March 11 (UPI) — South Korea’s most sought-after celebrities are being accused of school bullying by anonymous accusers, prompting some actors and singers to suspend activities.
The allegations have affected a wide range of artists who have become household names in Asia.
Award-winning actor Cho Han-sun was accused of bullying and extreme violence in middle school on an online bulletin board.
The accuser, who remains unidentified, uploaded photos from the school’s yearbook to “prove” an affiliation with Cho and Cho’s school, YTN reported Thursday.
According to the allegation, Cho, star of hit dramas including Hot Stove League on SBS in 2019 and She Knows Everything on MBC in 2020, used other students as a “punching bag” and “wielded violence for fun” on school grounds.
Cho is one of many Korean celebrities facing allegations of bullying.
Soojin, a K-pop star with girl group (G)I-DLE, has ceased all public appearances in the wake of recent allegations.
According to JoongAng Daily, Soojin is being accused of forcing other girls at her middle school to “slap each other” after summoning to a public restroom. Soojin also mocked girls and called them friendless, the report said.
Some celebrities at the receiving end of anonymous accusations have said they are willing to meet face-to-face with alleged victims.
Comedienne Hong Hyun-hee’s agency has said they will take legal action against an unidentified accuser who said Hong caused her depression after years of school bullying.
Hong’s alleged victim claimed Hong picked on her for her looks and physically attacked her, Newsis reported Thursday.
Bliss Entertainment, Hong’s agency, said the allegations are untrue and said Hong is willing to meet her accuser in person.
Celebrities in South Korea rely on public appearances, but also corporate advertisers for revenue. Celebrity advertising is prevalent in the country and major companies pay a premium for big names to promote food, clothing and automobiles.