As cases of impersonation and fake news continue to emerge, many Korean artists have taken a clear stance and advise fans to be cautious.
From deepfakes to fake news, the entertainment industry is in a crisis as it faces a barrage of challenges. Stars are addressing these issues personally and making clarifications.
Recently, reports of an extramarital affair between Tony Leung and former WJSN member Cheng Xiao have been making headlines, especially in Chinese media.
In particular, various rumors emerged about the two being spotted shopping together, Cheng Xiao giving birth to Tony Leung’s child, and Tony Leung purchasing a house in Japan for Cheng Xiao.
Regarding this, Cheng Xiao’s side immediately responded, stating that the claims were baseless and unworthy of attention. They also threatened to take legal action against false information.
Meanwhile, Tony Leung’s side did not immediately release an official statement, but his wife indirectly denied the affair rumors by posting a photo with her husband on her SNS.
Finally, on August 16th (local time), Tony Leung’s side made an active clarification regarding the infidelity rumors. A spokesperson for Tony Leung conveyed his statement, saying, “The affair rumors with Cheng Xiao are baseless, ridiculous, and completely false.”
Despite experiencing divorce rumors and other fake news in the past, Tony Leung had remained silent. However, against absurd fake news about him having an extramarital affair with the 36-year-old younger Cheng Xiao seems to have prompted the star actor to speak up.
On August 18th, former MOMOLAND member Jane directly addressed rumors about her being SEVENTEEN Joshua’s ex-girlfriend. She stated that she had never met Joshua privately and expressed her frustration with being misunderstood due to false rumors.
Recently, rumors about Joshua dating a non-celebrity woman for a long time have been circulating on online communities. This led to the spread of a rumor claiming that Joshua had previously dated former MOMOLAND Jane. To clarify, Jane posted an explanation on a fan community platform, denying the rumors.
Koo Jun Yup has also become a target of fake news, including rumors of discord with his wife Barbie Hsu, pregnancy, abortion, and drug use.
On a recent episode of MBC’s “Radio Star”, Koo Jun Yup shared, “I’m really happy, but there are people who envy and defame me. That’s why there’s a lot of fake news.”
He continued, “Rumors have spread that I married because I had no money, that Barbie Hsu stole money and came to Seoul, that we got divorced, and that Barbie Hsu would go back to her ex-husband. There are also rumors that I use drugs.”
In the end, he concluded, “But I’m good at being patient. Since (the rumors are) not true, I’m waiting patiently for them to fade away.”
Celebrities victimized by fake news are suffering from baseless rumors. Even rumors of death, such as those concerning Baek Jong Won, Kim Young Ok, and Park Geun Hyung, are being spread. In response, stars are starting to raise their voices, advise caution, and take legal actions.
Besides fake news, scammers are taking advantage of personal contact to impersonate celebrities and induce financial transactions. To counter this, stars are either directly addressing the issue or advising fans through their agencies.
On August 16th, Big Hit Music, the agency of BTS issued a warning about impersonation and scams through the fan community platform Weverse. The agency revealed that cases involving the impersonation of BTS, using their content or falsely claiming a connection to the artists, have been reported.
Meanwhile, Kim Seon Ho’s side also urged vigilance against impersonation and announced, “Recently, there have been ongoing incidents of impersonation of our agency employees on both online and offline platforms.”
Ha Jung Hoo’s side also clarified, “Artists do not engage in personal contacts or financial demands through SNS,” and expressed concerns about potential damage. They also promised to try and prevent such damage through continuous monitoring.
Soloist Young Soo from the TV show “I Am a Singer” Season 16 also stated, “I’ve been aware that there have been frequent cases of romance scams where my photos were stolen and used to deceive domestic and foreign women.”
According to the singer, scammers would use photos with altered faces and pretend to be him. There are even cases where they use deepfake technology for video calls.
As a result, Young Soo felt concern for potential victims. He openly shared his concern and emphasized that his public social media accounts are the only ones he uses.
In addition to spreading fake news, some individuals are using fans’ loyalty and the influence of celebrities for personal gain. Amidst the spread of rumors, it’s important for the public to increase their own discernment.