The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

Celebrity Controversies as Censorship

Protests in South Korea demand rights and protection for teachers. The signs say, “Finding out the truth is a tribute.”

It is not uncommon to see celebrity dating scandals break the internet and dominate headlines. A recent example of this is Olivia Rodrigo and Louis Partridge. However, this is not only seen in the American pop industry, but also other parts of the globe. Specifically, due to the possessive nature that many fans tend to have, dating scandals within the South Korean entertainment industry especially seem to be shocking and flood media outlets.

One example of such a dating scandal took place in August 2023, between Blackpink’s Jisoo and actor Ahn Bo-hyun. However, in October, it was reported that the couple had broken up, and their respective agencies had confirmed the break up. 

Many fans and other netizens were disappointed by the couple’s short-lasting relationship, fueled by the lack of leaked information– such as photos of outings together– in the duration of their relationship. Some fans, derived by this supposedly suspicious relationship, timing, and lack of content, have theorized that this scandal may have been staged to cover up a different news story that had been dominating the South Korean news and media in August.

Starting in July, South Korean teachers had begun protesting their lack of power, even within classrooms. This was motivated by several suicides of elementary teachers, who had been continuously flooded with phone calls and complaints from parents for disciplining their children. Korean teachers then exposed the parent bullying, and expressed they were often scared of being called a “child abuser.”

The reported reason for  Jisoo and Ahn-Bohyun’s split was due to busy schedules, a common reasoning seen in previous break-up announcements. However, many fans were skeptical. The news of them dating erupted amidst BLACKPINK’s world tour, and yet the two were able to stay together for two months. With the tour ending in September, it would be more reasonable for the two to have more time together, and yet they split due to “busy schedules.”

In addition, Jisoo’s company immediately confirmed the dating rumors at the time of its outburst, garnering more skepticism, as it had not done so for the other members’ previous dating rumors.

This connects back to Jennie, another Blackpink member, and EXO’s Kai’s relationship in 2019. Their relationship was exposed on January 1, as part of a large media outlet, Dispatch’s, tradition to expose a couple on New Years of each year. YG and SM Entertainments both confirmed the news quickly. However, the two were reported to have split on January 25 of the same year. 

It was later speculated that their dating rumor was a media play to divert the attention from several political scandals that had erupted during that same time period. One of these scandals involved a former chief justice’s abuse of power to support the former president Park’s (who is now imprisoned) bidding. Another instance involved an influential blogger attempting to manipulate the general public opinion about the upcoming presidential election in favor of candidate Moon. 

The speculation of Jisoo and Ahn Bo-hyun’s relationship being a diversion tactic, only created to divert public attention from the teacher protests, angered many. Primarily, parents bullying teachers had been a tight-lipped topic– though not unknown. Also, many fans could not believe YG’s gamble of confirming an open relationship, when the K-Pop industry has been well-known for disapproving of idols dating. There have been many dating scandals in the past involving idols that have led to fans boycotting the idols themselves and stocks of their companies to lower. Examples include EXO’s Baekhyun and Girls Generation’s Taeyeon’s relationship back in 2014, which led to the harassment of the two and ultimately led to their separation. 

Some are finding the timing of the teacher protests and the dating rumor of Blackpink’s Jisoo and actor Ahn Bo-hyun suspicious, and even deducing that the dating scandal may have been a tactic to divert public attention. If true, this might not be the first time this has happened to a Blackpink member; and therefore, there may be numerous other examples of this form of censorship, despite the harsh consequences idols tend to have for openly dating.

These recent speculations, though most likely will not be confirmed or denied through official statements, demonstrate that even though the media tries to downplay or cover the harsh truths of South Korea’s flaws, it will eventually be brought into the spotlight. Afterall, nothing can be kept a secret forever.

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