Korean showbiz’s biggest scandals in 2016

A number of these celebs would most definitely make Santa’s naughty list this year

A number of these celebs would most definitely make Santa’s naughty list this year
A number of these celebs would most definitely make Santa’s naughty list this year
23 Dec 2016

A number of these celebs would most definitely make Santa’s naughty list this year

Remember back in 2014, when we thought that it was a terrible year in K-Entertainment? Turns out, 2014 was more of a tasting platter when it comes to rude shocks and surprising (not in a good way) turns of events, and 2016 has been the main course.

From Running Man announcing that it will end its run this year to numerous sex scandals that have rocked the industry, we reckon that most of the people involved in our list will probably make Santa’s naughty list this year. The silver lining: there’s always something to learn from every bad experience.

Let’s just hope we don’t have any more to add to our list for the year, and here’s to a 2017 that brings us more good news than bad.

Read on for more.

Running Man unceremoniously boots Kim Jong Gook, Song Ji Hyo from the show
Running Man unceremoniously boots Kim Jong Gook, Song Ji Hyo from the show
23 Dec 2016

Running Man unceremoniously boots Kim Jong Gook, Song Ji Hyo from the show

Running Man announced that it would be inviting popular variety personality Kang Ho Dong to pair up with Yoo Jae Suk for the first time since their X-Men days, getting fans excited for the upcoming season of the show.

Little did they expect that the producers decided to remove Kim Jong Gook and Song Ji Hyo from the lineup without telling them first, with the pair reportedly finding out about getting booted through news reports.

Backlash soon ensued, with Ho Dong declaring that he would not be part of the new lineup. The crew ultimately decided to end the show in February. Jong Gook and Ji Hyo have announced that they will be staying with the programme until the end, but will be donating all their appearance fees to charity.

Lesson learned: Basic respect - especially if you’ve been a team for seven years - is important. Your phones are more than just for playing games too.

Photo: SBS

Park Yoochun accused of sexual assault
Park Yoochun accused of sexual assault
23 Dec 2016

Park Yoochun accused of sexual assault

Park Yoochun was accused of sexual assault by a number of women who claimed that he used the same modus operandi: He visited adult entertainment establishments, where he would pay for their services. Towards the end of the night, he would allegedly follow a woman or ask her to follow him into a bathroom, where he would have sexual contact with her.

After investigations, he was cleared of all sexual assault charges but that they would be determining at a later date if there was any violation of the law on his part, as prostitution is illegal in Korea.

In a separate cases, actors Lee Jin Wook and Lee Min Ki also accused of sexual assault but were also cleared of all charges.

Lesson learned: Keep it in your pants.

Photos: M Limited, PBE Media

Netizens’ love-hate relationship with Sulli continues
Netizens’ love-hate relationship with Sulli continues
23 Dec 2016

Netizens’ love-hate relationship with Sulli continues

Former f(x) member Sulli was rushed to the emergency room in November for a wrist injury that required an X-ray. Netizens were quick to jump onto the bandwagon, alleging that she was there after a suicide attempt - a claim that was backed by purported leaked conversations between an unnamed ER staff and a friend, claiming that she had a deep gash on her inner wrist that needed to be tended to.

Her label, S.M. Entertainment, clarified that she went to the hospital after a mishap at home and Sulli also updated her Instagram with a string of posts after the incident, apologising for making her fans worry. Netizens have scrutinised her photos to look for a glimpse of an injury on her wrist, but have had their misgivings allayed by a recent video of her which showed both her wrists, which were perfectly unblemished.

Lesson learned: Don’t be too quick to hate nor condemn others for behaviour you deem unstable.

Photos: Sulli/Instagram

CNBLUE’s Yonghwa, Jonghyun investigated for insider trading
CNBLUE’s Yonghwa, Jonghyun investigated for insider trading
23 Dec 2016

CNBLUE’s Yonghwa, Jonghyun investigated for insider trading

FNC Entertainment signed iconic showbiz personality Yoo Jae Suk this year, and it was later revealed that CNBLUE’s Yonghwa and Jonghyun were involved in insider trading, in which they bought company stocks before the news was announced and sold them at a profit after the news broke.

Yonghwa was ultimately cleared of all charges after he explained that  his mother, who is in charge of his finances, had bought the stocks without his knowledge and he proceeded to sell some of those stocks after the announcement.

Jonghyun bought company stocks after he heard that a famous celeb would be joining their label without verifying if the news was made public. He realised that it was a problem and held onto the stocks, which the prosecution considered and he was let off with a summary indictment.

Lesson learned: The stock market isn’t for everybody and ignorance can be dangerous.

Photos: FNC Entertainment

Lee Se Young under fire for sexual harassment on SNL Korea
Lee Se Young under fire for sexual harassment on SNL Korea
23 Dec 2016

Lee Se Young under fire for sexual harassment on SNL Korea

The comedian came under fire after videos of her, along with other female staff, going through ‘hazing’ rituals with celebrity guests on their programme, SNL Korea, came under scrutiny. In the videos, they were seen inappropriately touching male idols’ genital areas. Among the victims named were INFINITE, B1A4 and Block B.

The videos, which were originally uploaded on the programme’s Facebook page, were taken down and apologies were made by both Se Young and the programme. She has since left the programme and also turned down receiving an award at the recent 24th Korean Culture Entertainment Awards.

The incident has also been submitted to the police for investigations.

Lesson learned: Yes, there’s such a thing as going too far, so don’t go there.

Photos: Lee Se Young/Instagram

Kim Min Hee, Hong Sang Soo’s illicit affair
Kim Min Hee, Hong Sang Soo’s illicit affair
23 Dec 2016

Kim Min Hee, Hong Sang Soo’s illicit affair

In what is probably the most shocking affair of the year, director Hong Sang Soo and actress Kim Min Hee were revealed to be having an extramarital affair. The 55-year-old director has been married for 30 years and has a daughter in college.

While the pair has been lying low since the scandal broke, there have been subsequent rumours of a breakup and them tying the knot in Utah. Instant messaging conversations between the actress and director’s wife have also left a bad impression on many netizens, with a number commenting that her flippant remarks, such as “You should have managed your husband better”, are telling of her lack of disrespect to Hong Sang Soo’s wife.

Lesson learned: See the entire chunk of text above this line? Don’t do any of it.

Photo: PBE Media

Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany gets flak for inappropriate use of filters
Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany gets flak for inappropriate use of filters
23 Dec 2016

Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany gets flak for inappropriate use of filters

Tensions between Japan and South Korea have seen a number of incidents involving showbiz personalities this year, but none was blown up as much as Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany’s social media boo-boo.

On National Liberation Day (in Korea), she updated her social media accounts after attending SMTOWN Live Tour V In Japan. Her Snapchat post got her in trouble, as netizens questioned why she used a filter with the Rising Sun Flag on such an important day.

This came months after AOA’s Seolhyun and Jimin were criticised for lack of Korean history knowledge on their variety show, with many remarking that idols these days seem to lack basic knowledge of their country’s history.

While some pointed out that it was likely a mistake made out of ignorance or inattentiveness to detail, others have not been as forgiving, and are still criticising her till date. Yikes.

Lesson learned: Social media can get you in trouble, so stay off it unless you know what you’re doing.

Photos: Tiffany Hwang/Instagram

Super Junior’s Kangin gets into drink driving accident.. Again
Super Junior’s Kangin gets into drink driving accident.. Again
23 Dec 2016

Super Junior’s Kangin gets into drink driving accident.. Again

We had a major sense of deja vu this year when Super Junior’s Kangin was reported to have been involved in a drink driving accident in May. His car hit a streetlight in front of a convenience store and he left the scene shortly after. He surrendered to the police hours after and was later fined KRW7 million (S$8,400) by the courts.

His first DUI was in 2009, where he hit a stationary taxi. After the hit-and-run, he turned himself into the police hours later and was also fined for that incident.

Lesson learned: Don’t drink AND drive.

Photos: Kangin/Instagram, S.M. Entertainment

Minzy leaves 2NE1; 2NE1 disbands months later
Minzy leaves 2NE1; 2NE1 disbands months later
23 Dec 2016

Minzy leaves 2NE1; 2NE1 disbands months later

It’s been a rough year for fans of YG Entertainment’s groups. Minzy was revealed to have left 2NE1 in May, with the label sharing that the group would continue as a trio made up of Park Bom, Sandara Park and CL.

Months later, on November 25, YG announced the official disbandment of 2NE1 and shared that CL and Dara had signed solo contracts with the label. This led many fans to believe that Bom will no longer be with the company. On that same day, YG also announced that Nam Taehyun would be withdrawing from WINNER. Talk about a double whammy.

Lesson learned: Don’t take anything (or anyone) for granted

Photo: YG Entertainment

Hyunseung leaves BEAST; BEAST leaves agency
Hyunseung leaves BEAST; BEAST leaves agency
23 Dec 2016

Hyunseung leaves BEAST; BEAST leaves agency

Another iconic K-Pop group went through its share of tumultuous times this year. BEAST saw one of its members, Hyunseung, leaving the group after numerous reports of him looking disinterested in group activities surfaced. While he has left the group, CUBE Entertainment has announced that he has recently renewed his contract with the label.

On the other hand, BEAST has decided to go their separate ways from their former label and has established their independent label, Around US Entertainment. Fans have rejoiced at the news, hoping that the group, like their sunbaes (industry seniors) Shinhwa, who set up their own label, will be able to carry on as a group for a long time.

Lesson learned: Sometimes it's better to bite the bullet and do what you have to do.

Photo: CUBE Entertainment

G.NA among celebrities involved in sponsor scandal
G.NA among celebrities involved in sponsor scandal
23 Dec 2016

G.NA among celebrities involved in sponsor scandal

Reports of a celebrity sponsor ring surfaced earlier this year, with one of the female celebs that was suggested as being involved being singer G.NA. She was later confirmed to be involved in the ring, but she shared that she was a victim of the middleman, who introduced her to the man and said that she would not need to return the money that she borrowed from him if she went out on a date with the man. She claimed that she did not engage in prostitution as she did not receive any money and was sincerely interested in the man that she was involved with.

Further investigations revealed that Sugar’s Lee Harin, aspiring celeb Lee Min Ji and former beauty pageant contestant Choi Eun Young were also involved. This ring was also revealed to have been bribing the police.

Lesson learned: If it sounds like a deal that’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Photos: G.NA/Instagram, Good Entertainment

Celebs caught up in sex videos leak
Celebs caught up in sex videos leak
23 Dec 2016

Celebs caught up in sex videos leak

Last but not least, a number of celebrities have been caught up in an alleged sex videos leak. One of the first victims was actor Seo Ha Joon. A video of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to him was uploaded on various community sites earlier this month; in the video, the man was naked and is reported to have been masturbating.

He set his Instagram profile to private shortly after the news broke and two actors, an idol and a comedian have reportedly also seen their videos leaked. While there have been no confirmations of how many videos of celebrities have been leaked thus far, reports suggest that we may not have seen the end of this leak quite yet.

Lesson learned: Don’t be too camera trigger-happy when it comes to intimate details of your life.

Photos: Seo Ha Joon/Instagram, JS E&M

Related: 12 times K-Ent in 2016 made us go ‘Are you for real?’

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