All Facts and Information About Scandals in South Korean Entertainment!
As K-Pop idols and celebrities, many performers have had possibilities to be involved in such cases, whether it was because of something they were known to have done, or it was because someone leveled an accusation against them. In 2018 and 2019, the K-Pop entertainment industry surprised us with some of the ‘spotlight’ scandals from their idols. Some cases became very huge and surprised the fans, as well. Through this article, Byeol Korea will explain to you all of those scandals, so stay tuned!
One of the most talked-about was about the Burning Sun scandal since it involved a lot of famous male K-Pop idols, one of whom was BIG BANG’s Seungri. There’s also the voting manipulation scandal from the famous survival show, Produce 101, which left fans extremely angry with the show. Beyond those, there are still a lot of other cases that might be detrimental to the other people involved in them. If you want to know the details about those cases, let’s check out the article down below!
The Burning Sun Scandal
Let’s start with the Burning Sun scandal! Burning Sun is well known as the nightclub which has been managed by ex-BIG BANG’s Seungri since 2015. The nightclub became really famous not only around the K-Pop entertainment industry, but also for other important figures.
The Burning Sun scandal became known around the end of January 2019, and it consisted of sexual harassment cases, rape cases, and also drug cases. The case was started when there was an old recording from CCTV about a man who was called Mr. Kim. He was the victim of violence experience by Burning Sun staff. The violence also reportedly related with the sexual harassment within it.
Then some of the popular names became involved within the case, who also became the suspects, such as ex-BIG BANG’s Seungri, Jung Joon-young, CNBLUE’s Lee Jong-hyun, FT Island’s Choi Jong-hoon, and some political figures. At first, Seungri released an official statement through his Instagram account that he wasn’t involved with the case since he only worked for the promotion part of Burning Sun. The statement was backed by YG Entertainment (Seungri’s agency), who said that Seungri wasn’t involved. Even so, Seungri also said that he would take full responsibility toward the Burning Sun scandal.
The scandal began to reveal other issues, such as sexual harassment and prostitution. It was reported that Seungri was involved with the prostitution scandal since he was involved with a ‘women’s supply’ for the foreign investor who also worked along with Burning Sun. Meanwhile, the other idols such as Jung Joon-young, Lee Jong-hyun, Choi Jong-hoon, and several important figures were involved in a chatroom which also revealed sexual harassment, including Jung Joon-young’s video of having sex with a woman, which was shared without her permission.
The impact was quite big since the scandal was involved a lot of people, especially male K-Pop idols. Some of them were convicted as criminals and imprisoned. The scandal made ex-BIG BANG’s Seungri and Jung Joon-young decide to leave the entertainment industry and stop his career in March 2019. Some entertainment agencies in South Korea also took a hit, with their market value dropping from around the US $2.96 billion. YG Entertainment was hit especially hard, their stock prices dropped by half between January and September 2019.
South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in, also gave a special order to the official police to investigate the Burning Sun scandal with full transparency. Meanwhile, the public was given various responses. Some of the fans were asking YG Entertainment to remove Seungri from the group, in order to protect BIG BANG’s image.
Later, they found out that Seungri resigned from the group and the entertainment industry. In December 2019, the Burning Sun scandal ranked third on Google’s most popular domestic and searched items for Korea, and Jung Joon-young ranked second. YG Entertainment’s previous CEO, Yang Hyun-suk, also resigned from his position in June 2019 due to the sex and drug scandals tied to Burning Sun.
Produce 101 Voting Manipulation
Next, there’s the Produce 101 season 2 voting manipulation scandal! The scandal started when the fans found out about the differences between voting sessions. The boy-group X1 was formed from the third season of Produce 101, and the lineup was formed from the mixture of online voting and text voting.
After the final episodes of Produce 101, the fans found out that there was a big difference on voting calculation, they were compared the voting from the winning trainees. Then, suspicions arose that there was manipulation of the text voting. The speculation from fans was denied by Mnet, the official network of Produce 101.
Mnet stated that there was no manipulation from the survival show, even though they knew that there was suspicion about text voting, but they kept on checking the text voting internally, and found out nothing about that. Eventually, the scandal led to an investigation by Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Cyber Unit, since they received a written request to investigate the scandal.
The suspect was Ahn Joon-young, who was Produce 101‘s Program Director (PD). He admitted that he did manipulate the votes, and he was accused by the local police. The other PD, Kim Young-bum, was also accused by the police. It surprised the viewers since both of them made victims of the trainees who didn’t win.
The impact also affected IZ*ONE and X1, which were born from the Produce 101 franchise previously. IZ*ONE was reported to be canceling their comeback. Some people thought that it was because of the voting scandal. Basically, the first season was called Produce 101, the second season was Produce 101 season 2, meanwhile, the third season was Produce 48.
Finally, CEO Heo Min-hee of CJ ENM, as the responsible party, made their apology statement and said that they would take full of responsibility for the scandal, as well. He also said that they would gave financial compensation for the manipulation’s victims. Also, IZ*ONE and X1 continued their career. The most important thing Heo Min-hee said is that the next Produce 101 was promised to be more transparent for the voting system, with the newest version and neat system.