Kim Seon-ho caused the controversy but who would benefit from it?

The battle of finding the true personality of celebrities has recently seen a new phase. 

A representative case is the battle to verify the personality of actor Kim Seon-ho, who rose to stardom after the success of tvN’s drama Hometown Cha Cha Cha”. After being disclosed to have forced his ex-girlfriend to get an abortion, Kim Seon-ho officially apologized and dropped out of KBS2’s entertainment show 2 Days 1 Nightand several scheduled movies. In addition, his advertisements were also canceled one after another.

After that, Kim Seon-ho’s ex-lover revealed that they had already settled everything and “there were misunderstandings”. However, a famous entertainment media site stepped up to showcase the text conversations between Kim Seon-ho and his ex to prove that her disclosure was not true. Therefore, netizens began to raise mixed opinions on the scandal of Kim Seon-ho, who also received harsh criticism for his two-faced personality revealed in his ex-lover disclosure. People who supported Kim Seon-ho emerged while many still expressed their disappointment towards the actor’s personality.

Kim Seon-ho

As more revelations continued to be revealed, the situation was no longer a battle to find the truth of the scandal but changed to a personality verification based on his actions. Even if the “seaweed soup” story in Dispatch’s report that contradicted Kim Seon-ho’s ex-girlfriend’s claims in the disclosure was true, many people still had opposite opinions, saying the personality problem in the way Kim Seon-ho’s actions and behaviors.

Regardless of which is right and which is wrong, what we need to look into here is who benefited from this process and who suffered damage. The first side that benefits from a celebrity controversy is the entertainment media dealing with the scandal. What’s surprising about Kim Seon-ho’s so-called personality verification/truth battling process is that the entertainment media dragged and reported news on their bulletin boards, pushing the problem up and down by making disclosure articles containing Kim Seon-ho’s apology and A’s exposing. 

Kim Seon-ho

In the process, the achievements of “Hometown Chachacha” were erased, and fellow actors were also negatively affected, which also brought harm to drama production companies. In “2 Days 1 Night”’s case, the news was too sudden to them and the program decided to terminate Kim Seon-ho’s appearance under an agreement with him. However, the situation has now been reversed as they are under pressure to “bring Kim Seon-ho back” because of the change in public opinion. It might be a conspiracy theory, but it is a very old way of entertainment media to create a kind of issue and benefit from it. This is especially true when online media operations, in which profits are controlled by the number of views, are generalized these days.

As a result, the process of exposing celebrities’ private lives and the battle of truth itself has become the main food for entertainment media. In the case of celebrities with a big fandom, not only someone’s disclosure but also articles that argue to find the truth are becoming another food. Fandoms who don’t want to believe the truth or who still support their idols react more enthusiastically to these articles. In particular, extreme articles may appear differently depending on the perspective of how you view the same issue.

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Of course, not all media and issues are like that. However, the more unclear the facts about an artist’s personality are, the more tense the disagreement arises and this is bound to become an issue. An example of this is the recent allegations of power abuse surrounding Lee Ji-hoon’s drama shooting and its battle of truth. Initially, Lee Ji-hoon was exposed as a person who abused his power on the set and to replace writers and directors, but recently, the drama production company even released texts from writers and directors, arguing that it was not true.

In fact, from the general public’s perspective, the revelations and exposing battles that fill the portal entertainment page every day are tireless. And most of them leave scars on all parties. No matter what the truth is, the privacy revealed in the process, one way or another, always leads to an unexpected personality verification battle and affects the image of all that is involved in some way.

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These issues are overheated because online entertainment media will pour out articles to gain benefit from the hot topic without any fact check. Now, even counterarguments have emerged, and some media have explicitly shown that they are in favor of one side, leading to a “business relationship” through these situations. On top of that, the conflict over the contract extension between celebrities and agencies is another reason for these issues.

In the past, when sports magazines were at the center of entertainment media, there was a so-called “November ghost story.” This was caused by the fact that sports magazines always popped up celebrity issues in succession in November instead of sports-related articles that were always posted on the front page as there were no sports games (of course, there were many issues that are made up by them). However, entertainment issues that are now spreading through digital methods are not only coming out at certain times like November anymore. Issues that can be interpreted differently depending on the perspective of celebrity personality are becoming a pandemonium between those who want to use them more than just a battle for the truth and those who want to benefit from them, to such an extent that the fatigue adversely affects Korean contents which are currently gaining a global status.

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