Outrage over death threat to Blackpink's Lisa
Thousands of fans post messages of support for Thai star; culprit's account deactivated
Hundreds of thousands of fans of the K-pop supergroup Blackpink have reacted with anguish and outrage to reports of a death threat made against its Thai star, Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban.
The hashtag for news about the death threat had earned 1.23 billion views on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo within 24 hours of the first reports earlier this week, according to the Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper.
Many Chinese fans left worried or comforting messages on Lisa’s official Sina Weibo account in Chinese, Thai and English, the newspaper said.
The K-pop quartet is currently preparing to release a new album in June. It will be their first collection of new music since the release of the EP Kill This Love in April last year.
Last Saturday a Twitter user posted a comment saying: “Once BLACKPINK has their comeback stage, I am going to shoot BLACKPINK’s Lisa, and you can say goodbye to your bias because that’s the last time you’ll ever see her ugly face again.”
Hundreds of thousands of netizens took to Twitter to criticize the account, which was later suspended for violating the platform’s terms of service.
The Thai embassy in Seoul confirmed on Thursday that it had received many emails and Twitter messages about threats made online to Lalisa.
YG Entertainment, which manages the band, also issued a statement saying, “At YG Entertainment, we are doing our best for the safety and protection of our artists and fans. … We are aware of this current situation, and not only are we doing our own constant monitoring, but we are also collecting and going through information sent to us by fans. We will be taking strong action against these threats,” the K-pop website Soompi quoted it as saying.
Lalisa, 23, a native of Buri Ram, was included last year in Time magazine’s 100 Next list of rising stars.
“The cyber-bullying phenomenon toward celebrities is becoming worse, and we need to take more strict actions to punish this evil,” one Chinese fan posted on Sina Weibo.
It is not the first time that Lisa has received death threats.
In early April a user on Instagram also posted a photo of he singer beneath a tomb with the words “I will kill Lisa. I have my gun already.”
Zhao Binran, a member of a Lisa fan club living in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Tuesday that he thinks this may have just been a troll since he feels someone who really wanted to kill someone would be less likely to make the information public.
“The police and agencies for the star will investigate this kind of behaviour made in bad taste,” he told the Global Times. “After all, the news has already been made public, so they will be the target of even greater condemnation if they are derelict in their duty.”
Some Chinese fans also expressed concern for Lisa’s mental health, recalling the suicides of South Korean singers Suli and Goo Hara.
However, Zhao said he has faith in his idol since he and his fan club friends all think Lisa is a very rational person who can handle the difficulties she encounters as a public figure.