The 2023 Melon Music Awards, held on December 2, marked a joyous occasion for fans as various groups were recognized
Despite the overall celebratory atmosphere, keen-eyed fans couldn’t help but notice a peculiar occurrence during the award acceptances of IVE and NewJeans. Some fans spotted only a sparse number of turned-on lightsticks in the audience, creating the visual effect of a “black ocean” for these groups.
Experiencing a black ocean is a serious matter. Some pointed fingers at the on-site fans of boy groups for allegedly lacking support for female idols like IVE and NewJeans.
However, it’s important to delve deeper into whether this allegation aligns with reality. Typically, attendees, regardless of fandom, usually raise their lightsticks as a gesture of support when other groups are performing.
In the past, instances of a “black ocean” emerged when audiences deliberately turned off their lightsticks, plunging the venue into near darkness as a form of protest.
However, upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that the girl groups in question did not encounter black oceans.
Screenshots may suggest that NewJeans and IVE were being disrespected by fans of other groups, but in reality, various idol groups, including boy groups, also experienced a scarcity of turned-on lightsticks at specific moments of the MMA.
During award acceptances, fans seemingly lowered their lightsticks as they opted to capture footage of groups receiving awards.
The same thing applied to performances, as shown in some fancams where turned-on lightsticks were visible in the background, while those on the ground prioritized filming the idols with their cameras raised.