TIME 100 Letter Campaign
[ *ETA 4/24/10: The email address has been fixed.]
[ *ETA 4/23/10: Fans, an editor at TIME Inc. here in Atlanta has confirmed that their TIME letters email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is having technical problems, and that their IT people are trying to fix it. There is no official alternate email addy at this time; their PR Director suggests we continue using this one until our letters begin going through. Thanks.]
[ *ETA: We have discovered that TIME's email address, email@example.com, is bouncing emails back to the sender. We are trying to find an alternate address until the problem is solved.]
Clouds, Rain clouds, and fans:
We’ve cast our TIME 100 poll votes all the way down to the wire (the poll will supposedly be ended today). Now it is time to support Rain a step further— and this step is imperative.
Many news magazines and entertainment sources know Rain only by his singer/dancer iconic status, and have no idea of the truly meaningful and selfless things he has done for other human beings across this planet. They haven’t heard of the achievements he has earned and the responsibilities he has taken on in the name of Korea and the rest of the world. It should be our mission to get that important information out and to the right places, and there is no better place to start than TIME Magazine.
Those of you who are writers, like us, or are comfortable with writing your own letter, we encourage you to do so and to email or snail-mail it as soon as possible. We are posting our personal letter to TIME here as an example (NOT to be copied or used), and so that you have material and research with which to compose your own original work.
For those of you who would rather have something pre-written to print, post, or copy, we are posting a Form Petition Letter. Use it as you will—use part or all of it, sign and snail-mail or email it to TIME, or get as many fan signatures as you can and send it, or post it on every forum and blog you know of to get others involved. The important thing is that this is done as quickly as possible; it is our understanding that around April 29, the TIME editors may be announcing who they’ve decided to include in their “World’s Most Influential People” issue, a mere six days away.
We thank Cloud isilvalie for providing a wealth of draft material for these letters, and for composing the form petition letter. She has been a great help. We used this material and researched our own in the composing of our personal letter.
Let’s all get to work…! Jung Ji-Hoon has never given up on anything a day in his life, and neither should we. Aja fighting!
Stephe ^@@^ and Terri :-}
CloudUSA.org PERSONAL LETTER (please DO NOT copy)
Mr. Rick Stengel, Managing Editor
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020-1393
April 22, 2010
Dear Mr. Stengel,
We are delighted that TIME magazine is focusing on those who make a positive difference in our world, with its 2010 TIME 100 Online Poll and its annual TIME 100 issue. How your editors narrow TIME’s list down to 100 people from so many equally worthy candidates is mind boggling. We don’t know how you do it. Still, that thought isn’t going to keep us from proposing several extraordinary TIME 100 issue candidates of our own.
Our first pick is Stephen Colbert (on your online poll), for taking it upon himself to save the U.S. speedskating team in time for the Olympics in Vancouver. Our second nomination is actress and comedienne Mo’Nique (also on your online poll), who continually speaks out on the rights of all women and who inspires by example. Third, we suggest Dr. Mehmet Oz, for his many charitable contributions toward getting preventative care to the public. We’d also like to recommend the late Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, who was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim State.
Finally, and most importantly, we would like to propose Korean dancer, singer, actor, designer, producer, national ambassador, and philanthropist Jung Ji-Hoon, known the world over as the mega-icon Rain (also on your online poll).
Since his debut in 2002, a mere eight and a half years ago, Rain has accomplished more than most people could hope to achieve in an entire lifetime of endeavor. Already he has won a multitude of awards for his music and acting; he has produced six music albums (and numerous special mini-albums in multiple languages), has starred in four primetime award winning dramas, and has starred in three major films—two of which were Hollywood features.
He has racked up an impressive list of “firsts.” He was the first Korean to become both an actor and a singer. He was the first Korean to embark on an East-Asia tour. In 2007, he was the first Korean popstar to perform at the Tokyo Dome, Japan’s largest auditorium, a venue he filled with over 30,000 adoring fans. He also was the first Korean to appear in and land a leading role in a major Hollywood film (Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin, respectively).
Rain has changed the face of male Korean beauty everywhere. At the beginning of his career, it wasn’t unusual for someone to tell him he had talent, but that he was just too ugly to be a performer. Still, he was the first Korean male to appear on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. And in 2007, People Magazine named him one of the most beautiful people in the world.
In just the past year and a half, Rain has been appointed Honorary Ambassador of South Korea’s Green Growth vision, Goodwill Ambassador by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, and Global Publicity Ambassador for the City of Seoul. The Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism also presented him with their Korea Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA) Award, for his contributions to the development of domestic cultural events.
On and offstage, Rain represents many things to many people the world over: diligence, perseverance, willingness to risk failure, ability to overcome adversity through persistence and hard work, positive attitude, kindness and philanthropy. Certainly, Rain is a talented artist, but his avid fans support and admire him just as much for the qualities of his character as they do for his career.
Rain has lovingly given his time and labor to a myriad of charitable and humanitarian causes. He has built wells in Cambodia and Mongolia, built playgrounds for children, donated concert proceeds to support children orphaned by AIDS, physically scrubbed oil from the Korean coast after the devastating Taean oil spill (and donated nearly $300,000 for drinking water and winter clothing for residents).
He was the Asia Pacific spokesperson for MTV’s anti-human trafficking campaign EXIT and participated in the Social Welfare Society’s campaign to find adoptive parents for abandoned children. He has paid medical bills for terminally ill patients, has paid for eye operations to have vision restored for average citizens who could not afford it and has donated to a number of charity auctions. His shining example inspires his fans to be self-actualizing, hardworking and charitable, and each year people and groups all over the world donate money to charitable causes in his name.
In addition to motivating his fans to support the rest of the world, Rain also encourages them to reach out and support one another. His fan base is large and extremely diverse in age and ethnicity. As a result, the huge number of international friendships created because of Rain may well be his greatest influence. Whenever fans meet face to face, mutual support of Rain may be the definitive ice-breaker, but conversations quickly move from his style, music, acting, and inspirational struggles to our own activities, families, outlook on life—to our own hopes and dreams.
The outcome of these interactions is often an invaluable intercultural understanding that creates friendships that reach beyond Cyberspace and into the real world, where people find themselves visiting and providing hospitality to each other in their home countries. We believe that his inspiring such a huge number of people around the globe to touch each another in cross-cultural communication, friendship and understanding can’t help but have a positive impact on and change the face of our world as we know it.
In closing, we’d like to thank you for your efforts at TIME Magazine. We’d also like to thank you for considering Rain and our other suggested candidates for inclusion in your TIME 100 issue. We are looking forward to reading it.
Terri Robinson and Stephe Thornton
- http://cloudusa.wordpress.com/all-things-rain/filmography/ (Rain’s filmography & Achievements)
- http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/rain_korea/artist.jhtml (MTV bio & Awards)
- http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2009/09/201_3621.html (First Korean to perform at Tokyo Dome)
- http://www.hancinema.net/rain-on-his-acting-ambitions-21291.html (First Korean to appear (Speed Racer) and to star in (Ninja Assassin) Hollywood film)
- http://sixtofive1982.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/04-19-10-old-pics-harpers-bazaar-magazine-korea-nov-2008-issue/ (Harper’s Bazaar)
- http://www.soompi.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t132373.html (People’s 100 Most Beautiful People)
- http://thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/korea-takes-the-lead-on-green-growth/354264 (Green Growth Ambassador)
- http://english.kbs.co.kr/Entertain/EntertainmentNews/view.html?No=7074 (Goodwill Ambassador by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture)
- http://www.life.com/image/88373748 (Global Publicity Ambassador for the City of Seoul, Korea)
- http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=106&oid=108&aid=0002016133 (KOCCA Award)
13. http://www.mtvexit.org/videoGet.php?lang=1&id=2227&vdo_cat=1(anti-trafficking spokesperson)
14. http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/805 (anti-trafficking spokesperson)
15. http://worldvision.org.sg/st_campaign2.php (anti-AIDS campaign)
16. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2008/01/178_17521.html (oil spill cleanup)
17. http://english.kbs.co.kr/news/newsview_sub.php?menu=1&key=2009032027 (Time 100 2006 and TIME Poll 2007)
2. CNN’s Talk Asia » Interview with Rain, 12/14/05
3. 4. Pop Goes Korea, » The Reign of Rain, by Mark James Russell
4. 5. Rain is Coming MBC Special
5. 6. CNN’s Talk Asia » Interview With Rain, 10/29/09
6. http://rain-jihoon.com/n2/ (Rain’s Official Website)
8. J Tune Creative (SixToFive)
9. “The People Who Shape Our World”, Time Magazine, May 8, 2006
11. Jeanine Tan, Oldboy director cast Rain for his sex appeal but it’s okay, Channel News Asia, March 8, 2007.
12. “Rain’s album records sales of over one million copies in Asia”. KBS Global, 2008
13. “Tickets for Rain’s Hong Kong Concert Sold Out”. KBS Global, 2009.
17. Rain Legend.com
FORM PETITION LETTER (by isilvalie, for your personal use)
Mr. Richard Stengel, Managing Editor
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020-1393
April 20, 2010
Dear Mr. Stengel,
We are writing to request that you recognize Jung Ji-Hoon (stage name, Rain) in your “World’s Most Influential People” magazine issue.
As an entertainer, Rain is a multi-talented performer, but that is not why people continue to vote for him on the TIME internet poll. People who don’t know much about him may think he is “just a pop star,” but if they look beyond the surface they will find that Rain is an inspiring person with a compelling life story and global influence.
To many people worldwide, Jung Ji-Hoon stands for diligence, perseverance, resilience through persistence and hard work, a positive attitude, kindness and philanthropy. People support him in the online poll more for his qualities of character than for his talents or appearance. Rain has fearlessly risked failure in the pursuit of his dreams, and upon suffering major setbacks, he has picked himself up, learned from them, and tried even harder. Many people around the world have been inspired by Rain’s example of determination and perseverance, and have gained the confidence to make positive changes in their own lives.
Rain’s Positive Influence Against Prejudice
Rain was told in auditions that he was talented, but too ugly to become a star because he didn’t have western-style “double-eyelids”. He was rejected in 18 auditions and told to have plastic surgery. But Rain did not do this and was finally signed by an entertainment company based upon his talent and desire to succeed. In his rise to stardom, Rain has done much to change prejudices and lead to acceptance of a more natural kind of beauty within his own country. He has influenced many people to accept their own natural ethnic look instead of turning to plastic surgery. He now further pushes the boundaries of prejudice by trying to become accepted in the US.
Rain’s Compassion Inspires Charitable Giving
Perhaps because he has suffered hunger and hardship himself, Rain is a kind person who helps others. He has built drinking wells and playgrounds in Cambodia, paid the medical bills of terminally ill patients, contributed funds and personally worked on the Taean oil spill clean-up effort, contributed a percentage of his World Tour concert proceeds to World Vision to help children orphaned by AIDs. He has served as a spokesperson to combat human trafficking, started a program to pay for eye surgery for fans with vision problems, participated in a campaign to find missing children, donated to the Children’s Charity Fund of China, participated in Jackie Chan’s benefit concerts, participated in the Love Photo Exhibition to find adoptive parents for orphans, participated in numerous charity auctions, and has donated funds to the Haiti and Chinese earthquake victims. Rain was the 2008 winner of the President’s Prize on Korea’s 45th National Day for Saving, for his thriftiness and contributions to charity.
Rain’s fans have followed his lead and have been influenced to give in his name. The RainUSA and BiKyo fanclubs sent contributions to help with the Taean Oil Spill cleanup. In December 2008, the Benamoo fanclub donated 3 million KRW (around $2600) to the Korea Welfare Foundation. They also donated to help earthquake victims in Sichauan, China, and to the Help Foundation for Poorly Fed Children. Last year, members of The Cloud, Rain’s official fan club, purchased needed items equivalent to approximately 20 million KRW (around $15,000) for Dongbang Social Welfare Organization to commemorate Rain’s 7th debut anniversary. In February, 2010, Benamoo donated 3.7 million KRW (around $3,200) to UNICEF and The Cloud donated 30 million KRW (around $26,000), all to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Rain’s Humility and Hard Work Inspire Others Toward Excellence
Rain is a humble person who maintains that he is no more talented than the next guy and has achieved his skills as an entertainer through hard work. Rain has dedicated his career to his deceased mother. He visits her grave before each new project and continually strives to become someone she would be proud of.
Speed Racer co-stars, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon had nothing but good to say about Rain in an April 19, 2008 Movies Online interview: John Goodman: “…He is so talented and he works so hard… He is like the hardest working man in show business…” Susan Sarandon: ” Such a strong work ethic.” (Source: http//www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_14616.html)
Choreographer Jamie King, who has worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Prince, and Christina Aguilera, and was the artistic director of the “Rain’s Coming” World Tour, says of Rain: “He likes to be challenged. A lot of people are busy and don’t necessarily want to perfect or work on their craft as much as they should. I think that’s what sets him apart and makes him really special.”
After losing the top spot on the 2007 TIME online poll to Rain, comedian Stephen Colbert invited Rain to a mock dance-off on his show. Colbert said: “We were all just dazzled. It was incredible to be in the presence of someone who clearly was so talented and had dedicated themselves so completely to their art. It really was, like, I’m in the presence of a master.” (Source: Interview in Discovery Channel’s “Hip Korea: Seoul Vibes” documentary http://www.nofactzone.net/?p=11640)
Naomi Harris, Rain’s co-star in the 2009 movie “Ninja Assassin,” said, “He works incredibly hard. I’ve actually…I’ve never known anyone to work so hard. But coupled with the fact that he works so hard, the thing that’s so wonderful about Rain is that he never complains.” (Source: video clip of Naomi Harris interview included in collection of clips at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwb8iJSQO_o )
James McTeigue, Director of Ninja Assassin, said, “He’s an incredible human being…his discipline and his effort and his tenacity come out in the film….” (Sources: EyeBiteTV interview, Nov. 20, 2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS_QN3_NEVA and “Made in Hollywood” Interview, Nov. 19, 2009, Interviewer: Rashan Lindsay)
What Rain says about himself: “The biggest competition is myself. I am not looking to follow others or pull them down. I’m planning to test my own boundaries” (Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/10/135_33417.html) “I always did my best and I thought if I did, it would eventually show, and even if it didn’t turn out well, I wouldn’t have any regrets.” (Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/10/135_32517.html)
Rain’s Integrity in the Face of Adversity
The way Rain has handled difficult obstacles while trying to enter the US entertainment market has garnered great respect. After performing successfully for over 250,000 people in ten countries during his 2006-2007 “Rain’s Coming World Tour,” Rain planned a final North American leg. In February 2007, Rain Corp., representing the group “Rain: the Beatles Experience,” filed a lawsuit for trademark violation, claiming three times the tour profits in damages if Rain performed in the US using his stage name. The US concerts were cancelled. The lawsuit was finally resolved in Rain’s favor, just in time for his final scheduled concert appearance in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, authorities cancelled the Los Angeles concert one and one half hours before show time, due to construction and equipment safety inspection issues. Rain begged tearfully to be allowed to perform, but to no avail.
Star M Entertainment, the tour organizer who had purchased the North American rights for the tour from JYP Entertainment, apologized to Rain, saying that they accepted moral responsibility for the concert cancellations. Lee In Gwang, representative of Star M, said, “As the organizer, we had a duty to see that the activities developed smoothly from start to end. However, we did not fulfill this duty. The World Concert Tour was unable to come to a beautiful conclusion, and we feel deeply responsible for this…Due to this incident, Rain was rebuked by many. Because of us, a respected artist was inflicted with unnecessary hurt. As the concert organizer, we feel morally responsible for this…”
The concert promotion company Click Entertainment sustained heavy losses due to the cancelled concert in Hawaii and sued Rain and JYP Entertainment for fraud. Assuming that the artist would not be held responsible if a production company failed to live up to its responsibilities, and perhaps due to naiveté about the US legal system, Rain’s legal defense was inadequate. The same suit was filed by the promoter in Korean courts and was thrown out, but in the US, the jury returned a guilty verdict. Rain and JYP appealed in order to clear their names. The judge called for arbitration, and the case was settled out of court, with Rain and JYP required to cover only the promoter’s losses.
Rain maintained a respectful attitude and never spoke badly of the Beatle’s Rain group, even though they caused damage to his career from which he is still trying to recover.
Rain’s way of addressing difficulties such as these has invariably been to say nothing negative about others and to try even harder to do an exemplary job in order to prove himself. One cannot help but respect the way he has handled himself in these situations. The manner in which Rain has faced and overcome difficult obstacles has been an inspiration to many and messages of support are posted on YouTube from many countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UK/Great Britain, USA, Venezuela, and Vietnam (please search Google for “We Believe in Rain.”)
Rain’s Positive Global Influence
Rain has fostered friendships that cross generational, ethnic and international boundaries. Rain fans share respect for his character, admiration for his talent, hard work and perseverance, sympathy for his struggles, affection for his sincere ingenuous personality and a desire to see him achieve success. Rain’s fan base is diverse in age, nationality and ethnicity—from teenagers to grandparents and from every country in the world.
When TIME Magazine asked Rain to participate in the “10 Questions” interview video segment in 2008, questions were submitted by fans from many countries including: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Dubai (UAE), England, Germany, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Navaho Nation (in US), Netherlands, Palestine (Israel), Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, UK, US, and Vietnam. (http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,1554364682_1812469,00.html) (http://time-blog.com/10questions/2008/04/04/korean-pop-star-rain/, accessed 11/9/2009)
From Oct 6 to 8, 2009 CNN solicited fan questions for a video interview. CNN did not ask for locationd, but of those that volunteered the information, questions were again submitted from many countries including: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Dubai (UAE), Egypt, England, Europe (country unspecified), France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America (country unspecified), Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East (country unspecified), Morocco, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia (country not specified), Singapore, Southeast Asia (country not specified), Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom (country unspecified), US, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Mutual support of Rain is the bond and the ice-breaker among fans, but valuable inter-cultural understanding results as our conversations quickly move from his music, acting, appearance, or inspirational struggles, to our own activities, families, outlook on life, to our own struggles and dreams. To have such a huge number of people reaching out to each other around the globe in cross-cultural communication, friendship and understanding cannot help but have a positive impact on the world.
Thank you for reading this and considering our request to include Rain in the “World’s Most Influential People” magazine issue.