Cruelty in the Korean entertainment industry is a rampant problem that hides in the dark corners, away from the flashes and lights of public appearances.
The K-Pop industry originally had three power companies — SM, JYP, and YG. Recently, these companies' squeaky clean reputations have been taking hit after hit from the skeletons they hid in their closets. From suicides to assault, the dazzling light that seemed to come from these idols were not bright enough to hide these ugly truths.
Some people who sadly have lost their battles are Sulli and Goo Hara along with Kim Jong-Hyun. These people are just a few of the many that suffered from the pressures of stardom. Along with pressure from their own companies, they also dealt with a massive amount of pressure to keep up their perfect images for their fanbase.
One of Korea’s biggest scars on their picture perfect world is the incident that occured with a club by the title of Burning Sun and Big Bang’s Lee Seungri. As it turns out, one of Korea’s biggest stars hid a secret bigger than his own fame. Seungri was the owner of one of Korea’s hottest nightclubs. However, within these walls where inhibitions are forgotten and one tended to let their guards down, a dark secret lay. Burning Sun was a farm of exploitation of drunk girls for prostitution. This huge scandal caused Seungri to immediately release a statement announcing his departure from the entertainment world, but the damage had already been done. This incident caused the reopening of old cases and reports along with the investigations of new ones. Korea’s perfect image is starting to crack.
Another dark secret hidden from the public’s view is the secret behind these idols’ perfect and slender bodies. While it is commonly known that these idols often have strict diets and restrictions before a comeback, the extent at which some idols are forced to go is inhumane.
Many idols spoke about “diets” which were essentially fasts that lasted for unhealthy amounts of time. An example of this is the girl group Loona. These members were starved and eventually got so hungry that they had to sneak out while their managers weren’t around in order to get food. Thus another fracture in Korea’s porcelain image occurred.
Abuse in the K-Pop industry is not something that is new but an issue that continues to ravage the lives of many idols. This issue has just recently started to come to light but many things remain unresolved. Until these issues can come to a close, the K-Pop industry will never again regain its image of a perfect world.