Rant #8- Super Junior M Rumors

Since leader Hangeng left Super Junior M there have been a lot of rumors floating around. They can be a bit confusing to keep track of. I went to an SJM fan-site and looked up the most popular rumors then did a little research into them for you:

1) Super Junior- M will be disbanded
FALSE: Member ZhouMi recently revealed that Super Junior- M WILL BE RELEASING A NEW ALBUM later this year or early next year. Super Junior- M was about to release the SuperGirl full album when leader Hangeng left, I don’t know if they re-recorded the album or not, but there you have it. SM Entertainment backed this statement.

2) The New Leader is~
Not announced yet. There is some debate amongst the fans, who are trying to predict the next leaders identity. As per tradition the popular choice is eldest member and Chinese member ZhouMi. Since Hangeng was the eldest and Chinese this seems natural for the China-based group. Another popular choice is Korean member Siwon, as he is part of the overarching Super Junior. Needless to say this debate is becoming another forum for the “Only 13 vs Only 15” war.

3) New members?
FALSE: There are rumors that another Korean Super Junior member will be brought into Super Junior- M to bring the numbers back up to 7. This is COMPLETELY GROUNDLESS. It is just a dream voiced among the fanclubs who want to see members added. No one has ever said anything like this and it is, in my opinion, complete BS. It is kind of fun to look at the debates over this though, apparently the favorite for bringing over is Super Junior member Heechul, who gained a following in China due to his close friendship with Hangeng. Let me say it again though : ONLY FANS HAVE EVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT NEW MEMBERS COMING IN, SM ENTERTAINMENT AND THE GROUP HAVE NEVER EVEN HINTED AT THE POSSIBILITY OF CONSIDERING IT. So don’t hold your breath.

4) SNSD is partly to blame for Hangeng leaving?
FALSE: Articles came out claiming Hangeng said SNSD members treated him horribly, and that their constant teasing and insults played a part in his decision to leave SM Entertainment. At the time those articles were released Hangeng had NOT spoken to anyone, let alone the press, and retractions were later issued. Hangeng, SNSD, and SM Entertainment have all said that these rumors are false. SNSD members were reported to have insulted Hangeng when he was dying his hair blond by saying “You think it will make you Korean” and making fun of his accent and pronunciation. These rumors came out of that fan war between ELF (SJ and SJM’s fanclub) and SONE (SNSD’s fanclub). I don’t know why those two hate each other so much, but this is not the first time they have started rumors against the other (much of the plastic surgery scandal rumors going around for the two groups also came from this, it’s all BS). SNSD had nothing to do with Hangeng’s departure, end of story.

5) Hangeng is on bad terms with the members
FALSE. This rumor isn’t actually unfounded. There *is* a basis for it, but you have to be understanding. Super Junior- M was given a few days after they returned from Taiwan (where they schedules were almost 24/7) to rest. Member Hangeng decided to rest apart from the group. It was at this point his lawsuit was filed. Hangeng did not tell the members beforehand of his decision or unhappiness, and the members learned of it when the fans did and through the same news stories. Hangeng turned off his cell phone and did not answer any messages or post any messages for a while after the lawsuit was filed. It is unknown where he even was. After the news broke SJ Maknae (youngest member) Kyuhyun (also an SJM member) posted on his blog in English saying “Even a beast does not bite the hand that feeds it”. This is taken by fans to refer to Hangeng filing the lawsuit. He closed his  blog for a while after that (meaning people could not leave messages). Since then he has taken down the post altogether. This fueled rumors that there were problems within the group. Think about it though: these are guys who have worked and lived together for years and have seen each other more than their own families or friends. Anyone would be pissed if they were put in this situation. There has been nothing sense even remotely hinting on issues within the group. Hangeng has said he was very sorry to the members, but did not leave the group because of in-fighting, but because of violations against him by SM Entertainment.

6) No contact between Hangeng and the members since the lawsuit
TRUE/FALSE: Initially Hangeng did not contact the Super Junior or Super Junior- M members, this is true. He said he did not speak to anyone because he hoped to avoid spoiling his relationship with SM Entertainment and did not want hostility to arise between them (like the hostility that arose between SM Entertainment and DBSK members Jaejoong, Micky, and Junsu, who also filed lawsuit). Since then, however, he has said he is still in contact with the members. He invited all of them via press-conference to his debut concert in China. They did not attend, however, most likely because they were busy with “No Other” promotions and had a concert only a few days later with Kangta.

7) Hangeng’s Reasons for Leaving
There are too many rumors going around as to his reasons for quitting the group. Hangeng has said (repeatedly, in almost every interview he’s done) that the reasons solely lie between him and SM Entertainment over his ultra-restrictive contract.

8] Henry’s Outburst
FALSE: As some of you may know, SJM maknae (youngest member) Henry promoted with SM Entertainment’s Zhang Li Yin through a duet song. This promotion continued after Hangeng’s lawsuit for a time. In an interview after such a performance Henry was quoted by the journalist as having an outburst saying the fans who spoke against Hangeng for leaving the group were “Stupid”. Henry and SM Entertainment both denied ever having made such a statement, and the reporter later apologized and admitted to creating the quote in an effort to draw more readers.

9) The Lawsuit was a Cover-up Orchestrated by SM Entertainment
FALSE. This even *sounds* like some whacked-out conspiracy theory. Initially SM Entertainment and Hangeng were keeping silent over this issue, Hangeng because he was being quiet and staying away from any contact, and SM because they were waiting to speak with Hangeng. This is why the rumor developed among the more… shall we say “special” fans. It is understandable how early on this sounded like a good theory, but it really is crap. Just before Hangeng filed lawsuit there was an earthquake in Taiwan (this was during their promotions there). In an interview they were asked if they felt the earthquake backstage (more as a time-killing question than a serious issue). They said they did and were asked then if it scared them. Member ZhouMi had a foot-in-mouth incident where he said he found earthquakes fun, such as the 2008 earthquake in China which made their dorm shake a little (at the time SJM had just debuted and were promoting in China). Why is this foot-in-mouth? The 2008 earthquake caused huge amounts of damage and killed many people, leaving the rest homeless. It was a great tragedy. ZhouMi quickly tried to clarify that he did not mean the earthquake itself was fun (any of you who have sat through a minor earthquake have to admit it is kind of cool when the ground is shaking, I know I thought it was fun when I lived in California!), but a statement like that was taken the wrong way. Before the story broke, however, Hangeng’s lawsuit made headlines. So the conspiracy was that Hangeng and SM Entertainment planned the whole thing as a media stunt to avoid the blowout from ZhouMi’s statement (indeed, one article was ever written on it and most of that article was still about Hangeng). By now everyone knows the lawsuit is a serious issue, not some conspiracy, so I shouldn’t need to tell you that here, but there are still fans whispering about it online, so here it is.

One last thing: SM Entertainment has been very quiet over the issue with Hangeng, and that is a good thing. The DBSK members who first filed suit against SM Entertainment faced a lot of bad blood with the company. Hangeng’s decision to file for contract termination WAS addressed by SM Entertainment, who claim to have tried to work out a deal with Hangeng so he would continue activities. Even though Hangeng has said his relationship with the company cannot be repaired, early on it seems both parties were trying to reach an understanding. In the aftermath of Hangeng and DBSK’s lawsuit, SM Entertainment has taken a new direction. They began working with a group in favor of Artist Rights and said in a public address recently that they have developed a new contract that better protects the rights of the singers, which they will begin enacting soon. They also said they wish to become the promoter of fairer contracts for singers that treats them as more than just profit-making entities.

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