On February 10, an earlier article from a North Korean media outlet resurfaced, igniting a social media frenzy as South Korea celebrated the Lunar New Year, known as Seollal. The report, which was first released in 2021, bluntly questioned how South Korean idol groups like BTS and BLACKPINK were treated. The stories, which described the purportedly severe conditions imposed by prominent South Korean entertainment companies, attracted a great deal of attention from Korean internet users.
“They are chastised for being treated like slaves, having their bodies, minds, and souls stolen by these big entertainment companies‘ violent and dishonest presidents.” The 2021 report’s passage that reappeared on The Qooforum read. Drawing a comparison between the treatment of idols and “slavery,” the study emphasizes the power of entertainment executives to exert immense control over these young performers.
The report gained momentum following a well-liked online forum post and has attracted attention outside of Korea. The study highlights how idols are cut off from the outside world from an early age due to exclusive contracts. It further stated that Western media has taken a similar stance in bringing attention to the atrocities these icons confront.
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