FROM SONE TO SMENT: FOR A BETTER MANAGEMENT TO SNSD!
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Greetings, SONE. We ask you to carefully read our message and sign. A summarized version of this petition in Korean is already in the works and will be available as soon as possible.
From SONE to SMENT - A PETITION
This is an official message written and supported by SONE from all over the world, united by one main desire: to strongly urge management in SM Entertainment to take swift and appropriate action regarding our concerns about the five members of Girls’ Generation currently signed to the company. This message contains the following: a summary of our frustrations at the multiple and recurring inadequacies of the company (which will be listed below), an account of how international SONE came together to formalize our feelings and mandates for what the company should do for the five members under them, a corresponding list of feasible demands that we highly encourage and expect the company to heed, and a fervent stipulation for the recipients of this message to understand us and act in accordance with our words.
In particular, our concerns span from our utter dissatisfaction at the disastrous handling of their 10th-anniversary comeback, to the incompetent treatment of each member in the group. Most importantly on the lack of effort SM ENTERTAINMENT has shown in protecting the members against online harassment and bullying as well as hate comments. The latter also includes outrage at the prior supervision (or lack thereof) of the three other members whose contracts with SM had expired as of last year. Driven both by our wishes to see our favorite artists be treated properly and our anger at them repeatedly receiving less than what they deserve, we have hereby compiled a list of unfortunate events that have occurred to Girls’ Generation that we hold SM Entertainment accountable for, and for which the company has not adequately responded to.
The SONE fandom strongly urges SM Entertainment to carefully read and consider our concerns listed below. All these items refer to problems SONE have noticed over the years, most of which are recurring and happen without corresponding feedback regarding these incidents.
1. Insufficient preparation and quality checking of album production. Problems with album inclusions discourage interested non-fans and casual followers from purchasing copies.
2. Constant delay in disclosing album package details. Not releasing information about the albums deters SONE and would-be buyers from immediately placing their pre-orders.
3. Albums are constantly out of stock. Underestimation of the fanbase which leads to insufficient production of albums affects the promotional period of the artists, especially in music shows.
4. No repackages or special versions. Despite the company’s shortcomings, Girls’ Generation has consistently managed to guarantee an estimate of over 7 million album sales, making it not only the best-selling Korean girl group of its generation but also of all time. SONE, therefore, feel undervalued because we have proven through the years that we are a financially capable fanbase.
5. Digital and physical albums are being released on different days/weeks. Different release dates make it difficult for fans to coordinate important bulk purchases and streaming sessions for the artists, which, among other things, undermines the scores on music shows.
6. Songs are being leaked on music services before the official release. Unsanctioned releases of the artists’ music are being previewed by interested non-fans and casual followers, thereby discouraging them from formally supporting the albums.
7. Poorly scheduled release dates. Unsatisfactory calendaring of their releases makes their music prone to clashes with other popular artists and those with equally (if not more) enthusiastic fanbases. It is also recurring for the company to squeeze releases of groups and soloists under the company in the same time frame, which only leads to direct competition and subpar results for both parts.
8. Short and poor period of teasing before the comebacks. Inadequate buildup for the artists’ comebacks generates little to no hype for their promotions, hype that is crucial in determining the success of the release.
9. Promotions starting several days after the official releases. Uncoordinated release dates and promotional periods provide poor results and despite the efforts of SONE, attracting the attention of the public and other parties proves to be a difficult task to do.
10. Few appearances on TV shows during the promotions. Girls’ Generation as a whole and its members are well-known throughout Korea and have guaranteed high ratings for the programs that they had previously guested on. SONE feel that the company not taking advantage of Girls’ Generation’s popularity on TV is a loss not only to the group and its fans but to the company itself.
11. TV appearances being cut short/rescheduled/not aired at all. The artists not being given the screentime that they were previously allocated and consequently cutting off fans’ expectations is disrespectful to Girls’ Generation themselves. Results are not visibly being gathered from the time and effort put into fulfilling their obligations.
12. Promotions ending abruptly with no reasons provided. Girls’ Generation consistently and repeatedly promised SONE an extensive promotional period, especially stated in the fanmeeting A Holiday To Remember last year. To see their promotions being shortened is frustrating on the end of SONE who realize that Girls’ Generation’s commitment to work ethic has been jeopardized unfairly by the company.
13. Spelling errors on official goods. Repeated errors in the production of Girls’ Generation merchandise is an indication that those involved in the creation of these products do not pay the artists and fans courtesy of paying proper attention to the items that they are making.
14. No actions taken against malicious comments and rumors. We have seen that SM Entertainment only moves when circulated online hate has gotten too far out of hand. Previously, SM Entertainment failed to protect a previously contracted member of Girls’ Generation when she was suffering from a scandal that was worsened by the company’s prolonged silence and inactivity.
15. Old demand for an official lightstick being ignored. SONE have consistently requested that SM Entertainment provide an official lightstick for usage in supporting the members during their endeavors, and we have even communicated that demand with the artists themselves. We therefore find it frustrating that our wishes are being dismissed while the company grants the fanbases of Girls’ Generation’s juniors what we desire.
16. Official schedule not up to date with the members’ activities. SONE cannot rely on the website for accuracy of the artists’ activities. We rely on tracking the social media activity of staff that work with the members on updates concerning their schedules.
17. Unsatisfactory management of social media accounts. The official accounts for Girls’ Generation fail to consistently update the fans about the members’ individual activities and are oftentimes late.
18. Lack of translated/subtitled content for international fans. Overseas SONE understand that we are not being mainly catered to as fans, but SM Entertainment must remember that we are stakeholders in guaranteeing adequate profit for Girls’ Generation and therefore are entitled to partaking of content about the group or of its members in a way that we can fully understand.
19. No dance practices or behind the scenes videos. Such videos allow fans to take a closer look at the artists as they prepare for their activities as performers. We consistently see this being granted to Girls’ Generation’s colleagues but not to the group and its members themselves.
20. Small venues for group and solo concerts and fanmeetings. It bears repeating that SONE comprise a huge, financially capable fanbase. Domestically and internationally, Girls’ Generation and its members are popular enough to be designated venues that are a testament of their status as world-class artists. We find it confusing as to why SM Entertainment would not take advantage of their fame, and that the company being a revenue-oriented agency, refuses to make further profit from choosing venues with larger turnouts.
21. Zero concerts and fanmeetings outside Asia. Girls’ Generation and its members are recognized all around the world, not just in their base of operations. There are parties outside of Asia - and even in countries within the region that have had scarce opportunities to see them in the past - that are willing to pay for opportunities to witness Girls’ Generation live.
22. Lack of care/concern for the physical and psychological well-being of the members. The members have shared their feelings with SONE and we are greatly worried about the impact their work as public figures are having on their own lives.
23. Several opportunities for the members to grow in their fields of interest were turned down. We understand that SM Entertainment wishes those under its management to be aligned with only the best, but we deem the barriers the company has placed to be deeply restrictive and adverse to the growth of the members beyond their personas as idols.
24. Limited creative freedom on group and solo projects. We have heard firsthand from Girls’ Generation that the A&R division of SM Entertainment is a force to be reckoned with, but we are left wondering if the team truly encourages the personal growth of the group and its members as artists that are capable of providing input and being deeply involved in the creative process. This is in stark contrast to what we have observed in Girls’ Generation’s male colleagues, who are consistently allowed to do what the members themselves cannot do.
25. Unsuitable styling done by professional staff supposed to enhance the appearance of the members. SM Entertainment has hired stylists that clearly need to do better at their jobs with regards to preparing the members’ appearances at events such as fashion, variety and music shows. As celebrities who have in their looks an important part of their jobs and images, outward appearances are crucial in determining continuous good reception from the general public, and any work that falls short not only deters positive comments from being made but also attracts the attention of malicious individuals.
In light of the following incidents that have happened to Girls’ Generation, and after watching the very dissatisfactory management of the five members this year despite them having successfully renewed their contracts with the company, we distressed SONE reached out to each other on social media to discuss in detail what steps we could take to formalize our complaints and transmit the results of our discussions to the company. After deciding on a platform to use and administrators for this project, we began soliciting input from SONE worldwide to assist us in building a statement of our grievances and demands, then we summarized the responses we received. The following items are petitions we global SONE issue to the company for them to strongly review and actualize:
1. Carefully plan and maintain a desired level of quality throughout the entire process of producing the physical albums.
2. Release information about album packaging and open pre-orders for the albums early.
3. Produce enough albums to meet the demand.
4. Grant repackage albums and/or special versions for every physical release. Include extras such as regular photocards, hologram photocards, postcards, posters and stickers.
5. Release both the digital and the physical albums on the same day.
6. Make sure that all music services follow the release schedule.
7. Do not overlap another comeback with Girls’ Generation and give them the staff’s full attention.
8. Release the teasers weeks in advance.
9. Start the promotions as early as possible.
10. Allow more than a week of promotions on the four main music shows, as well as several TV and radio appearances during the promotional period if the girls express desire to actively promote.
11. Make sure that Girls' Generation's members have the entirety of their appearances on TV aired.
12. Give SONE proper feedback on the plans for Girls' Generation's future activities.
13. Quality check every product released under Girls' Generation's brand name.
14. Take quick action against malicious comments and rumors targeting Girls’ Generation for harassment. Over the years SONE had to witness an overwhelming amount of online hate/harassment/bullying against the SNSD members with little to not actions taken by the company in protecting the members image. Member Taeyeon in specific has suffered from online harassment on a daily basis for the past four years mostly on Twitter and Instagram with the company allowing the situation to happen without legal actions. We ask for the company to have a strict policy in protecting the girls from online bullying as we feel it can be extremely harmful to the members health and well being.
15. Release the official lightstick for SONE to use.
16. Keep the schedules of the members on their official site up to date with complete accuracy and consistently post about it on social media.
17. Improve social media engagement and create an official V-Live channel for Girls’ Generation where they can communicate with fans and post highlight videos of the upcoming projects. Record videos on platforms such as Dingo and promote them on SM Entertainment’s official Youtube channel. Alternatively, make full use of !t Live.
18. Provide subtitles in languages such as English and Chinese on every officially released video.
19. Release dance practice and behind the scenes videos.
20. Book venues large enough to accommodate as many fans as possible during Girls' Generation's concerts and fanmeetings.
21. Carefully consider every proposal made with the intent of holding a Girls' Generation concert or fanmeeting overseas.
22. Ensure the members of Girls' Generation a good working environment and provide them with all the needed support.
23. Give the members of Girls' Generation the autonomy to decide what is the best for their own careers.
24. Grant the members of Girls' Generation deep involvement in the creative process of their solo and group releases.
25. Improve the styling and concept of the members for their upcoming promotions and public appearances.
We ask SONE from all around the world to support this petition, as we feel these demands can help improve the management of Girls’ Generation and the members who are signed under SM Entertainment. Any updates will be posted both on this page and on Twitter.
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