KUALA LUMPUR: Fans of K-Pop were up in arms after a Spanish magazine recently published a satirical comic strip that painted the K-Pop industry in a bad light.
According to Allkpop, the matter was highlighted after a Twitter user, CintiaDero, posted some photos from the Spanish weekly magazine, El Jueves.
The content focussed on sensitive topics of sexual abuse, exploitation and depression in the K-Pop scene.
It also criticised the K-Pop idols’ styles and performances, as well as their fandom.
But the portion that enraged fans the most was how El Jueves mocked the death of Jonghyun, who was a member of the popular K-Pop group Shinee.
The late singer-songwriter and main vocalist of the South Korean outfit under SM Entertainment had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning last year on Dec 18. He was 27.
One panel in the comic strip had a caricature with pink hair that resembled Jonghyun.
A caption in it read: “An idol that killed himself at age 27 after not being able to cope with the pressure of the industry.”
His accompanying word bubble read: "At 27! Just like my buddies Jimi Hendrix, Janis, Jim Morrison, Kurt...!”
These other famous artistes (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain) had also died at the age of 27.
One of the characters in the comic said: “Call security...! A nobody is trying to sneak into the ‘27 Club’.”
The comic strip also used the word “Pinypons” to describe K-Pop idols.
Pinypons, which are plastic toy dolls, were assumed to imply that the South Korean artistes were just plastic, disposable and doll-like, mass-produced commodities.
As a result of the comic, irate K-Pop fans have created a petition on Change.org to shut down the magazine. It has so far accumulated over 28,000 signatures.