Jang Ja-yeon, Jong-hyun, Sulli… They represent just a small fraction of the Korean celebrities who could not endure the mental and physical abuse that happens every single day in this cut-throat industry. We see them as singers and performers, but to their agencies, they are simply Barbie dolls and Ken toys to be used whenever, wherever and however higher management pleases. In exchange for financial gains – which rarely materialise anyway resulting in news headlines and legal battles – these young girls and young boys unwittingly sign away their freedom, their rights as human beings. Of course, the general public is at fault too, the fans content simply to wave their glow sticks in front of marionette-like dancers, the anti-fans more than happy to post detestable and harmful comments about them on social media.
Fortunately, not everyone is like that. Many have spoken against these great injustices, bringing awareness to them and even starting various petitions. Also, where human justice has failed, technological justice has taken over. Recently, we have seen the fall of many big companies and their CEOs, who were beaten at their own game. The technology that they used to ensnare and crush others – insidious things like spy cameras set in private rooms – now serve as damning evidence against them.
To come full circle, I strongly believe that the South Korean entertainment industry needs to either shape up or ship out. Make no mistake: I absolutely adore Kdrama and Kpop. I went through some bad things myself, and they helped me overcome my depression. Nevertheless, if they are also responsible for the destruction of so many innocent souls, then I am better off without them. We all are.
A change is in order, and I hope I am not the only one who wants one. We should all send out a united message, asking that those in the entertainment industry be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. These artists have always shown us the best version of themselves, in an honest effort to put a smile on our face.
Now it is our turn to do the same for them.
Short disclaimer: The entire post is my sole opinion on the matter. As such, everyone is allowed to agree or disagree with it, but maybe we can at least agree this is indeed a terrible situation.