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Super Junior: No Strangers to a Storm of Debate

Super Junior has had some personnel changes that are interesting to say the least. Though the K-pop group originally consisted of 13 different performers, there are ten today. Despite this, the three individuals who have moved on still claim to be members of the group. Kang-in had left the organization to fulfill his military service requirement. Kibum left because he wanted to pursue an acting career. Han Geng has left to return to his native China.

In fact, there have been several connections that Super Junior made in the People’s Republic of China, and these have been fraught with controversy and gossip. When the band announced they would start promoting in that county, there was a decent level of fan outrage. A new subgroup, Super Junior-M, was formed that references the word Mandarin in the name. To protest the addition of new members, a fan website known as Only 13 popped up.

Some fans planned to boycott SM Entertainment’s products while others settled into a silent protest. There were even efforts to gain a controlling interest in the company to let fans plan Super Junior’s moves. Fans had purchased 58,206 shares of stock in SM Entertainment by March 20, 2008. This represented only 0.3% of the company’s total volume, but the fans stated that they would use every change they got to prevent Super Junior from ending up with some extra members.

As if Super Junior hadn’t seen enough controversy, there was a disagreement with the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation over the time-slot that Kang-in would be appearing in. In protest, MBC put a temporary ban on performances featuring other members of Super Junior on their network. Kang-in also ended up loosing his ability to MC events on Show! Music Core. These would ultimately go to T.O.P. of Big Bang.

A lawsuit over contract rights that involved Han Geng’s termination with SM Entertainment simply added more flame to the fire. To top it off, Han Geng had a number of performance restriction controversies. Add this to the news of a conflict during the Expo 2010, and fans have plenty to talk about between releases.