There has been a lot of outrage directed at CJES in the past 24 hours, and it is stemming from an interview that Lee Bo Eun gave about Dorian Gray and ticket sales.
So let’s get some background information straight first.
Dorian Gray is an all new original musical that debuted this year. When ticketing happened, CJES had done absolutely no marketing aside from announcing that Kim Junsu and Park Euntae were going to be the leads. There were no MVs like we had with Dracula, barely any news articles on crucial days etc. Nobody even knew about a press call for Dorian Gray until the day of the actual press call. Fans and the public alike had absolutely no idea what this musical will be like.
Also, the venue is Seongnam Arts Hall. It is so far from Seoul that fans have called it the ‘Republic of Seongnam’ because it’s that far. If you were coming from Hongdae, it’s a 1.5 hour transit one way.
Yeah, its REALLY FREAKING FAR.
The show only runs Monday to Saturdays so people would have to go that far out mostly on weekday evenings despite majority of people having work the next day. Not fun.
A lot of musicals also have discounts for certain days in order to attract audiences. I’ve seen up to 40% off, but Dorian Gray offered no such discount. Also, September/October is a slow season for musicals as schools are back in session and it’s not a festive period like Christmas.
Tickets were not cheap too, so people who bought them were buying it based on Junsu’s name alone as there was no other info about the musical out.
Despite all this, tickets still sold very well at initial ticketing and 60,000 tickets have been sold so far. When I went on the first day of Dorian Gray, it was a full house.
Back to Lee Bo Eun, who somehow sprung up from nowhere in August and debuted as a ‘marketing manager’ for CJES. Because of her name, she is widely thought to be a relative / sister of Monica Lee Jae Eun, also a marketing exec at CJES who is just absolutely fantabulous at her job.
Anyway, an interviewer asked her why is it that there are seemingly more and more empty seats at Dorian Gray on weekdays. If I were a PR manager for the musical and for Junsu himself, I would touch on the inconvenient location, emphasize that this is a new and original musical that doesn’t have an established reputation (ie: Elizabeth or Les Mis) BUT “despite all the obstacles, we’ve sold 60,000 tickets and the Dorian Gray has been getting rave reviews. Please give it a chance.”
It’s kinda like answering ‘what is your biggest weakness?’ at an interview. You acknowledge a weakness but turn it around and explain what your strength is and how it supersedes the weakness. You know, common sense.
But not to Lee Bo Eun. She said some things that basically undermined Junsu’s ticket power and threw him under the bus which is BS considering everything I mentioned above this paragraph. She didn’t consider how she failed to market the musical properly. She didn’t consider how time and location affected attendance. Instead, she basically ran her mouth like an ungrateful and dumb child baited into giving the media something to ridicule Junsu with when in comparison, Dorian Gray is quite successful given all the barriers it faced and the crappy job that CJES did with promoting it.
CJES posted that long post on Facebook which was basically an argument for how Junsu’s ticket power is still strong, but now instead of saying that from a position of success and pride, like Lee Bo Eun should have during in that interview, it sounds like a ‘no but wait guys! I can explain!’ kind of plea. Now, there are articles about the post itself and those who find every opportunity to drag Junsu down (musical fans, SM fans) are rampant on the articles.
Here’s the worst thing, this is not the first time Lee Bo Eun messed up in the exact same manner. She undermined Junsu, Dorian Gray, and the ticket sales in an interview back in August as well! Fans asked for feedback as to why she said those things back then too, but Cjes was silent that time. They actually played victim instead, simply posting a comment on Instagram saying ‘Please don’t attack us, thank you’
How do you do this twice, within less than 3 months? To me, she sounds less like a marketing manager for Junsu and more like an anti. I don’t know how Lee Bo Eun became a manager for CJES when she is so mentally juvenile, professionally inexperienced, and completely shameless by refusing to learn from her past mess up. One thing is for sure though, CJES is an anchor that drags Junsu down, and Lee Bo Eun should never, ever talk about Junsu again.