What is the Burning Sun Scandal?

 What is the Burning Sun Scandal? Is it a K – pop controversy?

What is the Burning Sun Scandal? Is it a K – pop controversy ichhori.com

K POP, an abbreviation for Korean Popular Music (previously South Korean music was called  gayo), is a genre of music originated from South Korea as a part of the Korean Culture and the world of K-pop music is an ever growing, full-fledged industry which was worth $578m as of 2019. 

Ever since the emergence of the Hallyu (Korean wave) in the 1990s the country’s (South Korea) net worth has been growing through the spread of it’s music and drama industries. In the year 2018, the South Korean Music market experienced a 17.9% increase in revenue growth, which is stated as the shift from ‘potential’ to ‘power play’. And as big a industry is, the bigger it’s controversies and scandals are. If you want to know about  5 of the most shocking scandals of the K pop industry, click here.

Today we are talking about one of the biggest controversies of the K – pop world in the recent times: The Burning Sun Scandal. The Burning Sun Scandal or the Burning Sun Gate is one of the biggest scandal that has ever hit the ever so gorgeous K pop industry. It is a 2019 sex and entertainment scandal in Seoul, South Korea. This scandal involved many South Korean celebrities including many K pop idols and Korean police officials. It involved sexual allegations and molka, which represents the Korean word for unconsented sex videos taken of women and this scandal has become fodder for the political parties to blame and how to solve the matter. 

Burning Sun Club – Burning Sun Club is located in the Gangnam area of Seoul and advertised itself as Korea’s most elegant and finest club in Korea, where as the reality seems to be exact opposite of what it portrayed. The club was also popularly known as the ‘Seungri’s club’ because of the involvement of the Big Bang member with the club.

The scandal gained attention when on 28 January, 2019, the MBC News desk alleged an assault against a male club goer at the Burning Sun Club, which is situated in the Gangnam area of Seoul by a staff member, while the incident dates back to November 2018. As soon as the incident was out in the open, the Seoul Metropolitan police agency started it’s investigation and found out the club’s involvement with drug trafficking, police corruption and prostitution. Along with these there were also some of the incidents that dated back to 2015 – 2016.  

Along with the allegations of assault, the scandal soon involved allegations of spy cams and rape, as entertainer and singer Jung Joon – Young claimed that he had recorded a video of himself having sex with a woman and later had shared the video without the consent of the woman. And then he resigned from the industry on March 12. Soon after Jung Joon – Young’s confession, people got to see a lot of K  pop groups and idols getting involved and one by one all of them took retirement from the industry.

The k pop idols who were involved and took retirement are as follows:

o Seungri of Big Bang, also one of the directors of the club.

o Yong Jun – Hyung of Highlight.

o Choi Jung – Hoon of F.T Island and,

o Lee Jong - Hyun of CNBLUE. 

o Park Han – Byul, actress

o Kim Han – Bi of iKon, and many more.

The exact details of the case that was brought into limelight by MBC News desk was as follows (as per reported by the club goer who was harassed):

The club goer stated that he was trying to help a woman who was being harassed sexually but when he tried to but in to help, the staff had assaulted him. But later as the police arrived they arrested him and had pressed seven different charges against him including indecent act, defamation, and what not, although after he was arrested and also assaulted by the police personals he raised his voice and raised a petition and his petition also managed to get 200, 000 signatures.

The bigger the industry, the bigger scandal and bigger the scandal, bigger the adverse effect on the industry. So, let’s have a look at what negative effects did the Korean Entertainment Industry had to face because of the Burning Sun Scandal. 

o Five major Entertainment companies had to go through huge losses, they lost 17.52% in value with their market value dropping to 2.76 trillion won from 3.35 trillion won. 

o The stocks also dropped for the three major entertainment companies, whose artists were involved in the scandal, YG Entertainment dropped to 24.8%, SM Entertainment to 20%, JYP Entertainment to 5.5%, while the additional 20% was dropped for Cube Entertainment and FNC Entertainment.

o This Scandal had not only affected the K – pop industry but the Korean Entertainment Industry on the whole, a lot actresses like Go Joon – He and Han Hyo – Joo and many others were accused for being a part of this huge scandal but although later their agencies had filed petitions stating that the allegations were false. 

o There was a huge drop in the number of travellers visiting the nightclubs and the French Government also had warned it’s citizens visiting South Korea to beware of these nightclubs because of the cases of GHB and Drug assaults. 

o And because of the scandal a lot of other clubs in the nearby area of Gangnam, Eulli were also affected and had to face huge losses. 

o South Korea’s EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festivals also chose to not have after parties, as they were usually held in the Burning Sun club or in the clubs in nearby Gangnam area and because of the reporting cases of drug assault and sex tape cases.

o The company that was most affected other than the Burning Sun club was YG Entertainment company with many of their idols being involved in the scandal thus, being forced to leave the industry in other words retire from the industry. 

And when it came to public reactions, many of the K – pop fans wanted to remove the idols involved in the case from the bands like Big Bang, iKon, and so on because they single handedly had tarnished the reputation of the band as well as the K – pop industry on the whole. People also became skeptical of the police because of the allegations and police misconduct and corruption had put up a negative picture on their minds. 

Like already mentioned above that it had affected the industry on the whole, the most affected were band members because not only they had to lose a member but also disband or continue with lower numbers and also gain hate from their fans. And on an ending note I would like to say what a former executive of SM Entertainment Company has to say to the emerging K pop idols, he says, “The best teacher for young idols is to see fellow idols get into a scandal and disappear from the industry.”

Ref: Burning Sun scandal - Wikipedia




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