Article by: Liam R.
Edited by: Woosuk K.
Picture from: Soompi
K-pop has cemented itself as a music genre with fans from all around the world. With such a large audience, K-pop’s recent scandal — a major event including prominent K-pop stars, accusations, and arrests — has caused waves in the international community. The central figure in these allegations is former Big Bang superstar Seungri, or Lee Seung-hyun. Due to these recent events, he chose to fully retire from the boy band. He is the public relations manager of Club Burning Sun and has a long list of potential charges. Seungri was accused of hiring prostitutes, supplying drugs, and even creating sex videos without consent. A few other famous artists are part of the scandal, primarily singer Jung Joon-young and F.T. ISLAND’s Choi Jonghoon.
Much of the evidence for these claims comes from leaked private text messages in online chatrooms on the Korean messaging app KakaoTalk. Supposedly, Jung Joon-young had sent his phone in for repairs, at which point a technician discovered the evidence. They have denied the charges and claimed that the evidence was faked. However, Club Burning Sun has had a long history of suspicious activity, ranging from assaulting its customers to providing drugged-up women for the VIP members. On March 23rd, the Korean court arrested Jung Joon-young after accusing him for destroying evidence on his phones — after admitting to all allegations, he looks to be facing six to seven months in prison.
With such horrifying accusations, fans of K-pop here in the ISM community are sure to be shocked. Junior Nina M. recounted that “I was actually a fan of Big Bang, Seungri’s K-pop group when I was younger and he was my favorite member.” She is glad that his criminal activity was exposed and that he will be brought to justice for his wrongdoings. “Being an idol doesn’t give you a free pass to doing illegal things.” Nina continued by explaining that “I already have a very negative view of the industry as I am aware of a lot of issues such as companies paying news and the media.”
Potentially, this event could change the future of K-pop. Nina mentioned that “more fans are becoming aware of the fact that we are only seeing one side of the idols we like, and a lot of people are becoming skeptical at the moment.” She believes that admirers seem to place K-pop stars on extremely high pedestals, and she hopes that people continue to realize that Seungri’s actions cannot be allowed. “They think actions like Seungri’s are excusable, but they’re not.”
This ongoing scandal is major in the K-pop community and all of Korea, with one of the biggest stars being involved in serious crimes. It exposes some of the key problems in Korean society, where systems allow influential celebrities to abuse their power. Hopefully, people continue to realize that even the most popular of K-pop stars must be held accountable for their actions.