[Opinion] Two Sides of the Same Coin

The current investigation involving Burning Sun, Seungri, Jung Joon-young and their associates are one side of a coin. On the other side being Jang Ja-yeon’s life, death, and legacy.

Jung Joon-young (left), Jang Ja-yeon, Lee Seung-hyun – OSEN News database

Police have been having a busy 2019. For the past few weeks, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has taken on multiple cases revolving around former BIGBANG member Lee Seung-hyun, popularly known as Seungri, and singer and TV celebrity Jung Joon-young that involves sex trafficking, creating and sharing illegal sexual footage, using and distributing drugs, rape, and collusion with corrupt police.

As the investigation of the two moves forward, several other K-pop idols including Highlight’s Yong Jun-hyung and F.T. Island’s Choi Jong-hoon become implicated in these allegations, their cases have started to expose the seedy underbelly of the K-pop world.

Past reports exposing unfair “slave” contracts, abusive and intense rehearsal and training sessions, and agencies’ tendency to overwork their talent for profit have painted the mechanisms fueling the K-pop machine in a negative light. However, adding in the factor that the stars themselves can be equally unethical adds another profound layer of grime to the picture. It illustrates that the issues exposed in these investigations and the actions that these stars engaged in are a result of larger societal factors.

These factors include but are not limited what Crystal Tai, a writer for South China Morning Post argues is “South Korea’s culture of toxic masculinity” and what Haeryun Kang, a freelance journalist and editor, says it is the “pervasive power inequality between men and women in countless, unseen sectors of Korean society.”

Indeed it is clear that Lee, Jung, and other men who were empowered in their masculinity, fame, and wealth, took advantage of several women wrongfully and illegally for their benefit, entertainment, and pleasure. While Lee and Jung’s victims have not publically identified themselves out of fear, they do have a voice in the form of the late Jang Ja-yeon and her advocate Yoon Ji-oh.

Like these unknown women, the talented, pretty, and well-liked Jang Ja-yeon was victimized by men in positions of considerable power including show producers, journalists, media and entertainment executives at the behest of her agent Kim Sung-hoon who pimped her out for preferential treatment.

Pallbearers carry a picture of Jang Ja-yeon during her funeral procession – OSEN News database

Jang revealed this information in a seven-page letter with a list of 31 names she left behind after taking her life just five months after her debut movie role as Sunny in 2009’s film Boys Over Flowers. Notably, while her case was hastily closed in trials following her death, it was reopened in the midst of the 2018 #MeToo movement after prosecutors discovered ack of conduct on behalf of the investigators at the time.

Currently, her case is ongoing with details unfolding alongside Lee Seung-hyun’s and Jung Joon-young’s, acting as a ying to their yang. The interesting juxtaposition of these investigations plays like two sides of the same coin.

On one side are the salacious details of powerful men uninterested in the rule of law as they drugged, raped, filmed, and trafficked women for their own means. On the other, is the heartbreaking tale of a woman who was on the receiving end of their dehumanization and is an example of the real-life consequence to their actions.

MBC “News Desk” anchor interviews Yoon Ji-oh – MBC

Unfortunately, I may have painted Jang as too much of victim. Jang’s side of the coin shouldn’t be viewed as a sad and powerless story, but also as a woman who sought change. Her friend and advocate Yoon Ji-oh who witnessed some of the abuse Jang endured said that she doesn’t believe (link in Korean) that the seven-page letter Jang wrote was a suicide note. Instead, Jang intended those pages of papers were to act as legal documents to enact justice.

But how that coin will land? Will it heads where justice is served a movement to rejects the actions of these men and to expose and punish those like them? Or will it be tails, where only the surface is cleaned but the scum beneath remains?




By O.C


Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates

‘2018 Instagram Awards’ Gives BLACKPINK Jennie ‘Most Loved Account’ Award

BLACKPINK’s Jennie’s Instagram account was selected as the ‘most loved account’ on ‘2018 Instagram Awards’.

On December 20th, Instagram announced the ‘2018 Instagram Awards’ list, which selects some of the top celebrities that have received much attention on Instagram throughout the year. The final list of celebrities is chosen based on the number of likes and comments on feed posts and stories that are shared by the celebrities.

On this year’s award, which is the 2nd annual event, BLACKPINK’s Jennie was selected as the ‘most loved account’ and she said “I am always thankful for your attention for my Instagram contents. Please keep watching my Instagram as I will be sharing more memories”.

Meanwhile, BIGBANG’s G-Dragon, who is currently serving for the army, kept his #1 spot in the ‘top 10 accounts’ category with the highest number of followers. Since 2014, G-Dragon has been the celebrity with the highest number of followers.

Other than G-Dragon, EXO’s Chanyeol, Sehun, Baekhyun, and actor Lee Jong-suk were named in the category. Lee Jong-suk, who is the only “actor” in the category said, “Because I usually can’t be involved in many activities other than dramas or films, Instagram has been the most precious platform to me as I could communicate with my fans on it. I will accept this award with even more gratitude because every single fan of mine is why I am receiving the award”.

The ’emerging account’ award was given to actress Kim So-hyun, who has been actively sharing her work and daily life through the Instagram Story. The award is given to the celebrity who’s follower number has increased the most by using a variety of functions including story and live videos. Kim said, “Thank you for giving me such a meaning ful award. I think I am receiving this award because many people have watched my Instagram with love. I will try harder to communicate with more fans’.

Meanwhile, Instagram, for the first time, selected ‘top boy group and girl group’ awards. BTS and BLACKPINK were each selected because of the highest numbers of followers.

Instagram said, “K-pop has been selected as the music genre that created the most amount of buzz from 2015 to 2017. Especially this year, K-pop stood out around the globe. K-pop dances and idol makeup tutorials were some of the top videos that gained popularity from global fans”.


Original article
by Audrey Joung


Top 10 Visuals of K-pop Groups

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BLACKPINK Becomes the First K-pop Girl Group to Score Billboard’s Hot 100 Twice

BLACKPINK lands on Billboard’s Hot100 with the collaboration with Dua Lipa.


On October 29, Billboard announced the group’s accomplishment, which debuted at No.93 on the Hot 100 chart. The collaboration of BLACKPINK and Dua Lipa, “Kiss and Make Up,” brought the group to the Hot 100 chart for the second time since “DDU-DU-DDU-DU” in June.”

The group is once again setting records as the first group to score Billboard’s Hot 100 twice. According to Billboard, the latest release was downloaded more than 11,000 times and streamed over 7 million times in a single week in the states.

Meanwhile, each member of the group is working on her solo projects. Starting with Jenny’s solo, which is straightforwardly titled “SOLO,” members of BLACKPINK are to release a series of solo tracks.


Original article


iKON Announces Comeback, Releasing 3 Albums This Year

iKON is releasing a new EP album in October. The upcoming album is the group’s third release this year.

YG Entertainment

On September 11, YG Entertainment surprised fans by dropping the teaser poster for iKON’s new album, “NEW KIDS: THE FINAL.”

The title of the album implies that this upcoming release will be the last piece of iKON’s “NEW KIDS” album series.

Following “Love Scenario” and “Killing Me” released earlier this year, the group’s new song is expected to secure iKON’s spot on the music chart. “Love Scenario,” which was released in January, placed the group on the top of music charts for 43 days in a row. “Killing Me,” too, proved iKON’s global popularity as the album topped iTunes’ charts in 24 countries.

iKON’s new EP Album, “NEW KIDS: THE FINAL,” will be released on October 1.


Original article


SM, JYP, YG, and 4 Other Major Agencies Join Forces to Establish “Korean VEVO”

Seven major entertainment agencies have joined forces to create a new global platform company that distributes K-pop music video contents!

On July 19, seven major entertainment agencies held a signing ceremony for the establishment of “Music & Creative Partners Asia Company.” Participating in the ceremony were representatives from SM, JYP, YG, BigHit, FNC, Mystic, and Star Empire Entertainment.

The Music and Creative Partners Asia Company (MCPA for short) plans to provide a global digital service platform that distributes K-pop music videos. Furthermore, they will be the organization to determine regulations regarding the music video distribution in Korea. Lastly, they plan to create new contents using the original IP, and further expand their business to other areas in the future.

In a way, this company will somewhat act as a “Korean VEVO.”

VEVO is a joint venture between global music distribution companies – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI’s parent company Abu Dhabi Media. In 2009, these companies partnered to create a distribution company that releases music vides on YouTube, live streams musicians’ contents, as well as hosts global concerts.

Just like VEVO, MCPA wants to create a digital platform dedicated to K-pop contents, and improve the global competitive advantage for Korean artists. At last, by putting “Asia” in the company name, it aims to grow into a company to represent all-Asia.

Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim


BTS Becomes First K-pop Group to Top Billboard 200

BTS’ “Love Yourself: Tear” earned its place on the top of Billboard 200 for the first time in the K-pop history.


According to Billboard on May 27, BTS’ “Love Yourself: Tear” debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart as the first chart-topper for the K-pop genre. The entertainment media brand announced the group’s new achievement in the global scene by releasing two articles.

In the article, Billboard introduces the album as “First No.1 Album for K-pop,” “Biggest Unit & Sales Week Ever for K-pop,” “First Foreign Language No.1 Album Since 2006,” “First World Music Album at No.1 on Billboard 200,” and “Second-Biggest Week for a Group in 2018.”

“Love Yourself: Tear is the first K-pop album to lead the Billboard 200,” writes Billboard. “It’s also only the second top 10 for the K-pop genre, following BTS’ own Love Yourself: Her, which debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Oct. 7, 2017-dated list.”

The latest 200 chart will be posted in full to Billboard’s website on May 30.


Original article


SNSD Sooyoung to Meet Fans in Bangkok

K-pop girl group SNSD member and actress Sooyoung is heading to Bangkok to have her first solo fan meeting event outside Korea.

In courtesy of Eco Global Group

Sooyoung will meet local fans in Thailand on June 2 at her solo fan meeting event “CHOI SOO YOUNG 1st FAN MEETING IN BANGKOK.”

The upcoming event is the artist’s first solo fan meeting held outside Korea. The artist and staffs are planning various events for the Thai fans and the artist is also showing her passion to interact with the local fans by suggesting ideas for the event.

As Sooyoung is meeting her local fans in Thailand in a long while, fans are also expressing their expectations by booking their tickets quickly. Especially because the artist’s official fan merchandise will be unveiled for the first time at the event, fans are anticipating even more.

Previously in February, Sooyoung met fans in Korea at the fan meeting celebrating her birthday. As much as the artist surprised her fans with various unexpected events, her upcoming fan event in Bankok is also expected to entertain local fans.

Meanwhile, Sooyoung has recently finished filming for Korea-Japan joint production film “Memories of a Dead End” as the female lead.


Original article


EXID Hyelin Denies Dating Rumor with Monsta X Minhyuk

EXID member Hyelin denied the dating rumor she is involved with Monsta X member Minhyuk.

On April 10, EXID filmed the preproduction for a music show with fans. One of the fans at the site, according to a staff, asked Hyelin about the recent dating rumor with Monsta X’ Minhyuk and Hyelin replied that she the rumor is not true.

The rumor has been around among fans for a while and Hyelin raised her voice to clarify the fact.

Monsta X’ agency Starship Entertainment, too, clarified that the two artists are not dating each other.

“Minhyuk and Hyelin are not in a relationship,” said a source from Starship Entertainment. “They went to the same academy when they were trainees, but there is nothing more than that.”

Two K-pop groups recently made comebacks. EXID successfully showcased the new retro concept with “Do It Tomorrow,” while Monsta X also is doing great with their new release “Jealousy,” which is highlighted with powerful stage performances.

Male Fans Boycotting Red Velvet Irene for Reading Feminist Novel

SM Entertainment

Red Velvet member Irene has been “unfanned” by some male fans after mentioning a feminist novel during the group’s recent fan event.

During the group’s fan meeting event held on March 18, Irene was asked a question about books she’s been reading lately. To the question, the member mentioned a Korean novel titled “Kim Ji-young, Born 1982” (literal translation).”

The mentioned novel has long been on the best selling books list in Korea. By depicting a typical life of a woman born in Korea in 1982, the book juxtaposes misogyny rampant in Korean society. Previously, Girl’s Generation member Sooyoung also mentioned the title during a reality show.

After the fan meeting, some of the male fans of Irene expressed anger on an online community.

Image screenshot from DC Inside Red Velvet Gallery

“I don’t know if you’re doing that knowingly or unknowingly but I want you to keep in mind that most of your fans are men,” one of the uploaded postings reads. “You shouldn’t be messing with those male fans when they’re going to fan events and spending money on you.”

Image screenshot from DC Inside Red Velvet Gallery

Several users of the online community declared to stop being Irene’s fan by uploading pictures showing that they’ve deleted her pictures from their phones. Another user of the online community uploaded a picture of him burning her photo.

On the contrary, female fans are sending support to the artist. Several fans have posted giveaway Tweets to share the mentioned novel while criticizing the reactions some of the male fans showed. Many of the fans expressed sympathy for the artist, pointing out the fact that she was raised as the first daughter in Daegu, which is the city in Korea known for being conservative and patriarchal.


By Heewon Kim