Friday, February 22, 2013

Are Asian Fans Crazier than their American Counterparts?

Asian fans try to touch Hong Kong cantopop singer Gigi Leung during her concert.   Security stands nearby  to protect the singer from harm's way. 

Asian fans are crazy than American fans when it comes to idolizing their favorite stars.  American fans are known to do some outlandish things to meet their favorite stars but Asian fans take their adulation to another level by comparison.  

In Hollywood, there are the crazy fans, who stalk the homes of their favorite star but Asian fans take it one step further by stealing items from their homes, hacking their phone line, and placing GPS tracking device on their cars to track their movements.  Some fans have even installed a closed circuit television surveillance camera at a home which is near their favorite idol's home.

According to Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily, Korean fans have known to hire "special taxicabs" called "saesang taxis" to chase after a van or car carrying their Kpop idols.  There have been incidents when car chases have turned into high-speed chases between the fans and the stars. Severe accidents do occur and most go unreported.  Other fans have gone to extremes to actually cause a car accident with an actor/singer's car just to meet their idol up close.

Fan attacks not only occur in the outside world but also in the cyber world as well.  Compared to their American counterparts, the Asian fans on the internet, also known as "netizens," tend to severely bash the idols they do not like.  Some netizens even try to manipulate an idol if that particular star is involved with another star they do not like.  For instance, when Hong Kong TV star Ron Ng was involved with model/actress Viann Zhang,  netizens did not like their relationship and Ron's fans bashed Viann mercilessly on the microblogging site Weibo.  Many resorted to calling the model/actress a "whore" and questioned whether she was with the actor in order to become famous.
In another incident in Hong Kong, a netizen released early nude photos of star Shu Qi because the individual did not agree with the actress' opinion on a certain matter.

In Korea, several stars have sued netizens for making false accusations against them.  In 2012, actress Koo Hye-seon took a netizen to court for spreading a false rumor about her while actress Song Hye-kyo sued 41 online individuals for spreading a rumor that she was involved with a local politician. In that same year, Taiwanese singer Show Luo sued several netizens, who criticized him "without proof," concerning his alleged involvement with a girl named Yan Li.

Tough Bodyguards. 

Thankfully, no Asian star has been hurt from some of the shenanigans done by these crazy fans.  In contrast,  America has a history of stalkers and there have been instances when the meeting between the star and the stalker turned deadly.  Two incidents that stood out in Hollywood history were the murders of young actress Rebecca Schaeffer (1989) and singer John Lennon (1980) in which both were killed by their respective fans Robert John Bardo and Mark David Chapman.  Schaeffer's death led to the passing of anti-stalking laws in California in 1989.  In addition, actress Jodie Foster was stalked by notorious assassin John Hinckley, who was involved in a failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan back in 1981.

After those highly-publicized deaths, American celebrities have become more conscious about security measures around them.

So far, no Asian celebrity has met the same fate as Schaeffer and Lennon.  However, there isn't a day that goes by when these stars think about the crazy antics these Asian fans will do to catch a glimpse of them or to see them up close. Like there American counterparts, there is no telling what these fans are capable of.

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