K-pop managers who abuse fans: Over protective or over the top?
Video of K-pop group's manager yelling vulgarities at fans goes viral
Rising K-pop girl group Red Velvet are making a buzz online for the wrong reasons.
The five-member band's manager was caught on camera scolding and hurling vulgarities at fans.
In the video, which was uploaded on YouTube on Friday, the group is seen coming out of a building. The male manager, who is walking with them, is heard raising his voice at the fans who are waiting outside and appear to be well-behaved.
At one point, he even calls the fans "b*******" and "f******" in Korean.
He also scolds them in a harsh tone, telling them not to talk to the idols and to "get back".
The video has attracted over 613,000 views.
In another video, which has since been removed, the manager is also seen hitting the fans.
A fan recounted online that she saw the manager hitting a fan's head and arms.
He also pulled their sweaters, she said.
Online, most K-pop fans expressed outrage at the manager's overzealous behaviour.
However, one website reported that a few netizens said the manager was just "doing his job".
Still, the video has created enough of a hoo-ha that Red Velvet's agency, SM Entertainment, issued an apology on Sunday, saying: "We want to tell the fans we are sincerely sorry. Something like this will not happen again."
Red Velvet's manager is not the only one who has behaved badly.
Local K-pop fans said they had also received similar treatment from managers of other popular K-pop groups.
Ms Tracey Sim recounted an incident when she was shoved by the manager of K-pop boy band Infinite at Incheon Airport in South Korea.
The 41-year-old civil servant told The New Paper: "I was waiting for the boys at the airport as they were returning from overseas.
"I went up to try to take pictures of them, but I wasn't very near them. The manager used his forearm to push people out of the way.
"I got pushed backwards and I banged into the glass door right behind me. My left shoulder was hurt and it was quite painful.
"I was shocked because I wasn't posing any threat to the boys, so I think they shouldn't have been so rough on us."
Another K-pop fan, Ms Chong Minyi, 27, was waiting with friends for her favourite boy band B.A.P outside a broadcast building in Seoul two years ago when they were scolded by the group's manager.
The human resource executive said: "When B.A.P showed up, we followed them to the lift lobby, but we were simply taking photos and videos quietly.
"However, the manager started yelling at us fiercely and pointed at us.
"I was very irritated. I also felt embarrassed because the boy band members all turned around to see what was going on when the manager shouted.
"I think his actions were uncalled for because we were very well-behaved."
We want to tell the fans we are sincerely sorry. Something like this will not happen again.
- Red Velvet's agency, SM Entertainment
A manager of popular K-pop boy band EXO was fined 1 million won (S$1,200) on April 29 for assaulting a female fan at Incheon Airport last August.
The manager had hit the back of the fan's head, causing her to strain her neck. She also sustained bruises when her face hit the camera she was holding. The manager denied the accusations but the court found him guilty.
In 2010, a video of K-pop boy band Shinee's manager shoving a girl made the rounds on the Internet. In the clip, the young female fan is seen standing near the singers, but the manager pushes her head hard, causing her to fall.
After receiving criticism, Shinee's agency, SM Entertainment, apologised and said it would prevent such incidents from happening again.
Also in 2010, a video that was uploaded online showed a manager of K-pop boy band CNBLUE slapping a fan's head twice.
The group's agency FNC Entertainment apologised, adding that the manager had been given "appropriate punishment".