Quotes from an editorial in the Joongang Ilbo
“It’s no longer a surprise to come across one or two mind-boggling stories in the morning papers these days. One should be getting used to dramatic episodes in a rapidly changing urban society like Korea. But news of criminal violence have become too grotesque and brutal to accept them merely as fallout from social evolution.
A woman who pleaded for her life over the emergency call she made to the police was discovered dismembered the next day in Suwon. Another bizarre story arrives before we can recover from the last one.
An entertainment management agency CEO habitually raped teenagers who came to his office with dreams of one day becoming stars. He invited boy idol group members to join in on the assaults.
The entertainment industry is in hot water after the scandalous spotlight on the agency CEO’s hideous acts. Three years ago, it received similar criticism after actress Jang Ja-yeon committed suicide upon leaving a note disclosing her plight of being forced to have sex with media executives and business bigwigs. The industry then vowed to clean up its act and shake the scandalous image. But the industry’s abuse and exploitation of the underage obviously did not stop.
Furthermore, there seems to be more concern over a tainted image that could damage the overseas popularity of Korean entertainers from the scandal than the damage to the victims and potential danger to the youth in similar conditions.
Our society’s ignorance, indifference and desensitization of violence have gone too far. Instead of being outraged by violence, people seem more interested in the outlandish antics of broadcasters of these stories.
Fans of a podcast host (who failed in his bid for a seat in the recent legislative election) whooped and hollered for him in downtown Seoul, as if he were a legend of the ssireum ring, even as he uttered sexually disparaging remarks against the former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”