New scandals in South Korea that cast doubt on K-Pop stars, K-Pop culture and a male chauvinist and sexist South Korean culture in general, could halt the genre's recent hugely successful drive into other countries.
So says an expose by CNN that looked not only at the scandals involving K-Pop star Jung Joan-young and Seungri but how there may be collusion with the police and a nationwide atmosphere of “toxic masculinity” that threatens a safe environment for women who are objectified in the culture.
Seungri, a member of global stars Big Bang, has been caught in a scandal involving the illicit sharing of sexual videos online without women’s consent. The 28-year-old also oversaw publicity for Seoul nightclub called Burning Sun, one of many such venues that include dark VIP areas where K-Pop starts can hide away from the public. That club was recently shut down by police that some of the club’s staff secured prostitutes for VIPs, plus rape, drug trafficking, and drug use.
Four major K-Pop idols have apologized in the last month after being linked to a group chat where members were allegedly filmed without consent. Joon-young was arrested in connection to the scandal on Thursday.
The arrests, apologies and early retirements have cast a light on the Korean culture, with CNN noting that it was exposed this week that about 1,600 people had been secretly filming motel rooms in the country, with Police saying the footage was streamed online to paying viewers. A squad of women inspectors was deployed last year to search Seoul’s 20,000 public toilets for spy cameras, CNN said.
Speaking at a protest this week, co-president of Korean Women’s Association United Kim Yong-soon said “the rape culture (in Korea) that has used women for erotic videos has been maintained for a long time.