[OPINION] Who Created Today’s Seungri?

Who exactly is Seungri, the hallyu star currently surrounded by various controversies in Korea?

Right now, whenever a Korean individual or Kpop fan hears or reads the 2 syllables Seungri, the first thing that comes to mind would be that celebrity who is in the news for various scandals. Keywords are likely to be Burning Sun assault, offering women to investors, illegal filming of sexual content, retirement, nation’s traitor etc. But just prior to a few months ago, Seungri was not a hated individual but a world star who’s influence was especially prominent in Asia.

Who is Seungri?

Seungri also known as Lee Seung Hyun was the maknae of Kpop’s global idol group, Big Bang. The 29 year old idol made his debut under YG Entertainment in 2006 with Big Bang to later become one of the most popular boy groups in the world. Seungri was one of the youngest singers during that time, merely 16 years old, when he stepped into the entertainment industry. Over the years, Seungri experienced various roles in the entertainment industry as singer, songwriter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.

Prior to controversy


Big Bang had their first break through in 2007 with the release of their first extended play ‘Always’, Big Bang took their place as one of the most influential artists as they focused on producing and creating their own songs. During this time, leader and producer G-Dragon was gaining more attention as fans from the group as his songs became hits setting records for continuously topping charts and sales. Some of G-Dragon’s earliest hits were ‘Lies’ (2007), ‘Last Farewell’ (2007), ‘But I Love U’ (2007).



With Big Bang’s continuously growing popularity, the group was having concerts within 7 months of debuting. As they continued to rise in popularity in Korea, they set their sights for Japan just one year after debut. During that year, the members had hectic schedules letting exhaustion pile up to the point G-Dragon, T.O.P and Seungri became hospitalized halting activities. Seungri already had an ankle injury when it was reported he later lost consciousness towards the end of a show on December 29, 2007. Later it was reported Big Bang had earned over $11.5 Million USD just in 2007. Considering inflation in 2019, 11.5 Million dollars was worth a lot more 12 years ago.

The following year in 2008, Big Bang was very successful in Japan becoming one of the groups to solidify the hallyu wave. By 2009, the group was pursuing solo activities during which each member focused on nurturing their individual talents. Seungri was well known for wanting to “shed” his maknae image at this time for a more mature look. He won his first award with his solo ‘Strong Baby’ tasting his individual success at the age of 19.


In the following years, Seungri continued his solo activities while also promoting as a member of Big Bang. He took on various acting roles, released more solo music, developed his DJ skills etc. Seungri was in some ways overshadowed by other Big Bang members in the entertainment industry. Once his hyungs went on hiatus for military service, Seungri’s popularity and activities undeniably surged.


Just a year ago, Seungri was the only Big Bang member who was not serving mandatory military service yet. As a result, his popularity was growing not only in South Korea but also abroad as the only Big Bang member ‘to hold the fort’ before he went on hiatus for his own mandatory military service in Spring 2019. He made several guest appearances on MBC’s ‘I Live Alone’ increasing his popularity as viewers learned he was a considerate, detail oriented person in addition to being a successful businessman.


After his segment in ‘I Live Alone’ was aired, Seungri was widely complimented for his successful ramen franchise company that has over 45 locations all over the world claiming annual earnings of approximately $96 Million USD. From then on, other successful businesses of the idol/entrepreneur was in the headlines like dance academy, clubs, DJ label etc.. Public perspective of Big Bang Seungri was shifting from an immature playboy often in the headlines because of scandals, clubbing and such to a mature and charismatic man. He went on to explain his tendency to pursue all forms of entertainment led him his success today as an entrepreneur in the show.

Seungri further explained on ‘I Live Alone’ that while his current businesses may seem successful he has experienced failure in previous business ventures. He stated he lost many things but learned from those incidents leading to his current identity (in 2018).


Shortly after Seungri’s image as a successful businessman continued to garner positive reception, he was reported to be the new CEO of YGX in June 2018. YGX is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment that merged with Seungri’s DJ label NHR.


For the following months until the Burning Sun controversy was in the headlines, Seungri’s popularity was at its peak. He was appearing in various shows, held his first solo tour and his first studio album was well received. The idol was holding multiple executive positions in various companies and his businesses were growing. Seungri ended 2018 with on a good note, even hosting the 2018 MBC entertainment awards ceremony with Jun Hyun Moo and Hyeri.

Controversy Recap (up to March 11)

This momentum unfortunately did not last as news about his club, Burning Sun’s alleged assault broke the headlines in January 2019. Kim posted online he was assaulted by security and police when he tried to help a female at the club. This case is currently under investigation and with so many articles with various information, the exact details has become unclear.

Soon after, news about Seungri lobbying to investors with prostitutes joined the headlines. It led to chaos in the entertainment industry as various prominent figures were identified during the investigation.

In courtesy of YG Entertainment (left) and SBS funE (right).

Park Han Byul’s husband was identified to be involved in this case affecting the actress’s long awaited return to the small screen in MBC’s ‘Love in Sadness’.


Amidst the growing controversy surrounding Seungri, on March 11 everything changed. News reported Seungri to be a part of a group chatroom that had illegally filmed sexual content. What made this worse was the report of other celebrities being a part of the chatroom. Some of the females illegal filmed were reported to be idols.  

Shortly after, various celebrities including idols were implicated as many forms of “evidence” circulated on the Internet. Hours later, Seungri declared he would retire on his Instagram which was met with derision.

Society’s role 

There are various rumors and speculations about the controversies surrounding Seungri, but this article will not be delving in that direction. Instead, the focus will be what may have led to such controversies in the first place. What makes this such a big deal would be because it forced a lot of the “dirty laundry” in the entertainment industry to become public. It’s not a simple matter of someone caught breaking the law. But of a world star as the cause of the controversies that led to implicating other influential people.

In Korea, there are many situations where superficially everyone verbally supports gender equality and put their faith in the LAW. However, behind closed quarters there’s corruption, bribery and connections that can solve many things. A common plot seen in Korean drama where a chaebol uses their power, money and influence to be above the law is not completely without a grain of truth. In reality, it isn’t just chaebols but also influential figures in all parts of society, not only in South Korea but in every other country of the world. Just a couple years ago, Korea was in complete chaos as a nation because of abused power. If you’re unaware, the previous Korean president was impeached in 2016.

Many foreigners are unaware of Korean culture that takes hierarchy, social connections, “specs” (Korean term for social economic status) etc. very seriously. For a general idea, I would personally recommend watching Misaeng (2014) starring Im Si Wan, Lee Sung Min and Kang Sora.


In Korea, there are still many people who work overtime without being able to request for overtime pay, sick leave and vacations. This is something I myself have experienced when I interned in Korea just a few years ago. Additionally, female employees are still pressured to pour alcohol for male colleagues. An example would be a scene in the beginning of episode 2 in JTBC’s ‘Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food’ (2018). Furthermore, prostitution is illegal but ‘red light districts’ do exist.

Interestingly, Seungri was previously in the headlines for having Gugudan’s Sejong pour drinks to “her favorite man” on TVN’s ‘Cheap Tour’ last October. But rather than the media focusing to criticize Seungri for his actions, it was the broadcasting company who was under fire for broadcasting that scene during “ safe hours for adolescent television viewing time.” (Note: Jung Joon Young was also in this episode)

This isn’t the first time YG’s celebrities have caused waves in the industry because of scandals. There have been previous scandals in the entertainment industry because of sexual and physical assault, harassment, prostitution, illegal drugs, drunk driving, tax evasion, sponsorship, adultery, underage drinking etc. in all areas of the entertainment world. 

Many of the celebrities who were implicated in various scandals mentioned above were able to return to the entertainment industry after a few years. This itself shows society may easily forget and forgive while failing to fix the actual problem resulting in lofty disdain for indiscretions and breaking the law.


The controversies surrounding Seungri aren’t exactly new in Korean society. Seungri’s status whether guilty or innocent doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he isn’t the first nor the last person who will be accused, indicted, investigated etc. There are others who have probably done the same things mentioned in the controversies and there may be more in the future regardless of whether indicted or not. Aside from investigating to find out the truth, I think it is important to consider what this means for Korean society and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.

There are a lot of things I could say about Seungri’s controversies that many may agree or disagree. No doubt I would be using lots of colorful vocabulary if I was to write about it. But taking a step back to see how someone who debuted at the young age of 16 ended up becoming called out as the “nation’s traitor” 14 years later, there’s probably various factors in the entertainment industry and society that played a significant role in Seungri’s current situation. 

Passing Thoughts

Could it be Seungri’s controversies are being used to cover something even bigger? Just a passing thought seeing all the attention focused on entertainment these days instead of fine dust levels from China, N.Korea, economy etc. I suddenly remembered SBS’s drama Pinocchio (2014) starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk. It’s a drama where the most powerful people hyped up celebrity news to hide conspiracies. (Crying because of Lee Jong Suk’s upcoming military hiatus.)



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.

Calls for Jung Joon-Young to Wear an Ankle Monitor Reaches Blue House

As police have charged singer and TV celebrity Jung Joon-young with violating Sexual Violence Crime Laws due to filming and sharing hidden camera footage, or molka, there are growing calls for him to be subject to electronic ankle monitoring.

Reporters surround Jung Joon-young after he arrives at Incheon International Airport from the U.S. to face police questioning – OSEN News database

In a petition that a netizen created on the Blue House’s official site, the creator wrote that the indicted actor and TV celebrity Jung Joon-young should have an ankle monitor and be subject to chemical castration.

“We petition for the indictment of the suspect and that he be ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and that he be chemically castrated. The ten victims [of Jung] are enough to prove that there is a habit of sexual perversion,” the petition reads. In particular, the creator argues that there is a “high possibility” that Jung will repeat the offenses should be police not monitor him closely and that he is a “criminal.”

Additionally, the petition asks that authorities investigate whether the victims were drugged or not. As such, there may be a possibility that Jung may have violated the Drug Control Law.

An ankle monitor, chemical castration, and a possible illegal drug use investigation are not the only things that Jung has to fret over. Fans of the show “2 Days & 1 Night” on KBS2 are demanding that he be booted from the show. Back in 2016, he took a temporary break from the show after apologizing to his colleague and viewers due to an incident that eerily mirrors the current charges he faces.

Jung Joon-young apologizes to viewers and colleagues on “2 Days & 1 Night” in 2016 – KBS2

He shared a sexually explicit video of a woman who was then his girlfriend, even after she asked him not to do so. According to his testimony, he claimed that he shared it out of anger following a fight they had, after which the girlfriend reported him to police. He was questioned, and the issue was brought to trial but was later acquitted after the girlfriend dropped the charges.

Now, however, people aren’t looking for a temporary hiatus but a permanent one. So far, the show’s production team has said that they have cut him from future episodes due to the seriousness of the situation. Moreover, they are planning to edit him out as much as possible from the two episodes he has already filmed.

Notably, other shows where Jung has made an appearance plan to do the same, including tVN’s “Salty Tour” and the third season of “4 Wheeled Restaurant.”

Jung Joon-young arrives at Incheon International Airport from the U.S. – OSEN News database

It is unlikely that Jung will be able to return to the entertainment world in the wake of this controversy. Having illegally distributed videos and pictures involving ten different women using hidden cameras for almost a year, Jung can expect in prison time. According to the Sexual Violence Crime Laws, his actions can subject him to a maximum of sentence of five years in prison and a fine upwards of 30 million own ($27,000).

Police have applied for a ban on Jung to prevent him from leaving the country and will face police questioning.



Source (1)(2)

By O.C


Actress Lee Da-Hee to Star in a New tVN Drama That Focuses on Technology

Actor Lee Da-hee will be starring in tVN’s Wednesday-Thursday drama working at a tech company.

Image source – OSEN News database

Lee Da-Hee will be taking on the character of Cha Hyun, a fiery and single lover of jujitsu who has a hard time keeping her temper in check. Cha Hyun is the lead character in tVN’s new drama “WWW,” which focuses on her at a second rate search portal tech company that can’t seem to ascend into the no.1 position.

Lee portrayed Kang Sa-ra in the drama the JTBC “The Beauty Inside” last year. For most. Through her work, Lee has gained fans for her unique on-screen aura and charisma.




By O.C


Actor Song Seung-Heon Confirms Appearance in tVN Drama “The Greatest Show”

Actor Song Seung-heon will be staring in an upcoming tVN political drama “The Greatest Show.”

Image source – Ilgan Sports

On Tuesday, an official reported that actor Song Seung-heon will star in one of tVN’s upcoming dramas, “The Greatest Show,” which is slated to air later this year. In particular, unlike many other dramas out these days, “The Greatest Show” is a political drama that focuses on a lawmaker.

Song will take on the role of this lawmaker who in undoubtedly smart and ambitions; at the young age of 32, he has entered the 19th National Assembly as a representative of a young demographic. He is quick-witted, a good speaker and handsome to boot — all qualities that make him set to become a star politician. Even his is also described as snobbish and loses his cool at crucial moments, damaging his cause and others.

However, with all of the political drama happening around the world, “The Greatest Show” is not just tense moments. It is also satirical and humorous as well. One of the sources of these lighter moments comes from how Song’s character is elected. His siblings and neighbors come together to “create” this politician.

This drama, with its unique political flavor, is written by Seol Joon-seok and directed by Shin Yong-hui.




By O.C


Park Min-young Sends Adorable Greetings for Lunar New Year

Actress Park Min-young sent New Year’s greetings for the Lunar New Year in Korea.

On February 4th, Park Min-young wrote on Instagram, “Happy happy new year. I wish all the best for everyone for the New Year. I will come back with another good work!”. Along with the caption, she also posted a photo of her.

In the photo, Park Min-young is smiling with both of her hands under her chin. She also showed off her flawless bright skin with her off-shoulder blouse and hair up.

Since the tvN drama ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’, Park Min-young has been taking a break. In April, she will make a comeback through another tvN drama ‘Her Private Life’ with Kim Jae-wook.


Original article
by Audrey Joung


‘Sky Castle’ Actor Yu Seong-Ju Confirmed for tVN’s Drama ‘Confession’

Actor Yu Seong-ju is confirmed to star in tVN’s upcoming drama “Confession.”

Yu Seong-Ju
Image source – ACE Factory

TVN’s new weekend drama “Confession” is a law and court drama where the pursuit of truth leads to double-jeopardy and a closer look at the law. In particular, Kim Chul-kyu, the director of “Mother,” which also focused on a court case in the latter part of the series is expected to be involved in the project.

According to reports, Yu Seong-ju is joining the cast of the drama as a legal representative at a law firm where he will able to flex his acting skills and lend his “heavy presence” to the scene. Moreover, while he looks like a gentle on the outside, he is also considered a power seeker.

Yu made a strong impression on the public when he appeared as Youngjae’s father Park Soo-chang in “Sky Castle” on JTBC. Notable, the JTBC series is Yu’s first drama with his prior acting experience mostly isolated to theater

Meanwhile, “Confession” is scheduled to air on March 23 at 9:00 p.m.




Translated by O.C


TVN to Produce a Documentary Program About Soccer Star Son Heung-Min

Arguably they best know South Korean in the World right now, tVN hope to shed light on Son Heung-min’s life on and off the field.

Image source – OSEN News

A representative from tVN state that the network is working on a documentary program focused on Son Heung-min. “We are preparing a documentary program on Son’s growth, life, and soccer, ” said the source. Additional details about the program including a working title, style, and production have not been decided yet.

Son, who usually refrains from appearing on TV programs, plans to reveal a different side of himself through the program. Not only will he show more of his life as a soccer star, but also his life off the field and demonstrate a personal charm.

Meanwhile, Son is a member of the Tottenham Hotspur F.C. that currently stands third in the Premier League. During last year’s World Cup and Asian Games, Son acted as the captain of the national soccer team. Now, he is actively participating in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with South Korea set to battle against Qatar tomorrow.



Original article

Translated by O.C


Cha Seung-Won, Yu Hae-Jin, and Bae Jeong-Nam to Star in New Entertainment Program

Cha Seung-won, Yu Hae-jin, and Bae Jeong-nam to Star in New Entertainment Program.

Cha Seung-won
Image source – OSEN News

Actors Cha Seung-won, Yu Hae-jin, and Bae Jeong-nam will join hands with producer Na Young-seok in an upcoming entertainment program. On Wednesday, tVN announced that the three had confirmed their participation in its new show “European Accommodation” (working title). According to reports, Jang Eun-jung will co-produce the series.

TVN explained that “European Accommodation” is an entertainment program where the cast opens a boarding house where they temporarily house and feed youthful Korean travelers. Cha, who has shown to be quite the cook, is expected to have an opportunity to show off his skills in the kitchen.

Moreover, with the news of their confirmation, many are already looking forward to seeing the actors’ friendship and chemistry. However, with that said, their interaction with young Koreans visiting Europe is the key point to watch.

Meanwhile, Cha, Yu, and Bea will head to Europe in February for filming.




Source (1)(2)

Translated by O.C


‘Sky Castle’ Actor Jo Byung-Gyu Choses His Next Projects

With the end of “Sky Castle” in sight, actor Jo Byung-gyu has already decided on his next projects.

Image source – OSEN News

Even before the end of “Sky Castle,” Jo Byung-gyu announced that he will take a role in both “He Is Psychometric” and “Asadal Chronicles” (working title) alongside GOT7 Park Jinyoung in the former, and Song Joong-ki in the latter.

On the afternoon of Jan. 23, a tVN representative told news outlets that they are in the final stages of negotiations with the actor. “We are in the final stage of our discussion regarding Jo Byung-gyu’s role as part of the drama ‘Asadal Chronicles’,” said the representative. Moreover, once finalized, his character is expected to make an appearance after the first half of the drama. According to officials, Jo will begin shooting in sometime in February.

“Asadal Chronicles” is a fantasy drama set in Korea that draws inspiration from the country’s ancient history. From previous statements, the new series will revolve around a hero who builds up the city of Asadal all the while dealing with power struggles and love. The new drama is directed by Kim Won-seok and written by Kim Young-hyun.

Additionally, anticipation for the drama has grown tremendously once actor Song Joong-ki confirmed that he had accepted its casting offer. Notably, this will be his first role in a televised series since “Descendants of the Sun” in 2016.

Earlier this week, Jo also made news when he decided to appear in tVN’s drama “He Is Psychometric,” which airs in March. In response, tVN confirmed that he had taken a role in the series and they have already begun filming. According to the company, he will play the role of a character’s son.



Original article

Translated by O.C


TVN Releases Stills of GOT7 Park Jinyoung in ‘He Is Psychometric’

GOT7 member Park Jinyoung transforms into a psychometric teen for a new drama.

Park jinyoung
Image source – tVN

In tVN’s new monthly drama “He Is Psychometric” a love story unravels between two high school students that seemingly have little in common. Even so, they both have secrets that will change each other’s lives.

Park Jinyoung from GOT7 takes his first lead role as Ian in “He Is Psychometric” as a high school student with secret powers. According to reports, Ian has the ability to see other people’s memories when he comes into contact with them. As a result, he can decipher secrets in just three seconds.

In still photos released by tVN, Park’s perfect visuals and self-confident look hint at his character’s personality. He jumps over a school gate and lands solidly on his feet. Confident, fearless, and perhaps even a bit reckless appear to be part of Ian’s personality. However, while confident his is also clumsy and manages to stir up trouble.

Meanwhile, the new drama is set to air on March 4 at 9:30 p.m.



Original article

Translated by O.C