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  • Mary Kim

The Curious Cases of Celebrities' Scandals As Contracts Expire

Editorial: Kim Seon Ho isn't the first to face a scandal as his contract expired.

Ah, nothing is as precarious in life like a rising Korean celebrities' image. Built behind titans of a billion dollar industry and enforced by the steel wills of networks that churn out stars like gingerbread pronouns, Korean celebrities seemingly become stars overnight. The stars themselves, I can only imagine, must feel like they are on top of the world. At an apex of culture, so large they must feel when consumed by the world. And then it happens, a post on a community board appropriately titled, "I've been wronged by actor A". The seemingly insignificant post in an ocean of other just as insignificant posts, is singled out and picked up by media. The post goes viral. Never does the post mention the actor by name, but it always provides enough bread crumbs that readers are rarely lead astray. Actor A is quickly found. And then it happens, a supernova; the star bursts.

Now the lifecycle of Korean stars can never be plotted out, scandals are to be expected; ie Dispatchs' New Years' parties, but recent scandals have started making a pattern. For whatever the reason, the star bursts in the last year of their contract with their labels, usually after talks of renegotiations have broken down. Coincidence? Surely, Surly! The,"I brought you into this world, so I'll take you out" line works only in Tyler Perry spinoffs, right? Well, here are four cases that test this hypothesis, let me know if you feel how I feel after.

#1 Lee Seung Ki

Lee Seung Ki leaves 'Hook Entertainment' in May 2020, after 17 years and starts a one person label. Then news breaks he is dating Lee Da In, media takes issue with the fact Lee Da In's father is in jail for fraud and the whole industry freaks out. Then Lee Seung Ki resigns with Hook Entertainment, and just like that all the controversy goes away, so much so that there are positive articles covering him and his girlfriend RIGHT NOW in Korean news cycles. Ok, you shrug this off as coincidence here's number two.

#2 Han Ye Seul

Remember her? This past May 13, she uploads a photo of her bf and everybody was congratulating her. Then a week later news broke out that her contract expires with her current label in June. And then the "he-who-shall-not-be-named" of Kpop, YouTuber Kim Young Ho drops a video saying her bf is a prostitute and then another saying she was a prostitute. Han Ye Seul even wondered out loud via tweet why do these things always happen when leaving labels. Oh and our good friend Young Ho? He just happened to be friends with the CEO of Han Ye Seul's label. But still coincidence right?

#3 Kim Jung Hyun

Then there is this guy, on the left, remember him? After the success of drama 'Crash Landing on You' actor Kim Jung Hyun was on a meteoric rise when, you guessed it, it was reported he was about to leave his label Culture Depot when a story broke through 'closed sources' wink, wink, that he was a love slave to Seo Yeji, and that's why he was a jerk to his once co-star SNSD member Seohyun. Somehow intimate texts between Kim and Seo leaked and everybody became a nobody. Still not convinced?

#4 Park Bo Young

Yes even Park Bo Young, the once thought untouchable fairy in real life, couldn't escape the wrath of a label scorned. January 3, 2020 a news report saying she was dating Kim Hee Won breaks. News of Park dating anyone would have broken the internet but the news that she was dating Kim Hee Won, pictured below left everybody like, "Really?" "Are you sure?"

Then news came out that Park had ended her contract just a month before and netizens were like, "Ah.. I see what you did there".

So you be the judge, with rumors that Kim Seon Ho's character was deliberately hit by his once estranged-now his forever home label, one has to wonder who is really flooding the streets with the product.


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