingyu, Jun, Hoshi, The8, Joshua, Jeonghan, Dino, S.Coups, and Seungkwan. This group is known for self-producing, as many of the members are actively involved in songwriting, choreographing, and producing their own work.

TXT 

Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of 5 members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai.