The airport is always turned into a runway of sorts for K-Pop stars. As flight schedules are readily available online, journalists and fans can figure out the rough timings where the celebrities will be at the airport.
But these shutterbugs may not always be welcome, for the enormous crowds can always turn into a huge issue. This happened to soloist Sunmi as she traveled back from Los Angeles to South Korea. She had coincidentally returned on the same day as TWICE. TWICE has been in Japan for their world tour, TWICE 4TH WORLD TOUR ‘III’ and reporters had been lying in wait. The reporters that had finished covering TWICE over at Arrival Gate B moved over to Gate A, where they heard Sunmi would be coming in from.
Seeing the reporters, Sunmi’s manager decided to move to Gate B instead. Reporters soon began to follow him. To facilitate smooth movement and coverage, Sunmi’s manager relayed word to them to all gather at Gate B. But her manager had left the gate right before Sunmi’s arrival, and the reporters soon quickly caught on and moved back to Gate A. Sunmi finally arrived at Gate A and was surprised to see the reporters there. It was said that she left hastily with her head down.
Reporters were upset to have been allegedly lied to and at Sunmi’s supposed attitude towards having her photo taken. Soon, pictures of her arrival spread with the caption, “The difference between when she has a sponsored product and not.” This is because stars often wear sponsored items to the airport and happily pose for pictures, so the products gain exposure, which is why entertainment companies often cooperate with journalists. Journalists speculated that she might have shown a different attitude due to the lack of sponsored products. Sunmi quickly stepped up to clarify.
Along with the screenshot of the comparing caption, she explained that there had been a misunderstanding.
To be honest, it was a personal schedule, so I didn’t know there would be reporters. As I was moving without my manager but with my dongsaengs, it seems that my dongsaengs and manager did not communicate well from [where they were] in or outside of the gate! I’m sorry. *sob sob*… I’ve always been bright and cheery at the airport, but I was taken aback. And…also…! I didn’t have any sponsored items in the photo on the right either…
As it was not a work schedule but a holiday, Sunmi did not expect reporters to cover her arrival. Perhaps it was simply an unfortunate coincidence given that another artist had been arriving on the same day, and the reporters decided to cover Sunmi’s too while they were there. Hopefully, there will be no further misunderstandings between the press and her management team with her explanation.