With the recent news of Ladies’ Code’s fatal accident which resulted in the deaths of members Go Eun-bi and Kwon Ri-se, fans around the world are worried over their idols’ safety and their treatment. Simon and Martina at Eat your Kimchi (EYK) have gave their views on how tough the entertainment industry is on idols (and also mentioning how Crayon Pop was really busy back when they did an interview with EYK), which gives rise to the question, how well is Crayon Pop treated by Chrome Ent.?
Disclaimer: This will be a speculative post on how Crayon Pop is treated by Chrome Ent. I will present public information and attempt to come up with a well-educated guess on the way Crayon Pop is treated. As is with the industry, some of what is publicly presented might not be factual, and is up to you as a fan to look at it with a critical eye. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to CrayonPop.me.
First of, what sort of vehicle are they using to travel around?
Currently Chrome Ent. has two vehicles, a KIA Sedona and Chevrolet Express.
Their first vehicle which they had been using since debut is a Chevrolet Express that is not rated for frontal and side impact, but has a 3/5 star rating on the rollover test. It is disappointing that their older vehicle is not great at safety standards.
However, it is great to see that their newer mini-van, the KIA Sedona that they have been using more frequently recently ranks higher on the safety rankings.
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According to KIA’s performance datasheet, this is what it is rated as
Carnival(Sedona) in 2003 was found to be the safest vehicle for children in the back seats according to Euro NCAP, the European safety standard. Meanwhile, Sorento and Carnival(Sedona) received 5 stars from crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. 5 stars means the likelihood the passengers would sustain severe injury is less than 5% in an accident, and only the safest of vehicles receive such ratings.
This is some indication that Chrome Ent. values its artists (including K-Much and Bob Girls) by obtaining a vehicle that is high on safety rankings when they had the ability to do so post-Bar Bar Bar. However, I would like to note that even with the safest cars, the ratings are only meaningful with a seatbelt, and unfortunately, Crayon Pop doesn’t always seem to wear them, probably due to the prevalent seatbelt culture in Korea.
Update (26 Sep 2014):
After the tragic death of Ladies’ Code’s EunB and RiSe, some entertainment labels have reflected on their past ways and have cut back on their speeding. Chrome Entertainment, which manages groups like Crayon Pop and Bob Girls, has removed their siren lights from their van while CUBE Entertainment, which manages 4minute and B2ST, has its veteran manager chauffeur around with the company chief officer sitting in the passenger seat.
From this update, we can see that Chrome is willing to give up profitable performances to protect their artists.
Next, is Crayon Pop overworked?
The answer would be a yes during come back promotions just like every other idol group. For instance, in Feb 2013, Choa mentioned that she fell sick after Music Bank, got an IV drip, and was back at MBC’s Show! Music Core later in the day for a performance. During Bar Bar Bar’s promotional period, CEO Hwang mentioned that they were cutting down on schedules as the members were finding it too tiring.
Q. It seems live performances are the most common amongst your schedule?
A. Currently, all the members find it very tiring, so we are reducing our live performance activities.
In more recent times, Soyul was diagnosed with Enteritis and was missing in action for 3 public performances over a 5 day period. These events might be an indication that Chrome Ent. will try not to tax their idols if they are not feeling well and value the artists under them. This is understandable since Chrome Ent. was after all a small startup that depended greatly on Crayon Pop’s success, so they were harsher on them during the beginning stages.
Thirdly, are the managers overworked?
After ‘Bar Bar Bar’ went viral, Chrome Ent. hired 2 new managers, Managers Suh Sang Pil and Jae Bo Kwang. Considering it was until January 2014 before K-Much debuted, Crayon Pop had 4 managers even through Lonely Christmas promotions. It is hence a reasonable speculation that the managers managed to rotate their responsibilities back then, which would allow sufficient rest to focus on the road and deal with managerial responsibilities. After K-Much and Bob Girls debuted, each group seems to have 1 or 2 managers (Jung Boo In or Kim Gi Nam) accompanying them for events, along with fan manager, Jo Ara. As of July 2014, managers sometimes do not do the driving, and a dedicated driver drives Bob Girls around occasionally. This might be a result of having 4 members in Bob Girls which allows such an arrangement. As the promotional periods of Chrome artists do not strongly overlap, it does seem that Chrome’s staff are not spread thin to the point of exhaustion.
Lastly, how is the welfare like for Chrome Ent. artists?
Fans might recall from older videos that dietary restrictions were imposed on Crayon Pop way before Bar Bar Bar. Some fans have criticized that as a barbaric violation of human rights. Again, that is common in the entertainment industry, but whatever dietary restrictions have since been removed by Chrome Ent. about 1 year into their debut, and the members are given the responsibility to manage their diets on their own. Also the cellphone ban has recently been lifted as announced by CEO Hwang.
Also, CEO Hwang moved Crayon Pop out of their small dorm into a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment after they won their first music show on Music bank as requested. CEO Hwang has also been praised for taking care of them when they were worried about eye wrinkles by buying eye cream for them. The members have also testified for the managers that they take good care of them, and have no problems sounding out any displeasure.
Unlike most in the industry, their ideas are incorporated into their routines such as the helmet which Choa suggested, and the hand motions for the 5 cylinder dance. Also the outfits for ‘Uh-ee’ were also a result of Crayon Pop’s wish to wear something similar to Hanboks. CEO Hwang is on very close terms with the members and will accept reasonable requests from Crayon Pop, and is not afraid of teasing himself and Crayon Pop as seen on various episodes of CPTV.
In conclusion, Chrome Ent. seems to do a good job at taking care of Crayon Pop. Like a parent who enforces strict rules to a young child, but relaxes the rules as the child grows up, Chrome Ent. has employed a similar style in their artist management policies.