Recently, the documentary Persona: Sulli, from the late idol and actress Sulli, premiered on Netflix. This documentary features a special episode of the Persona anthology series and an in-depth interview she gave in 2019.
아티스트 설리, 그리고 최진리.
그녀에 관한 두 가지 이야기 <페르소나: 설리>, 11월 13일 넷플릭스에서. pic.twitter.com/4uk6Aq1MC9
— Netflix Korea｜넷플릭스 코리아 (@NetflixKR) October 30, 2023
In the interview, she gave her thoughts on the Korean entertainment industry. In the documentary, the director asked if she thought idols were also employees and if they should be guaranteed rights. To this, she replied, “Yes. I wish there were.” When asked if idols should also have a union, she answered, “There should be. I’m so angry.”
In particular, Sulli said, “From my perspective, people don’t see celebrities as humans. When I first entered the industry, there’s something that I believed at the time, and that people won’t stop telling me, which is ‘You are a product’ and ‘You must be the best product with the best quality for the public’. Even when people don’t call me a product, they would treat me like one. I have to be something they want. I have to fear losing my ‘product quality’”.
When asked how she survived this stress and pressure, Sulli said, “I just blamed myself. The only thing I could control was when I caused myself pain. I blamed myself and put myself down, and I think that was my control. That’s why it was so difficult.”
Sulli shed tears and said, “I never thought like that (that the system was wrong). When I said it was difficult, the enormous burden on my shoulders… I couldn’t think of such things. Isn’t there a movie called ‘The Matrix’ where they say, ‘Would you rather take the red pill and learn the truth and live a difficult life, or just live without knowing?’ I often think that if I had lived without knowing, I would be living a happy life.”
Through the documentary, Sulli said that unlike in the past, she had an awakening. She was now aware of the pain in a life that she had been dragged into and did not even know was difficult, and also confessed his suffering. Sulli had a lot on her mind and couldn’t continue her sentences well throughout the interview. That was the last thing we, the “public”, would see.
Netizens reminisced about Sulli, remembering her as someone who wasn’t afraid to be herself.
- “It’s a shame that she left us when she could finally deepen her thoughts and communicate with people. I think she truly wanted to communicate…”
- “I feel sad just thinking about Sulli.”
- “We are all born with blank sheets of paper with different colors. I am sad that she, who was born with such attractive colors, ended her life early. After giving birth to and raising a child, I have become increasingly concerned about what, as a parent, I should do to fill the status my child was born with until he or she becomes independent in society to endure this life full of joys and sorrows. Also, the shape and color of the colored paper may be different.”
- “I felt that netizens evaluated and criticized her too much with their own thoughts. It has to be like this, it shouldn’t be like this… It’s because of this… I felt these stories being plastered all over the comment section in the form of crude criticism. It was sad at the time, but I feel very sorry that those things further drove her to her death. Many people found it strange that something that could have been seen differently was connected to Choiza”
- “I miss her.”
Her story pierces our hearts by suggesting the shadow of the K-pop idol market, especially now that it is flourishing.