K-drama star Kim Seon-ho's career is back on track after abortion allegation nearly ruined it. What does that mean for other Korean actors and K-pop stars?

media investigations exonerated him., cancelling of “cancel culture”,, other recent celebrity scandals

In October, popular South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho’s career nosedived after an allegation that he had coerced a woman into getting an abortion when they were dating was posted online. He was soon exonerated, and his career rebounded just as quickly.

Kim regained popularity and has been added to the cast of upcoming film Sad Tropical. He’s also become a spokesman for a variety of brands, having been dropped as an ambassador by other brands following the allegation, and losing work, including a role in the variety series 2 Days & 1 Night.

Following her initial, anonymous, online post, Kim’s former girlfriend clarified the situation and accepted his apology, and media investigations exonerated him.

While some may view what happened to Kim as an example of a South Korean celebrity cancelling of “cancel culture”, the roller-coaster ride the actor was subjected to is not a good barometer of what could happen to other celebrities accused of wrongdoing but who are then cleared.

“I don’t think the industry will react more cautiously in the future,” says Min Joo Lee, a professor in the Women’s & Gender Studies department at Wellesley College in the United States, where she teaches about Korean drama and related race and gender dynamics.

“Initially, it looked like he was never going to be able to appear on television [again]; his advertisements were pulled from the internet and television, and he basically became ‘he who must not be named’,” Lee says.

Kim’s case was different to other recent celebrity scandals in South Korea in which stars were accused of long-term harassment or of assaulting others sexually or verbally. He was alleged to have forced his ex into having an abortion to save his career.

Abortions were only decriminalised in South Korea this year, after a law was passed in 2019 following decades of debate over the legality and ethics of the procedure. Kim’s alleged actions became a part of the conversation, and touched a nerve.

Another facet of the rapid backlash against the abortion allegation was that Kim’s recent role in the popular romantic Korean drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha had helped burnish his reputation as a gentle, endearing heterosexual male in a country grappling with increasing concerns over how men view women and how they treat them in relationships.

The allegations shared by Kim’s ex recalled recent stories of violence and abuse in relationships that have made headlines, and struck a chord with feminists advocating equality for women in South Korea, who face a backlash from an increasing number of men in the country.

“In South Korea, in the past few years, there have been a number of notorious cases of relationship violence where one partner suffered physical and/or psychological abuse from the other romantic partner and ended up dead or severely traumatised,” Lee says.

“Due to those incidents, the public became especially aware and wary of gaslighting (manipulating someone so that they doubt their sanity) as one form of heinous psychological violence that occurs in romantic relationships … What Kim was initially accused of sounded like a prototypical case of gaslighting and psychological abuse.”

media investigations exonerated him., cancelling of “cancel culture”,, other recent celebrity scandals

A July 2021 Instagram post from Kim Seon-ho. The actor’s career was instantly derailed after the abortion allegations came to light, but rebounded just as quickly and he gained more social media followers. Photo: @seonho__kim_/Instagram

The reaction to Kim’s alleged behaviour was immediate, and spurred his defenders, including his ex, to clarify the situation, as the ramifications would undoubtedly be long-lasting and likely ruinous for the 35-year-old actor.

However, Lee thinks Kim’s situation is likely to be the exception, not the rule.

Because of the intense impact of consumers and fan backlash when a star’s shine fades following allegations of wrongdoing, the South Korean entertainment industry and investors are likely to continue to act swiftly at the first hint of wrongdoing, suggests Lee.

media investigations exonerated him., cancelling of “cancel culture”,, other recent celebrity scandals

Shin Min-a (left) and Kim Seon-ho in a still from Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. His role in the K-drama helped burnish his reputation as a gentle, endearing heterosexual male.

Supporting someone through a scandal is simply too big a risk to take, while it is far easier to be reactive to someone clearing their name, Lee says.

“[Companies] have a lot more to lose if they show loyalty to the celebrity and the allegations turn out to be true compared to if they cut all ties to the celebrity and then bring them back after they are cleared of allegations,” she adds.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

China must brace for ‘digital cold war' with US as battle for tech supremacy heats up

China needs to brace for a “digital cold war” with the United States as the two nations go head-to-head for dominance of the internet economy. The warning from a top ... Read more »

Is there a ‘perfect' relationship? No, so stop looking for one – it causes stress, depression and prevents you making real connections

Most of us accept that no relationship is perfect and that, as human beings, we are all flawed. However, there are still some people out there who believe in finding ... Read more »

Hong Kong's home buyers snap up Henderson Land's The Harmonie flats, defying city's worst one-day explosion of new Covid-19 cases

Hong Kong’s property buyers turned out in droves, defying the city’s worst one-day explosion of new Covid-19 cases to snap up apartments at the first new housing project to be ... Read more »

Kombucha and the health benefits of tea drink loved by Lady Gaga, Kourtney Kardashian, Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow

Do you want to stay young and healthy even if it means drinking a fermented tea that tastes like sweet-and-sour vinegar? Then kombucha is for you. Celebrities including Lady Gaga, ... Read more »

Beijing lectures Alibaba, Tencent, other Big Tech firms on gig workers' rights despite progress from last year

Beijing has told 11 internet platforms including Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings to better protect gig workers’ rights as the government continues its scrutiny of Big Tech firms in ... Read more »

NetEase apologises for ‘bad experiences' after fans of Harry Potter game revolt over Lunar New Year campaign

Chinese players of a video game based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling have staged an online revolt against NetEase, with their complaints about unfair game ... Read more »

Cryptocurrency crash wipes out more than US$1 trillion in market value

For bitcoin, there’s only been one constant recently: decline after decline after decline. And the superlatives have piled up really quickly. With the Federal Reserve intending to withdraw stimulus from ... Read more »

Dry January? No thanks – it won't improve your health in the long run or solve alcohol-abuse problems

So, how’s your Dry January going? Probably not great if, like most people in Hong Kong, you’re trying to power through this most disheartening first month of 2022. Our administrative ... Read more »

Hellbound star Yoo Ah-in set for another Netflix Original series – K-drama casting latest

The eternal fight against injustice will be the theme for many upcoming K-dramas if the latest casting announcements are anything to go by, with top stars lining up to play ... Read more »

Singapore's first blank-cheque listings get off to a timid start, raising question whether the buzz around SPACs is fizzling out

A lacklustre market debut for the first two blank-cheque companies to list in Singapore is raising some questions whether the excitement seen for such vehicles in the US early last ... Read more »

How a 23-year-old Hongkonger is bringing NFTs to physical fashion to woo Millennial and Gen Z gamers

Nick Lau, a 23-year-old Hongkonger, grew up finding himself on the periphery of his immediate social circles – at Harrow, a traditional English boarding school, he took photography classes and ... Read more »

Green finance: a global standard may cut through the alphabet soup of global ESG rules

As the world’s governments and corporations face up to sustainability risks amid extreme weather patterns under the Earth’s changing climate, regulators are inching towards creating a common standard out of ... Read more »

More K-pop singers take center stage in musicals

By Dong Sun-hwa Lovelyz’s Kei / Courtesy of Palmtree Island A growing number of K-pop stars are broadening their horizons by moving into musicals as well. Kei, a member of ... Read more »

VIXX's Ravi to release new album 'Love&Fight,' Feb. 8

By Dong Sun-hwa The teaser for Ravi’s upcoming album, “Love&Fight” / Courtesy of GROOVL1N Ravi of K-pop boy group VIXX is poised to drop his second full-length album, “Love&Fight,” on ... Read more »

NCT 127's 'Sticker' stays on Billboard chart for 17-consecutive weeks

NCT 127 / Courtesy of SM Entertainment By Dong Sun-hwa “Sticker,” the third studio album by NCT 127 ― a sub-unit of K-pop boy group NCT ― is showing its ... Read more »

From TREASURE to Apink, a wave of K-pop stars to drop new songs next month

By Dong Sun-hwa A slew of K-pop stars including GOT the beat and Kep1er electrified their fans with their new music offerings in January. February is set to be another ... Read more »

[Today's K-pop] BTS' “DNA” music video surpasses 1.4b views

(Credit: Big Hit Music)The music video for BTS’ “DNA” gathered 1.4 billion views on YouTube on Thursday, announced label Big Hit Music Friday. This is the seven-member band’s second video ... Read more »

Hong Kong-listed firm behind Yumy dating app is going to town with the metaverse

Newborn Town, a little-known mainland Chinese company focused on social apps for markets outside China, wants to help people hook up in the metaverse. After launching beta testing last November, ... Read more »

Hong Kong's banking talent shortage worsened by zero-Covid rules must be urgently addressed, industry association says

Hong Kong’s banks face a severe talent shortage and staffing problem, as stringent quarantine and travel rules in a relentless pursuit of the city’s zero-Covid policy has deterred visitors and ... Read more »

Evergrande crisis: Chinese developer hiring more legal advisers to tackle debt

China Evergrande Group said it was hiring more financial and legal advisers to deal with creditors’ demands, after a group of offshore bondholders warned of enforcement action, taking it a ... Read more »

Professor rewrites the history of disease and explains why Covid-19 was inevitable – we're living in a bugs' world

Plagues Upon the Earth by Kyle Harper, pub. Princeton University Press It is time to reassess the human race’s supposed dominance of the planet. “It’s a microbe’s world,” writes Kyle ... Read more »

Alipay to offer museum collectibles powered by NFTs across Lunar New Year as digital assets gain traction

Alipay, operated by Ant Group, is pushing blockchain-based digital collectibles to Chinese consumers via partnerships with 24 provincial and municipal museums, adding momentum to the non-fungible token (NFT) wave in ... Read more »

Could your NFT be of a stolen artwork? Why the digital market is driving theft on a ‘mind-blowing' scale

Before he died in 2019, Dan Howard was a concept artist, working with major video game companies and posting his drawings online, where he had amassed a loyal fan base. ... Read more »

TikTok owner ByteDance said to post slower revenue growth in 2021 amid China's tech crackdown

Tech unicorn ByteDance, owner of hit short video app TikTok and its Chinese sibling Douyin, recorded significantly slower revenue growth last year, as Beijing’s harsh regulatory measures set back the ... Read more »

Global funds seen adding to US$386 billion of ownership in Chinese government bonds as returns outpace Treasuries

Chinese government bonds are likely to attract stronger fund inflows as the central bank pushes interest rates lower just as policymakers in the US and elsewhere prepare to dial back ... Read more »

China rolls out policies to promote green consumption in sectors ranging from food and clothing to transport and renewable energy

China will implement reforms to promote low-carbon consumption spanning a range of sectors to balance economic growth and its goal to become carbon neutral, according to its latest policy. The ... Read more »

Want to lose that holiday weight? From whole foods to water: 8 tips to trim down safely – and keep the kilos off

As we approach the Lunar New Year festival, some of us might still be trying to lose the weight we gained over the Christmas holidays – or the latest lockdown. ... Read more »

NFT hamsters project launched in Hong Kong amid public backlash over Covid-19 cull

A non-fungible token (NFT) project featuring 2,000 pixelated hamsters has been launched in Hong Kong, after the public hit out at a government decision to cull the animals over the ... Read more »

Warner Music backs NFT project that aims to mint virtual superstars in the metaverse

A new metaverse project that includes Warner Music Group as a partner is using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create virtual celebrities that can appear in various digital media and tie ... Read more »

China is set to lead emerging market equities out of the doldrums amid Covid-19 headwinds

Last year was a challenging one for emerging market equities. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped by almost 5 per cent, while its developed market counterpart rallied by more than ... Read more »

Alibaba, NetEase drag Hong Kong stocks from two-month high as Nasdaq peers enter market correction phase

Hong Kong stocks dropped from a two-month high, trimming gains for the week, following jitters in global markets after a rout drove a key US technology gauge into a correction ... Read more »

Russia proposes ban on use and mining of cryptocurrencies, points to steps taken in China

Russia’s central bank on Thursday proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ well-being and its monetary policy sovereignty. The move ... Read more »

Internet access is key to ending global inequality as the world moves online

We all know too well that the world is not becoming more equal. Inequality between and within nations is rising with historic speed worldwide. The income gap between rich and ... Read more »

BTS webtoon 7Fates: Chakho breaks record but leaves many wondering what a ‘chakho' is – here's the story behind it

By Dong Sun-hwa As many people had expected, the BTS-inspired webtoon, 7Fates: Chakho, turned out to be an instant hit, with the digital comic exceeding 15 million views only two ... Read more »

Why popping acne around the nose and top lip could lead to serious infection and even death: dermatologists give their top treatment tips

Never pop a zit in the “triangle of death,” dermatologists say, no matter how tempting it is. The triangle of death is the area of skin that starts at the ... Read more »

How to make Buddha's delight, or fat choi jai – a Lunar New Year dish to bring prosperity

One of the dishes I remember my grandmother making for the Lunar New Year is Buddha’s delight, or fat choi jai. The dish gets its Chinese name from fat choi ... Read more »

Super Junior's Eunhyuk tests positive for COVID-19

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) — Eunhyuk, a member of popular K-pop group Super Junior, tested positive for the new coronavirus, the group’s management agency said Thursday. He underwent a COVID-19 ... Read more »

China set to hire more ‘virtual' workers after property developer China Vanke names AI robot a top employee for 2021

The growth potential for artificial intelligence (AI) applications in China appears to remain strong, following property developer China Vanke’s recent move to name its in-house-developed virtual debt collector as a ... Read more »

China's internet watchdog says it has not issued a policy requiring vetting of investment deals at Big Tech firms

China’s powerful internet watchdog has denied it has issued guidelines for vetting major investment deals by the country’s largest internet firms, after a screenshot of discussions about such a policy ... Read more »

Hong Kong real estate regains appeal with international investors as they target hotels, industrial assets in 2022, CBRE survey shows

Hong Kong is back in favour among property investors, as it rejoins a list of the 10 most attractive investment destinations in Asia-Pacific in 2022 after failing to make the ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic