An arrest warrant for Jung Joon Young, a famous Korean singer-songwriter, was issued accusing him of illicitly filming and sharing sex videos with his friends. Such incidents where celebrities are involved with crimes occur on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, they all automatically respond, “I am truly sorry to everybody about what has happened. I will take a temporary break to reflect on my behaviors.” Yet, almost none of them seem to be aware of the seriousness of the situation or the promise.
There is a considerably odd aspect to the apology culture among celebrities in Korea. Almost every single one of them initially denies all allegations yet acknowledges their mistakes only after clear evidence is discovered. Then, they either announce their retirement or to take a temporary break as if their crime is just a mere momentary lapse. What is even more serious is that they also make a comeback very naturally after a short period of time, showing how easily they are prone to break their word. If they at least understood the severity of their crimes, those early comebacks, clearly deceiving audiences, would not be tolerable to themselves.
Besides Jung Joon-young, countless similar events have happened in the past. A singer-comedian Shin Junghwan, who was charged for illicit gambling, marked the end of his absence on television by appearing on a talk show. Furthermore, Horan, a vocalist from the group Clazziquai Project, continued her music career despite numerous scandals regarding drunk driving. While they had committed clearly unrighteous and illegal acts, they simply took a few years of break and instantly reappeared in front of audiences by adding a word or two of apology.
What makes the situation worse is that some of these celebrities repeat the mistake over and over again. For instance, Horan was involved with drunk driving three times, each time reiterating that she truly apologizes and is regretful. Moreover, Shin has even appeared as a guest on the talk show Knowing Bros, mentioning his crimes as a mere tool for fun. Drunk driving and illegal gambling, acts that could have serious or even fatal consequences, are not something that could be generously forgiven. These countless accounts make the audience wonder whether celebrities are truly aware of their mistakes or are merely putting on a show to soothe their fans.
Celebrities, not only as citizens who should abide by the law but also as ones who possess great influence on others, should be even more careful of their behaviors. Their recent easy comebacks give an impression to audiences that those crimes are not deadly wrong, leading to insensitivity towards the seriousness of the issue. This could cause a significant social problem, especially for youths who are still developing ethical values and have a tendency to idolize celebrities. There is a high possibility that they might be ignorantly supporting the crimes of their favorite celebrity, creating potential moral issues for society.
It is highly evident that celebrities should be more cautious about their deeds and their responses toward the problem. They are under the spotlight of mass media, receiving a significant amount of love but also carrying the heavy burden of responsibility to practice ethical behaviors. Before moaning about severe standards set for them, celebrities should ask themselves whether they are truly qualified for their career and be aware of their status and fame. In order to do so, they should be able to distinguish between rest and reflect, which is not a matter of the period of time but the attitude they pose. People are no longer fooled by delusive public images; they are critical judges who will not overlook the sheer fabrication of lies.