The Most Painful Suicides of Korean Stars: The Cost of Notoriety and Success

The Most Painful Suicides of Korean Stars: The Cost of Notoriety and Success

The Oscar-winning hit film “Parasite” actor Lee Sun Kyun’s suicide on December 27, 2023, adds to the ongoing tragedy of the Korean film industry. Given the rising number of suicide cases, the situation regarding suicide in Korea remains concerning.

Statistics According to Korea data, South Korea has the highest suicide rate among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 38 member countries. In South Korea, 13,000 people will commit suicide by 2021.

Many K-pop stars have committed suicide in recent years as a result of isolation and online bullying, including Kim Jong Hyun, 27, of the group Shinee; Goo Hara, 28, of the girl group Kara; and Sulli, 25, of the girl group f(x). Moonbin, a 25-year-old member of the boy band Astro, was found dead at his home in Seoul in April 2023.

In April, the suicide of a female student in Seoul, which was broadcast live on Instagram, caused widespread shock and heartbreak. Concerns have been raised about the psychological impact of live suicide broadcasts on viewers, as well as the potential risk of spreading suicidal thoughts. Celebrity suicides inspire imitators who use similar methods to commit suicide. For example, following Jong Hyun’s death, a fan drank a large amount of sleeping pills in order to commit suicide in his honor.

Experts claim that a number of factors, such as pressure from the school environment, a lack of social safety nets, and stigma associated with health issues, contribute to Korea’s high suicide rate. psychological well-being.

Experts advise keeping an eye out for warning signals in friends and family, as well as behavioral shifts and intense emotional outbursts, and encouraging them to get help from a professional.

In an effort to address the mental health crisis, the South Korean government is also working harder. In order to meet its goal of a 30% reduction in suicides over the next five years, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced plans to take specific actions.

Seoul Police announced on June 21, 2023, that singer Choi Bong Sung (33 years old) died at his home in Seoul (South Korea) after posting a “goodbye” message on his YouTube channel. In the video, the male singer expresses regret for his previous actions and believes that the crime should be punished with his life: “My name is Choi Sung Bong. I’m writing this letter to send my fans to their graves. If you see this letter, it means I’m no longer alive. I sincerely apologize to those who have suffered as a result of my folly. I apologize. For the past two years, I have attempted to return all donations received. “And now I’m going to pay for my sins with my life.”

Choi Bong Sung is best known for finishing second in the talent show Korea’s Got Talent in 2011 with his inspirational life story. The male runner-up unexpectedly revealed in 2020 that he was battling three cancers: bowel cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer. During that time, he became a symbol of perseverance when he refused to give up his singing career in the face of illness. The male singer’s story moved many people, and he organized fundraisers to help fund his album release and medical expenses. The total amount donated is up to 18.2 billion VND. Choi Sung Bong, on the other hand, admitted to fabricating his cancer diagnosis in 2021, shocking the entertainment industry and fans. The scandal caused the audience to boycott him, and Choi Sung Bong’s career as a singer ended as well.

After arguing with a colleague, BJ Imvely attempted suicide during a livestream. Lim, a former actress and model, died on June 19 at the age of 37 after being taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Korea, regarded as Asia’s most developed entertainment industry, is also the harshest showbiz environment for artists. With the formation of new music groups and the appearance of new faces in the film industry, the number of artists entering the Korean entertainment industry grows rapidly each year.

In addition to its growth, the Korean entertainment industry has seen many tragic deaths of artists as a result of scorn, criticism, and rumors on social media.

Sulli, a young female singer, committed suicide in 2019 at the age of 25. She suffers from depression and admitted to feeling “suffocated” when she heard disparaging remarks about herself.

Sulli stated in several interviews prior to her death that she did not know how to please the audience. Sulli’s close friend in the entertainment industry, Go Hara, chose death to end the fatigue and stress caused by depression a few months later.

Jonghyun, the main vocalist of the band SHINee, also committed suicide in 2017 due to depression. Jonghyun wrote in his suicide note, “I am broken deep inside.” Depression slowly consumes me and eventually swallows me whole. I’m not going to be able to beat it.”

In contrast to the cheerful, energetic image on stage or the sparkling selfies that garner a lot of attention on social media, Korean stars must work hard to conceal their injuries. They are in pain that they are unable to share with anyone.

Choi Jin Sil, an actress, has also suffered from depression and malicious comments. Choi Jin Sil died in 2008, much to the sadness of his fans, leaving behind two young children who are still in school. Choi Jin Sil’s life is a sad series of events. She was once known as “the nation’s first love” and made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, but she had an unhappy marriage and was abused and beaten by her husband.

Choi Jin Sil is determined to rebuild her life, pursue the career she left behind when she married, and focus on raising her two children. However, the actress completely collapsed after the online community criticized and questioned her family and herself. She committed suicide at her home in Seoul, South Korea, by hanging herself. Choi Jin Sil’s younger brother committed suicide due to depression a year and a half later.

In the Korean entertainment industry, stories like Choi Jin Sil are becoming increasingly rare. Following her, many other celebrities, including Jung Da Bin, Jang Ja Yeon, Lee Eun Joo, and Park Yong Ha, chose death to resolve life’s impasses.

Two young Korean stars, volleyball player Kim In Hyeok and social media hot girl Jo Jang Mi, committed suicide in early February 2022 because they couldn’t stand the online bullying. People spreading hateful news and comments frequently targeted them before their deaths.

Kim In Hyeok, a 26-year-old Daejeon Samsung Bluefangs athlete, was discovered dead at his home on February 4. He is frequently mocked because of his appearance and gender. Kim In Hyeok posted on his personal page in August 2021, “I can’t stand malicious comments anymore.” I’ve been putting up with them for a decade.”

Jo Jang Mi (27 years old) died on February 6 after a long period of depression, according to relatives. She is well-known on Korean social media. Jo Jang Mi made a hand gesture in a 2019 broadcast that many Koreans misinterpreted as support for feminism and hatred for men. Even though she apologized numerous times after the 2019 incident, she was frequently attacked.

Actor of the movie “Parasite” Lee Sun Kyun left his wife, actress Jeon Hye Jin, a suicide note: ‘I can’t do anything anymore’ and ‘I …

Korean artists place a high value on their image. As a result, negative issues or unfavorable rumors about honor, as well as bad information in private life; the pressure from their roles causes them to be mentally stressed, and they are easily depressed.

The late male singer Jonghyun stated on a TV show that he found it difficult to share his feelings or fears with those around him because he was afraid of being judged by the public. Besides, Jonghyun doesn’t have anyone on whom he can rely.

EXID member Hani also revealed on television her plans for a different life, including becoming a mental health consultant after retiring. Hani understands the stress and pressure that entertainment trainees face on their path to a career better than anyone else.

Psychologists point out that famous people, who frequently attract public attention, are prone to depression for a variety of reasons.

“Psychological studies show that celebrities, as well as those who engage in creative and artistic activities, are more likely than the general population to suffer from depression.” People in such professions are more prone to changing moods and emotions than the general population, and these factors are linked to depression,” said Kim Byung-soo, a psychiatrist at Asan Medical Center in Korea.

Dr. Kim claims that public figures frequently have to put on “two faces,” separating their “social” personality when in front of fans from their “real” personality when alone. If the gap between the two personalities grows wider, the celebrity’s true personality may be obscured, forcing him or her to rely more and more on the “mask” personality. As a result, they will gradually devolve into chaos.

“Becoming a celebrity is like crossing a river and not being able to return.” Many people believe that celebrities are always surrounded by crowds, but in reality, their personal relationships are extremely limited. They find it difficult to form serious relationships with others because they become defensive when they believe that others like them solely because of their appearance and reputation. Even with relatives and family, this makes them lonely and isolated,” Dr. Kim explained.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Kim, most celebrities suffering from depression are hesitant to visit public psychiatric clinics for fear of being recognized. Today, some companies that train Kpop artists always have their own psychological counselors on staff.

Because of the massive birth of artists, the audience has many options and can become picky and critical when they do not find a particular artist pleasing. This also provides “land” for YouTubers who specialize in reporting on the entertainment industry and spreading information about artists’ private lives.

V, a member of BTS, had to respond after a YouTube channel reported that he was dating a wealthy woman. This account has received harsh criticism from BTS fans, but the number of video views continues to rise. According to Nox Influencer data, the V channel earns a consistent monthly profit ranging from 27.7 million won (23,100 USD) to 48.3 million won.

Many Kpop idols and Korean actors were accused of bullying classmates during the school day in 2021. To attract viewers, a series of videos addressing this issue are edited and staged and posted on YouTube.

YouTubers recently reported on social media hotgirls being accused of using counterfeit products – Song Ji Ah also received a lot of views. She is well-known in Korea as a beauty blogger and gained international attention after appearing on the dating show Single’s Inferno (Single Hell).

Song Ji Ah had to apologize after being accused of using fake branded goods by a YouTuber, but the backlash isn’t going away. Song Ji Ah’s path to the entertainment industry was slowed by the incident, as many programs canceled her participation or cut off her image.

The problem of spreading rumors on YouTube was recently mentioned in Korea’s Korea JoongAng Daily. The false news that YouTubers pick up, embellish, and spread is gradually destroying the lives of many public figures in Korea.

The goal of releasing this information is to “capture views” and create controversy on social media in order to profit. Most news sources are untrustworthy because they are based on brief news stories or anonymous postings in online communities. YouTube users will create stories and controversial information about artists in order to attract viewers.

According to Professor Hong Sung Cheol of Kyonggi University’s Department of Communication and Visual Arts, the online community still supports the content distributed by YouTubers because these channels provide information that the mainstream media does not.

“This is a voyeurism-related phenomenon.” People want to hear other people’s stories, not the information provided by the mainstream media. However, the information shared by these trolls is not new. “They are mostly collages of articles,” professor Hong Sung Cheol observed.

According to psychology professor Lim Myung Ho, cybercriminals are frequently unaware of the harm they are causing to victims. “They believe that by attacking others, they will gain attention.” They want to be famous and feel superior. “They believe they have a right to attack others,” the teacher explained.

A petition to “strongly punish those who commit crimes on YouTube” and those who pursued social media sensation Jo Jang Mi to the point of death was submitted to the Korean Blue House on February 7, following the unexpected death of the social media hot girl. As of February 16, more than 216,000 people had signed the petition.

A YouTube channel called PPKKa issued an apology and acknowledged that it was partially to blame for the female BJ’s demise. Jo Jang Mi was once targeted by PPKKa and numerous other YouTube channels.

According to reports in the Korean media in 2019, government representatives intended to present the draft Sulli Act for parliamentary session review and discussion. This law requires online users to disclose their true identities and targets negative comments made through anonymous online accounts. The Korean public responded favorably to this petition.

According to Korea’s Act on Encouraging the Use of Information and Communication Networks and Protecting Information, the only serious criminal penalty for individuals who disseminate information online is a conviction for defamation. In light of this, the maximum penalty for the guilty party is 50 million won in fines or a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Attorney Lee Seung Ki claims that because there aren’t “clear signs of malice” in the material, it is difficult for those who disseminate it online to be criminally punished under the current legal system. It is considerably more challenging for the victim to demonstrate that misleading information was purposefully disseminated, especially if they are a well-known figure.

Sanctions against information spreaders are demanded by numerous professors and experts in psychological research in Korea in order to avert unpleasant situations and maintain a safe online community. Furthermore, online platform providers have an ethical responsibility to make sure that the content they offer is accurate and updated as issues occur.

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