An investigative report in the popular Korean celebrity news website Dispatch revealed how Kdrama actors and Kpop singers were exposed to health hazards during the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards [MAMA 2020]. The grand award evening was held on December 6 at Paju. Here is the reality check by Dispatch that put the MAMA organizers in a tight spot.

According to the report published on December 11, the website revealed that Kpop singers were exposed to severe layers of dust particles during rehearsals and recordings. The main problem was the venue of the event as it was under construction.

MAMA 2020
TREASURE, iZone, TXT, TWICE perform at the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2020. Instagram

Paju Construction Site Controversy

MAMA 2020 was held at the CJ ENM Contents World in Paju. The site is still under construction and is expected to be completed in 2023. The recordings of the performances in connection to MAMA 2020 were held in Studio 6 of the building.

The Dispatch went on an investigation mode after one of the staff of a Kpop idol was heard saying that their white mask had turned back due to the dust accumulated at the venue. Kpop singers and their team spent at least 4 hours on the sets practicing and recording.

The construction of the Paju center began in the second half of 2019. A total of ten buildings are being constructed. But so far only two have been completed. The Dispatch even found cautions in the construction site that asked people to stay away as there were snakes, fire hazards and drop hazards.

Especially mentioning the parking lot where artists and singers were made to wait during MAMA 2020, the Dispatch reported that the place looked like a dirt field. Speaking to the Dispatch, one of the persons present during the event said that there was dust every time a car moved. The windows had to be strictly kept closed due to dust particles.

It is also said that during the practice and pre-record time construction was on in the other eight building sites. There were complaints of throat ache, difficulty in breathing by Kpop singers and their staff. After the event, the Dispatch found out that Studios 5 and 6 were completely cleared. Even without any work going on, reporters had difficulty in breathing as they were inhaling dust.

The Dispatch, on December 8, had published a report of actors and singers treated differently during the MAMA 2020 event. The report stated that actors who presented awards had been given ready rooms and refreshments backstage. Whereas apart from two idol groups other Kpop singers were made to wait in an outside parking zone. Idols even had to use transportable bathrooms outdoors. So, a few idols rented different lodging close by instead of waiting in their vehicles.

What is Hollywood in Paju?

The venue where MAMA 2020 was held is a dream project of CJ ENM, the entertainment unit of the CJ Group. This building is supposed to be a Korean version of Hollywood in Paju. A studio park is being built in 210,000 square meters near the Gyeonggi ChangeUp Campus including four zones.

The first zone is a welcome plaza that will have a lounge, convenient facilities and exhibition and experience studios for visitors situated on top of work rooms and parking lots. The second zone is known as drama village zone to be used as production studios. This zone will consist of four 3-storey buildings and an open studio. Third zone is theme road zone that will have open space for contemporary dramas with studios for special effects. The last zone is known as wonderful forest zone inclusive of an art center and an exhibition center as well as settings for popular dramas.