The main dominating news this week has been the Park Shi-hoo alleged sexual assault case. Netizens and media alike have pounced on the story like a starving dog and there have been a number of stories, gossips and accusations relating to the case (and not to the case). Various text messages have apparently been obtained by the police that imply the trainee was demanding money from Park Shi-hoo to keep quiet, though earlier reports had alleged he was the one offering her money to keep quiet and she was demanding more. Park Shi-hoo has now appeared at the police station after faoling to answer two previous summons which was not helping his case as he seemed more willing to talk to the media than to the police. Had he not answered the summons for the 1st of March they would have issued an arrest warrant. The interview was 10 hours long and only a preliminary one for the investigation.
The problem with a case like this is the extra accusations and gossip that start to surface, the main one being that Park Shi-hoo joined his own fan cafe to raise money to buy himself birthday gifts and this his mother had a list of things she wanted bought. The sum raised wasn’t a small one (US$7,200) – something that demonstrates the devotion Park ShiHoo has and the damage this case has done to his reputation and future prospects. The fan cafe has dispelled the rumours, explaining the money was placed into a bank account under his name to prevent fraud, but it serves as an example of how much gets dug up and spread about as soon as there is a small crack in the perfect created image.
Scandals like this can have a further knock on effect. The drama Park Shi-hoo recently starred in – the SBS’s Chungdamdong Alice. Would normally have broadcast rights sold overseas, but its possible that even if Park Shi-hoo is vindicated, the series will not be sold at all. No matter the outcome his clean living image has been shattered and with it the income from future dramas, endorsements and appearances.
Go Young Wook, if you remember from the beginning of the year, is still a celebrity under prosecution. Prosecution have demanded he wear an electronic tag and the appropriate nature of this will be under discussion at the upcoming trail as well as the question of whether he forced sexual contact on minors or not.
Another CEO of an entertainment company, not named in the news, has been arrested for sexually harassing his trainees and defrauding them. The company apparently set up on 2010 had no intention of debuting the trainees and the security deposits taken from them were never intended to be returned. The chances of debuting, are actually very slim, even with one of the larger more reknown companies. Trainees are not paid, practise on their own time as well as attend school and often fail at both leaving them with very few options for the rest of their life. The introduction of audition shows just like in the West fuels that quick fix desire for fame.
The power of wanting to be a celebrity makes it far too tempting for someone to take advantage of, and the industry seems to be so unregulated and without protection for those wanting to try. It might seem that this is a lot of new incidences, but perhaps this is actually a turning point – that people are starting to speak up about it and from that a positive change will come. This article in the Sydney Morning Herald has some interesting interviews with fans and some hopeful trainees.
Yoon Do Hyun has joined the ranks of CEO of Daeum, his agency, when the original CEO stepped down. Kim Young Jon and Do Hyun have known each other for decades. Do Hyun has plans for a new group already and considering his musical pedigree it will certainly be interesting to see what he comes up with.
BlockB and Stardom Entertainment are still in a contract dispute and Stardom Ent have now started to sue former employees whom they claim have deceived BlockB and embezzled funds in an attempt to lure BlockB away from the company. There is as yet no resolution in sight.
NetizenBuzz posted a summary of the comebacks and albums due this March / April, and there is a lot to pick from:
1. Shinhwa (April, 15th anniversary 11th album)
2. IU (April, 3rd album)
3. 2AM (March)
4. Im Chang Jung (March~April)
5. Outsider (March~April)
6. DJ DOC (March, 20th anniversary 8th album)
7. Lee Jung Hyun (March~April)
8. Lee Seung Chul (March~April, 11th album)
9. Park Hyo Shin (March~April, 7th album)
10. A Pink (March~April, mini-album)
11. Ulala Session (March~April)
12. MBLAQ (April)
13. MC the Max (March)
14. John Park (March~April)
15. Busker Busker (March~April)
16. U-KISS (mid-March, 3rd album)
17. Sobangcha (March~April)
18. Seo Moon Tak (March)
19. Davichi (March, 2nd album)
20. Lee Hi (March 1st)
21. G.NA (March)
22. 2NE1 (March~April)
23. G-Dragon (March~April, 2nd album)
24. Lee Soo Young (March~April)
25. Psy (April)
26. INFINITE (March) **
27. After School (March~April) **
Naturally it’s the Shinhwa comeback I am most excited about. They currently have a competition for fans to submit photos of how they support Shinhwa, and 15 lucky winners will get a signed 15th anniversary album. Psy’s April comeback will be an interesting one to watch now that the whole world is involved with his career. The song was due to release in Januray but was pushed back to April. Yang Hyun Suk, the CEO of YG Entertainment, has given his approval and so now all we have to do is wait! YG is known for pushing back albums and debuts, something that seems to have happened to his next girl group. I was admittedly confused at first seeing as SuPearls was disbanded, but it seems this is a totally different group, and most of the members remain a mystery. It proves a point of how many trainees there must be if one group can be dissolved and another already be preparing to take its place.
Se7en, also a YG artist has finally received his marching papers and will head to the army for his required service – as one of the first artists I got into, I sincerely hope there will still be room in the market for him when he returns. LeeHi the newest artist is due to release her single on 7th March. The song ‘Turn it up’ (teaser: http://youtu.be/Cfi05-Cr6D0) has lyrics by Tablo, is composed by KUSH and LYDIA PAEK and arranged by KUSH.
Jackie Chan is continuing his promotions in Korea on various shows where he has revealed he lived in Korea for a few years and dated a Korean woman for a time. He also talked about Psy’s success being attributed to the fact he hadn’t planned on international success and had instead focused on doing things for himself and his country.
TeenTop have been doing well with their 1st album. Pre-orders were sold out on the same day and then sold out from the shops in two days once released. The limited edition contains an 80 page booklet with pictures from their European Tour included. A dance version of their current track ‘Miss Right’ has been released (http://youtu.be/-p8pVAyQux4)
Purplay: ‘Love and Remember’ http://youtu.be/QicxVvyvMeU
WooHyun (INFINITE), Lucia: ‘Cactus’ http://youtu.be/B9r19gxg6PM
Won Gi Ok (Feat. Joney N): Champon Music http://youtu.be/yj7olpCtmVg
TeenTop: ‘Miss Right’ http://youtu.be/TaGCTbqJKO0
T-ara: ‘Bunny style’ http://youtu.be/mD-YZMToVt8 (Korean Aeygo in Japanese)
Yong Junhyung, Feeldog, LE: 어이없네 ‘You got some nerve’ http://youtu.be/rIMWVouu-PE (19+ version, no bleeps)
Cross Gene: ‘Shooting Star’ http://youtu.be/-eNTqmCW1W4 (Japanese)
Gummy: ‘Snow Flower’ http://youtu.be/U5Ie5rS0DIQ
The Nuts: ‘Love Notes’ http://youtu.be/wt-sPdmHH64
Park Kyung: ‘Getting Over’ Feat. Crush http://youtu.be/FiKWG7D17m4
Iconize: ‘I Am a very Talented Child’ http://youtu.be/pgrqoqx43p0
LEDApple: ‘I’ll be there for you’ http://youtu.be/6cRoQ4cLgrE (not a cover!)
MAIN: ‘Love is’ http://youtu.be/MJaSBqRVHKk
MV Teaser round-up
AA (DoubleA): ‘Rolling Rolling’ http://youtu.be/fwMOS98mwMg
2AM: ‘One Spring Day’ http://youtu.be/hllwWuz4agQ
MyName: ‘We are the Night’ http://youtu.be/d0i32J44Ftk (Japanese PV)
D-Unit: ‘Affirmative Chap 1’ http://youtu.be/miy8X9lJuUI, http://youtu.be/7Yu3bK2B_IM
Infinite: – comeback http://youtu.be/x3nKRf2_z38
UKISS: – comeback http://youtu.be/9_SbYVfk8Bg
Dance Tutorial round-up
New Group Teasers
Ladies Code member: ‘Rise’ http://youtu.be/1vgn7G6U-4c
‘So Jung’ http://youtu.be/REl-Tgd_Xsw
M4M – Alen http://youtu.be/Q2Fc7ANHVAo
Bin http://youtu.be/0Ll68x7bAQU (Cube Ent. Group set to debut in March in Korea and China simultaneously)
Trivia of the week
Eun Ji-won, who debuted in 1997 in the idol group Sechs Kies as a rapper, is the grandson of the late President Park Chung-hee’s elder sister, making him a first cousin once removed of President Park Geun-hye.