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The Aftermath of Seungri’s Scandal

Tran Nguyen | Posted on May 06, 2019

Seungri

Image from the Jakarta Post

Media as the Modern Grim Reaper

After months of investigating, the police and the court have not yet given an official statement about what will happen to or what charge will fall on “Mr. Gatsby of Korea,” Seungri as well as the rest of the 7 members in the group chat. However, considering how much impact the scandal has had on the nation, there is still a lot of aspects to discuss along with the questionable progression for the victims after this exposure of toxic masculinity in society.

Image

An art piece from the artist Kim Dong KunThis piece reflects how the media chose the next victim for the public’s witch hunt.

A quick recap: On the 28th of January, MBC’s news desk released footage of a man named Kim Sang Kyo getting beaten at the Burning Sun Club, which is Seungri’s club. After the exposure, many media outlets revealed more text messages from Seungri’s group chat and accused him of selling prostitutes to potential investors. The turning point of the scandal was when SBS FunE revealed a disturbing group chat that contained illegal hidden film videos about having sex without consent.

Through the recap, we can tell the media has had a lot of impact and involvement throughout the scandal. The lack of presence from the authorities makes the masses rely heavily on the press even more. Consequently, this shift in credibility makes the media’s words more powerful. Instead of revealing the truth to the public, the media exploits their power and pinpoints famous artists without solid evidence and based solely on their assumptions.

On the 23rd of March, SBS’s show “The It’s Know” – an investigation show that delved into Seungri’s scandal, accused a famous actor named Ji Chang Wook of having a special relationship with one of Seungri’s investors. Immediately, the actor received major backlash and was boycotted by the public. However, later on, SBS had to apologize for their accusation as proof was shown that Ji Chang Wook had no connection with the scandal. Despite the fact that the apology was made, Ji Chang Wook’s reputation was heavily affected.

Everything has two sides. Seungri’s scandal has truly reflected this phrase. Even though it was the media who uncovered the scandal and the dark side of South Korea’s patriarchal society, they are the ones who benefit the most out of the scandal. Instead of seeking justice for the victims, they pinpoint artists like predators hunting for prey. Faulty accusation is their weapon and now the victim is the passive audience.

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