The South Korean Entertainment Industry Needs To Either Shape Up Or Ship Out


I’m not going to say Bye because I plan to email you from time to time, if it’s alright with you. Also, who is Umbrella?!


Here’s my two cents about this topic. I remember watching Shinee’s performance in 2016 - one of their Tokyo concerts - for the very first time, and my first thought was how they resembled well cheoreographed dancing dolls and my next thought was how exhausting this must be to keep doing this repetitively for so many years. I grew to love them as I watched and learned more about them in the successive years so I knew that Jonghyun wasn’t private or quiet about his depression. As a later fan, I realized he reached out for help in several ways over the years - he even referred to it in some shows like Knowing Bros, - but for some reason his depresson finally ended up taking him.

What occurs to me is that we make a lot of noise over Jonghyun and Sulli because they are idols and trials as preformers was very public. But what about the ‘quiet suicides’ that no one makes a big deal over? What about Jeon Mi Seon - a brilliant supporting actress - who killed herself in a bath tub, or Ha Ji Won’s younger brother - Jun Tae Soo - and a host of others who I read about and breaks my heart, but no one else wonders what happened to them except to say RIP, you will be missed? I think we should be appalled by the entertainment circle as a whole, and life in SK that makes it seem that suicide is the only acceptable way out of depression for them. Let’s not only focus on the high profile cases, but on their society as a whole. As these performers are a fraction of their society, it makes me wonder about the multitude of nameless, faceless suicides that go on all the time in that part of the world, where no one knows their names or even cares that they are gone. Let’s look at the bigger picture, instead of just being carried away by the news cycle or the latest headlines.

These are just my thougths, it’s in no way a reflection on anyone’s comments here. But when I read the news from that part of the world - which I follow closely. I bleed inside at how much pressure the average Korean faces everyday. Most of their dramas are reflects the pressure that most people in their society face.


We should ask ourselves if suicide rate only matters if it’s about celebs or one’s actual idol country or if we do also care when it’s about people who aren’t idols at all.

According to the World Health Organization, the suicide rate in South Korea is the 10th highest in the world. One factor in its high suicide rate is suicides among the elderly. Traditionally, children have been expected to care for their aging parents; however, because this system has largely disappeared in the twenty-first century, many elderly people commit suicide, so they do not feel like they are a financial burden on their families.

The government of South Korea is making efforts to curb the suicide epidemic. It is striving to increase access to mental healthcare, a necessity as 90% of suicide victims in South Korea may have a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. It is also providing education to community leaders to help prevent suicides at a local level.

In Japan, suicide borders on a crisis level, though the government has been active in intervention to decrease the risk of suicide among vulnerable populations. It is the leading cause of death in men among the ages of 20-44 and for women among the ages of 15 to 34.

In Japanese culture, suicide, in some circumstances, has long been viewed as an honorable way to die. Consider the kamikaze pilots during World War II, whose greatest honor was to dive-bomb a plane into an Allied warship and die in the process. The practice of military suicide has been going on since at least the time of the Samurai warlords and is one factor in Japan’s high suicide rate.

In China, suicide is the fifth leading cause of death and accounts for over one-quarter of suicides worldwide. In contrast with many Western countries, in which men are more likely to commit suicide, most suicide victims in China are women. China’s economic boom has led to greater independence for women, who are now much more able to get divorced as a means of dealing with domestic violence. However, the strain of divorce means that they must work long hours while raising their children, often without the support of family that the culture has traditionally relied on in the past.

People in rural parts of China are as much as five times more likely to commit suicide than people in cities. This notion may be attributed to a lack of mental healthcare, the stigma associated with mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia), poverty, and poor education. However, exact statistics are hard to come by because few to no epidemiological studies on suicide have been carried out by the Chinese government.

Sweden has a very low suicide rate, but this rate can be misleading because it may not account for physician-assisted suicide, which is legal there. In 2012, Sweden only had 12 reported suicides per 100,000 people.

Historically, Sweden has had a high suicide rate, with the most suicides in the developed world during the 1960s. That may have been due, at least in part, to cultural attitudes regarding suicide and long, dark winters, particularly in the northern regions. The government responded to the crisis with social welfare and mental health services, and the numbers have dropped dramatically. Today, Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland – have very high rates of happiness and relatively low suicide rates. However, the dark winters – 20 hours of darkness or more in each day in some areas – causes seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression, which has been known to correlate with higher rates of suicide.


There’s another topic ppl talked about suicide and depression in general, independantly of the status if you’d like to participate too (from the same author):

Suicide topic has come more than 1, we talked about normal people and celebrities.
There are also other dark topics on this forum.
I don’t think it means that ppl are indifferent when they don’t talk about suicide or misery.
Silence is sometimes the only answer we can give (the immigrate mom and her baby hugging and found at the bottom of the sea near Italy, muslims camps in a part of China, abuse where the mother forced her child to eat cockroaches in France, babies factories in Africa, father at 11 years old because raped by his babysitter multiple times in America, all the misery in the world, can we all talk about it?)

A life is a life.

Death doesn’t discriminate. We all finish the same way in the end.


@ adrianmorales I agree with your comments, this industry It’s all about MONEY. The only big CEO and owner is Park Jin-young also known as JYP he is the only one who have set out to change the way Idols are handle in his company. He was on YouTube and TV talking about how his company will be and is presently setting up Counselors for any mental or personally problems for the idols, along with Nutritionist for better health when eatting. Those are just a some of changes JYP mention, there are other good changes. Hopefully other CEOs will following suit and do better. Because being an idol is not all Roses and Wine. Sometime the price of Fame is not worth it. :expressionless:


Funny thing, I was just thinking about JYP and how well they’ve treated Twice’s Mina. I should write a post, a positive one. It’s not all doom and gloom, after all.


yes we have just talked about the idols and all, what about the kids (people) that arent idols, I do hate to admit it, I as a senior do look around and see a bunch of the senior folk taking that route, again cause no one cares, and their kids kinda sorta neglect them,
and top of the list is bullying. I hope that the boys that started something here (NC) helping someone that was bullied. hope y’all seen it. and whats amazing in itself? 2 black boys helping a white boy. awesome!! I really pray this does stop, a small act of kindness goes a long way.



How about keeping your account and just don’t login?

You may regret it otherwise when you come back at some point and all your badges and event icons are gone.

(That’s what usually happens to gamers who say they leave forever, delete their characters or account and later they’ll regret it and some even have to buy all games again because of that)



You’re leaving?? Oh, I’ll miss you on Viki! :worried: I enjoy reading your comments and seeing your perspective on issues. I hope everything goes well for you in your health, your family, and your life. Que Dios te bendiga–voy a rezar a Dios por ti :slight_smile: I wish you all the best


I beleive there should be some new change in the entertainment industry in Korea, Japan and other asian countries. They consider the box office, celebrity endorsement, money they earn and the so-called fame as a great success no matter what kind of deal, corrupt and exploitation.


Hi! I just wanted to update your information since it’s faulty. Physician-assisted suicide is not legal in Sweden. Although it is legal in Switzerland. I believe you’ve confused the two.


My post includes mainly quotes from several pages and comparisons between different countries.

The part you quoted is from this page:

So they may confused Switzerland and Sweden or private and official person:

This map is probably more accurate:


Most people are constantly connected these days, so rumors and criticism are little more than a few clicks or taps away. And people are bold online. Taking away anonymity doesn’t even phase a lot of users because saying awful things through a screen is a lot easier than saying it to a face. When you’re not directly looking or talking to others, it’s easy to forget that they are human beings with their own thoughts, needs, dreams, and insecurities.

Now take the worst of the internet and combine it with mental health stigma, and the high-pressure and often exploitative environment of the entertainment industry, and what do you get? People who feel as if they only have one terribly final way out of their pain.

Safer working conditions won’t happen overnight, but there are steps people can take right now: going to therapy and disconnecting from the internet. Neither of those things are easy, but they are necessary. Sadly, it’ll probably take some high-profile people being open about their own therapy to mainstream it as a treatment in SK. (This should happen in the West, too, tbh; it still has a stigma here despite there being more openness to it.) As for stepping away from the internet, it should be treated as what it is – a tool. Revolutionary, to be sure, but still a tool. Tools need to be set aside every now and then. The mind and the soul need breaks.


Just a note…idol trainees are required to finish high school. Many go on to some form of college too.