After Soojin ((G)I-DLE), many idols and actor has been boycotted due to their school violence in the past
After nearly 5 months of silence, Soojin announced her departure from (G)I-DLE on August 14. Before that, all her activities with the groups had been stopped because many accounts, including actress Seo Shin Ae, accused the female idol of school violence.
Soojin’s story once again shows the cruelness of Kpop. Korean audiences will never tolerate artists with scandalous private lives, even if that is a story of the past.
Korean celebrities paying the price for past violence
Since the beginning of the year, the Korean entertainment industry has faced a wave of public criticism when a series of singers and actors were exposed to their violent and bullying pasts. Many of them are paying the price for their wrongdoings in the past.
Lee Na Eun was removed from various food advertising contracts and lost her role in the drama Taxi Driver following allegations of bullying her group member. Actor Cho Byung Gyu’s MC schedules were canceled and he was cut out of ‘Long Live Independence’, ‘What Do You Do When You Play’?. Actress Park Hye Soo caused the drama ‘Dear M’ to be delayed indefinitely after being accused of being a school bully by her former classmates.
Recently, entertainment company Cube Entertainment announced Soojin’s departure from the girl group (G)I-DLE. She was accused of having a history of smoking, drinking, stealing money, even beating friends or forcing them to do so with others. Soojin only admitted to smoking and drinking, not bullying.
However, social media posts continued to release more evidence against Soojin, causing her to cease her activities. At that time, many brands terminated their advertising contracts with Soojin. Many scenes of the female idol were even removed from (G)I-DLE’s MV.
In April, actor Ji Soo was accused of school violence, money extortion, sexual harassment, frequently having rude behavior… After admitting all wrongdoings in the past, Ji Soo was boycotted by the public. The crew of KBS’s drama “River Where the Moon Rises” decided to remove Ji Soo from the male lead role even though he finished filming 18/20 episodes.
After that, the drama’s crew filed a lawsuit against Ji Soo for letting his personal life’s scandal affect the filming process as well as causing financial losses. At that time, his agency also announced the termination of their contract with the scandalous actor.
In July 2021, Xports News reported that the allegations of sexual harassment and rape of Kim Ji Soo’s female classmate have been proved to be unfounded. However, being vindicated by two of the many wrongdoings during his school days did not help Ji Soo regain the public’s sympathy. Even when he announced his enlistment in October, Ji Soo seemed to “add fuel to the fire”. The public criticized the actor even more for avoiding responsibility by enlisting in the army.
Strict measures are needed to prevent school violence
Kwak Geum-ju, a psychology professor at Seoul National University, said, “The recent revelation of school violence against celebrities is due to (the victims’) trauma that remains until adulthood. They want to heal the resentment and wounds they suffered in the past and to demand an apology.”
According to a survey by the Ministry of Education, the number of students who said they were bullied increased from about 37,000 in 2017 to around 60,000 in 2019.
According to a survey conducted by the Blue Tree Foundation in 2020, school violence had affected 6.7 percent of the 6,230 children attending elementary, middle, and high schools in 17 Korean cities.
The Korea Herald emphasized that the punishment for violence and bullying is still weak and that under the current laws, children under the age of 14 cannot be punished for any crime. Those between the ages of 14 and 19 can be criminally punished, but if they are convicted they are usually put on probation.
Sharing with The Korea Herald, experts said that society needs to recognize the seriousness of school violence.
Park Ok-sik, director of the Youth Violence Research Institute, said, “Teenagers are mature enough as their physical maturity and cognitive development are much faster than in the past. It is not appropriate to distinguish school violence from adult crime.”
“There are many cases in which minors abuse the juvenile law, knowing that they cannot be punished,” Park said.
Meanwhile, Seung Jae-hyun, a researcher at the Korean Institute of Criminology, said, “Recent school violence has been so sophisticated and organized that the nature of the crime is comparable to adult violence.”
“In this case, it should be treated as a criminal case, and the public power should actively intervene. When violence occurs, taking measures against the perpetrator in time is a way to prevent secondary damage such as trauma,” he added.