Essay: Everything That Happened in K-Pop in 2019

Client: i-D


This targeted harassment, alongside cyberbullying, is something that’s long troubled South Korean celebrities and citizens. Whether the accusations are true or not, once your image is tarnished in a country where image is inherently vital, the damage to your life and career can be permanent. Cancel culture to the extreme. In early December, former Wanna One member (now soloist) Kang Daniel cancelled everything in his schedule, citing depression from being constantly harangued. Bullying was also seen as a factor in the deaths of former f(x) member Sulli in October, and former KARA member, Goo Hara in November.


Both women, who took their own lives, had been harassed and abused online for years for their dating lives, wardrobe choices, the photos they posted, and their feminist beliefs. Both struggled with mental health issues and Hara, who’d already made an attempt on her life in May (and was publicly lambasted for it), had been physically assaulted and threatened with revenge porn by her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, who was found guilty but released on probation with no jail time.

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