Recently YouTube channel Seoulite TV made a video discussing the privacy concerns male idols might face while enlisted in the military. The YouTuber focused on three specific idols’ experiences in the military, where their privacy was jeopardized.
When BIGBANG‘s G-Dragon entered the military, he made all possible efforts to bond with the people he was working with and encourage a positive environment.
It appeared that he was really trying to make friends, be honorable, just be one of the guys. And then also, I guess there are some sayings that he used his Amex Black Card and just let everybody use it. [To] kind of smooth the edges with money.
But despite G-Dragon’s attempts to fit in with his cohorts, “it didn’t” help.
You throw [money] around and [you think] maybe it’ll help, but it didn’t. Why? I think he suffered [through some of] the most egregious details that have come to light.
The YouTuber points out the difficulty for celebrities showering in public, drawing unwanted attention.
Not only were people staring at him in the shower. And all the idols said that people would just walk by the showers, back and forth, pretending not to look, but they want to look.
But in G-Dragon’s case, the unwanted attention didn’t stop at just looks. People allegedly tried to draw his body, which is a significant violation of privacy.
Not only that, there were reports that guys were drawing diagrams of G-Dragon’s body and showing where he had freckles, where he had moles, where he had tattoos, where he had scars. And this information, supposedly, was just supposed to be sent to the guys’ girlfriends. [But] it just blew up all over the internet.
Perhaps even more alarmingly, allegedly, G-Dragon’s doctor in the military even released his medical records.
Not only that, his own doctor in the military hospital released his medical records to the internet. And so there’s [an] extreme violation of privacy.
And on top of all the privacy violations, some of G-Dragon’s belongings were allegedly stolen.
Not only that, people were stealing his belongings, including his underwear.
The YouTuber explains that the idol was eventually separated from others serving.
G-Dragon had to really suffer a lot. And he apparently had a lot of injuries, and so he had to take a lot of medical leave. But then he also served through it. But then, apparently, they separated him out because of too much harassment. Even while he was eating, people were wasting time staring at him [as he ate].
Part of G-Dragon’s harassment also came from the paparazzi, who filmed him without consent.
The press got in there. The tabloid press were trying to get information out, and there was a lot of photography, photographing, and filming, apparently, of G-Dragon without his consent.
Even visiting friends and family of other people serving in the military tried to harass the staff to see the idol.
… When people were visiting their loved ones who were serving, apparently they were also even harassing the staff. Saying, ‘We want to see G-Dragon.’
But trying to separate G-Dragon only seemed to create more controversy, which the YouTuber explains is the “precarious situation” that idols must endure.
How distracting is all this? And how horrible is it to his mental health? So he was separated and, I guess, maybe given some sort of private quarters. And I think it was related to the health visits, like a private room in one of the military hospitals. And that created a lot of controversy because people were saying, ‘Oh, he’s getting special treatment.’ And so he couldn’t have it both ways… That is the very precarious situation for some of these stars because they also can’t be seen acting out because that’s going to be really bad for their image.
In the opinion of the YouTuber, 2PM‘s Taecyeon was the idol who had the best outlook, “at least on the surface,” while enduring privacy concerns. This is especially notable since the idol purposely chose to voluntarily give up his United States permanent residency to enlist in the military.
I think he dealt with the situation, at least on the surface, in the most win-win way that he could. When I look at his case, it seems like he really tried to make a lot of lemonade out of this stuff.
In fact, because of how well Taecyeon looked during his military service, many fans assumed he was doing incredibly well.
They really seemed to use him as kind of like, ‘Oh, here is Korea’s G.I. Joe.
And according to the YouTuber, Taecyeon thought “most of it wasn’t so bad, except [for] the showers.”
And he’s said that actually most of it wasn’t so bad, except [for] the showers.
Apparently, some of the friends he made tried to help the idol, doing their best to give him privacy.
Apparently, some people that were his buddies tried to get him a stall in the corner, not even a stall. They don’t have stalls, it’s all open… [But they tried to get him a space] in the corner at least, tried to give him a spot there. But that wasn’t always available.
SHINee‘s Taemin is still serving in the military, having become a public worker due to worsening anxiety and depression from harassment.
Apparently, he had already gone in with conditions of depression, he was on medication, he was doing therapy, but it had worsened so badly that he was transferred out of the military. He was serving in the military band… Even in the military band, apparently, he was really harrassed and especially in the showers.
The YouTuber expresses his personal belief that, especially for cases where celebrities are being harassed, it makes sense that they should be allowed to commute to and from their work in the military like some others serving in the military.
It seems like if it’s reservice [work], you definitely don’t have to spend time in the barracks.
What I do know is that there are certain privileged positions in the military service… If you are a doctor or a medical student, you serve your time as a doctor in one of the military clinics. They take you to different clinics around the country during your time of service. But you actually get paid for that at a higher scale than the regular conscripts, and the biggest thing is that you actually get to have your own apartment that you rent on your own. You are essentially commuting back and forth to the hospital to do your service.
So there are a few other classifications or categories of professional classes that get to commute back and forth from their own private home while they’re doing their mandatory military service.
… [Idols] probably should be able to commute, if possible.
What are your thoughts?
You can watch the full video here.