Call to action: Open investigation into the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee’s unilateral exclusion of JYJ from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony
This petition had 19,745 supporters
The Asian Games is the most prestigious games organized by the Olympic Council of Asia, bringing together over 10,000 athletes, team officials, and technical delegates from 45 nations every four years. The 2014 Asian Games will be held in the city of Incheon, South Korea this coming September. To promote the games across Asia, the IAGOC appointed Korean superstars JYJ as honorary ambassadors to the 2014 Incheon Asian Games last February 20, 2013. In the words of the IAGOC, “we appointed JYJ as the honorary ambassador, whose popularity is well recognized all around the Asia, to encourage the rest of the Asia to know more about the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.” Fulfilling their roles for one and a half years, JYJ performed extensive promotional activities for the Incheon Asian Games, such as travelling to Guangzhou, China and Hanoi, Vietnam to put on promotional showcases. They even sang the Games’ official theme song “ONLY ONE”, being the face of the Games on promotional advertisements throughout Asia. They have likewise filmed multiple televised commercials to better promote the upcoming Games.
On July 1, 2014, however, JYJ was neither invited nor informed of the press conference that the IAGOC held, and were unilaterally dropped from the opening and closing ceremonies’ list of performers through press releases, despite several attempts by JYJ’s management C-JeS Entertainment to clarify the matter with the Committee as the Service Contract specifically included performance by JYJ on the opening and closing ceremonies. Quite surprisingly, this incident came about after it was recently announced that SM Entertainment, JYJ's previous management company, was named a sponsor for the Incheon 2014 Asian Paralympic Games. A boyband from SM Entertainment, who had no previous connection to the Incheon Asian Games and not once promoted it will instead be performing a pop-song of their own at the opening and closing ceremonies and also appeared at the press conference in lieu of JYJ. On the other hand, JYJ, the Games’ honorary ambassadors, are barred from performing the official theme song of the Incheon Asian Games, ‘Only One’, which they sang and promoted specifically for the Incheon Asian Games.
On top of this, the IAGOC has been selling opening ceremony tickets since December, 2013 at the sky-high price of 1 Million Korean Won, or approximately $900 USD, using JYJ’s name and saying that JYJ will perform during the opening ceremony. Since JYJ are the official ambassadors, it is reasonable for anyone buying tickets to opening ceremony to expect that they would be performing. As JYJ are limited in their promotional activities due to an invisible hand blocking them, fans of JYJ still bought these tickets and booked international flights to Incheon, hoping to catch a glimpse of JYJ on a fair stage. This now has become impossible as the IAGOC’s anomalous acts in the form of a shameless and fraudulent bait-and-switch scheme. For more than a year, the Committee has made over four billion Asians believe that JYJ is the face of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games through their advertisements and roadshows which JYJ participated in. Yet, they did not bother to mention the name JYJ at the press conference and have dropped JYJ from the list of performers during the ceremonies. Instead, another boyband suddenly appeared at the press conference and in the advertisements instead of JYJ. As of the writing of this petition letter, the official tour agency of the IAGOC which is responsible for selling tour packages to foreigners, is still selling opening ceremony tickets and tour packages using JYJ’s name and thereby continuing to knowingly mislead fans and the public.
The actions of the IAGOC have drawn worldwide criticism from spectators to journalists, tarnishing the reputation of the Asian Games and bringing concern regarding whether or not the IAGOC is capable of holding a fair competition for athletes who have trained all their lives for this one stage. If a mere corporate donation caused the IAGOC to drop their honorary ambassadors in such a disgraceful and public manner, we, the spectators and consumers of the Incheon Asian Games, cannot trust them to conduct fair play for athletes during the Games.
We join JYJ’s management in its plea to IAGOC to keep the promise with their Honorary Ambassadors JYJ. We also believe that the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Committee as well as the Olympic Council of Asia are organized to fulfill the public interest, which is based upon loyalty and trust.
We call upon the Olympic Council of Asia to perform an open investigation into the IAGOC’s actions to ensure an untainted Asian Games and bring justice and fair play to performers and athletes consistent with the spirit of the Games themselves.
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