K-pop girl group BLACKPINK has a legion of extremely loyal fans in Indonesia. So loyal, in fact, that a recent controversy involving its leader Jennie Kim led to fans fiercely defending their idol to the point of calling for the boycott of a major sponsor of the band.
BLACKPINK was the star of an event marking the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy A phone series yesterday evening at Tennis Indoor Senayan, Jakarta. The girl group is a brand ambassador of the South Korean electronics giant.
The event was live streamed on Samsung Indonesia’s official Youtube channel. At one point, Jennie seemed to be trying to hold back tears as she read comments posted by fans online, which led many to speculate that many of them were hate comments.
Earlier today, BLINKs trended the #JennieDeservesBetter hashtag on Twitter to express their support for Jennie and other BLACKPINK members (Lisa, Jisoo and Rose), as well as condemning Samsung Indonesia for their handling of the event.
This afternoon, #BOYCOTTSamsungIndonesia shot up the trending topics chart on Twitter, as fans demanded an official apology from Samsung while some said they would break their Samsung phones to show solidarity with Jennie.
— Ah In³⁶⁵ (@vanillayves) January 15, 2020
Other fans speculated that Jennie was upset because the event’s MC “mostly ignored her” and that organizers allegedly didn’t allow fans to give Jennie a surprise for her upcoming birthday on Thursday.
I can't believe right before jennie's bday, the mc ignored jennie, no one even cared about her upcoming bday, there were literally jennie antis in the crowd & in the live spamming hate comments.
— ℓ ❤ (@lisacursed) January 14, 2020
But one other plausible explanation for Jennie’s glumness at the event was that she was probably just not feeling well that day.
BLINKs have developed quite a militant reputation in Indonesia. In 2018, the fan base fought back against a viral call to ban BLACKPINK’s ad for e-commerce site Shopee, which was accused of featuring vulgar scenes in “scantily clad” BLACKPINK members singing and dancing. The woman who initiated a petition for the ban, Maimon Herawati, essentially became public enemy no. 1 as she faced a huge backlash from BLACKPINK K-pop fans.
What are your thoughts on this one, Coconauts? Do you think BLINKs were overreacting or were they rightfully concerned about their idol?