It is undeniable that the Korean entertainment industry is becoming a global phenomenon, in music, movies, or television programs.
However, fame is accompanied by tough industry criticisms. And certain criticisms can cost a star’s career.
The involvement of artists in bullying is a top example of this. Recently, well-known celebrities and rising stars have been implicated in alleged cases of bullying; most of the allegations happened during their pre-debut years.
We’ve listed down Korean stars who have been accused of bullying.
Park Hye Su
Park Hye Su’s middle school classmate and supposed bullying victim spoke about the allegations of school violence. As of press time, two alleged victims have spoken up against the young actress.
“We deeply understand the seriousness of school bullying within the entertainment industry and have conducted a detailed investigation into the authenticity of the alleged victim’s post. As a result, we have confirmed that the posts are false facts about Park Hye Su.”— Studio Santa Claus
Based on the actress’ Instagram clarification, she kept silent about the issue, but many people chose to believe lies about her. She also stated that she had endured bullying since transferring schools.
“The bully who flipped my lunch over and cursed at me in the hallways is actually one of the alleged victims who is accusing me of having been a bully. That person and I actually ended up becoming friends in 9th grade. Back then, until now, I tried to consider that person a friend. With everything that has happened, there is no way for me to avoid legal action against this person, but I can’t help but wonder and feel brokenhearted at why our friendship had to come to this.”-Pary Hye Su
The bullying scandal has not spared Kim Hieora’s blossoming career.
She has received a lot of admiration for her performance as a psychotic b*tch and evil spirit in the K-drama ‘The Uncanny Encounter 2″. She has also received praise for her performance in “The Glory”. While relishing the success of her K-dramas, a rumor got stuck with Hieora and caused a stir on the internet, completely transforming her life.
It started with reports that the actress was a member of the S Girls’ Middle School’s Big Sanji clique, which was infamous for bullying, verbal assaults, and blackmail. The charges were revealed by the Korean media outlet Dispatch, which stated that a victim had come forward to talk about the allegations. However, Hieora and her agency, Gram Entertainment, have denied all the charges and maintained that she was not involved in such practice.
Following this, Dispatch published a phone call transcript between the alleged victim and the Uncanny Encounter actress, prompting Gram Entertainment to file a lawsuit.
Kim Ji Soo
Of all the bullying accusations that have been posted online, Kim Ji Soo’s case may be the worst.
Actor Ji Soo’s alleged school bullying and sexual harassment victims are featured in detailed interviews on MBC.
A series of interviews with the alleged victims were aired on MBC’s True Story. The alleged victims spoke elaborately about their traumatic experiences.
Key East, Ji Soo’s agency at the time, stated that it needed time to confirm the facts regarding the actor’s alleged part in school violence. The agency asserted that they received the information via email and would collect all data accurately and without any distortion.
In March 2021, Ji Soo posted a handwritten apology on his Instagram account.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to those who were hurt by me. I have absolutely no room for excuses for my actions in the past. I now beg forgiveness from those who were undoubtedly deeply hurt for a long time, seeing me acting, and I will reflect on the unforgivable actions of my past and repent. Once again, I beg for forgiveness on my knees to all those who were hurt by me.”
In the same month, Ji Soo’s contract with Key East was terminated, and the actor started taking legal action against false rumors. He said, through a legal representative, “In order to correct some false facts and reveal the truth, we filed a criminal complaint on charges of violating the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection (defamation), and we are currently investigating those who posted false claims and rumors. However, apart from the legal response, I apologize once again to those who must have suffered because of me.”
The Korean star’s career suffered substantial harm as a consequence. The television program, “River Where the Moon Rises”, in which he was the lead actor at the time, was heavily impacted. He was removed and replaced by another actor, and the series was even reshot.
Ji Soo is currently enlisted in the military. The alleged victim is now on good terms with the actor.
He also mentioned he feels sorry for inflating the initial post he made with false content. Most importantly he has forgiven Ji Soo and is cheering for his future.
The Korean actor and model Nam Joo-hyuk is also accused of bullying by alleged victims from his high school. SOOP Entertainment, his agency, has denied every accusation
According to the management, they investigated the accusations and discovered that none of the assertions were true. Additionally, they filed lawsuits against the news outlet, the reporter who produced the article, and the anonymous source.
However, even after a second alleged victim came forward with allegations, internet users are still debating whether the charges are true or not. Nam Joo-hyuk has not reacted to the scandal personally so far.
The actor is enjoying fame after the success of his big hit K-dramas like Start-Up and Twenty-Five, Twenty-One. Furthermore, he is the lead star in another K-drama series called Vigilante.
In 2004, Korea passed the Special Act on School Violence Prevention, which resulted in the formation of committees to monitor bullying in grade schools across the country. Since then, school administrators have managed similar acts of violence, at least officially. However, the problem still persists.
Based on the report by the Korean Times, one of the main reasons that school violence prevention committees in Korea are ineffective is that the majority of the group’s constituent members lack legal experience.