From Emergency Room to Pregnancy Rumors: How Korean Stars Fight Back Against Fake News
Korean stars battle unfounded rumors and fake news by taking legal action to combat the damaging effects.
The Korean entertainment industry has been suffering from unfounded fake news. The only solution to eradicate this is through strong legal actions. There should be no leniency. Celebrities plagued by malicious rumors are taking legal measures by filing lawsuits.
Recently, an online community posted a rumor containing sexual content about actor Sung Hoon and comedian Park Na Rae.
The rumor claimed that the two had visited an emergency room in Seoul due to a sexual issue. The writer of the post listed derogatory remarks without restraint, shocking the readers.
Eventually, Sung Hoon and Park Na Rae decided to sue the perpetrator of the malicious rumor. Sung Hoon’s agency stated on May 15th, “The rumor circulating online and on social media platforms regarding Sung Hoon is unequivocal falsehood that damages the honor of our actor. We cannot overlook the current situation where not only the individuals involved but also their families are suffering. We plan to take strong legal measures. Currently, we are monitoring and tracing the IPs of the rumor spreaders who create and indiscriminately disseminate this baseless rumor. We will respond firmly without any leniency or compromise.”
Park Na Rae’s agency also announced on the same day, “We have determined that we can no longer tolerate the current situation that damages the honor of our artist and causes suffering to the people involved as well as their families and those around them. We have decided to take strict legal actions against those who spread and propagate false information. There will be no cooperation or leniency regarding this matter.”
Sung Hoon and Park Na Rae’s reps submitted a criminal complaint on May 18th against the perpetrator of the malicious rumors, charging them with violation of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc., and defamation.
In March, EXO’s Sehun also fell victim to fake news. A post circulated on various social media platforms claiming that a famous idol was seen with his girlfriend at a gynecological clinic.
The post’s writer claimed, “A famous idol group member visited the clinic for a check-up accompanied by his non-celebrity girlfriend.” They also included a picture of the alleged girlfriend’s KakaoTalk profile picture that seemingly hinted at her pregnancy.
Subsequently, some netizens speculated that the idol in question was Sehun, based on his physical appearance and the long-standing rumor about his non-celebrity girlfriend.
However, this was also groundless fake news. Sehun’s agency, SM Entertainment, stated on March 28th, “The rumor related to Sehun that has been circulating online is completely baseless and a clear criminal act of disseminating malicious content that deviates from the truth. We are monitoring the original poster and rumor spreaders. We will respond firmly with legal actions.”
Sehun also addressed the issue himself, saying, “Unbelievable posts have been circulating on the internet for a few days, and I felt the need to correct them and take legal action. As fans may know, there has been a woman pretending to be my girlfriend for several years. She would post on social media as if we were in a relationship. I knew about it but didn’t pay much attention to someone I didn’t know, but it has now escalated to this extent.“
Sehun emphasized, “I want to clearly state that the photos and posts circulating on the internet right now have nothing to do with me. The rumor is completely baseless.“
In addition to this, many Korean celebrities have been enduring malicious rumors such as sexual harassment, espionage allegations, sexual encounters, explicit videos, death rumors, and other distressing speculations. To stop this, efforts to eradicate the consumption of fake news by the public are important.