No matter how much social controversy they cause, are celebrities still celebrities? Celebrities who went on hiatus due to a series of controversies have recently been making a comeback. Media experts feel that the public reacts coldly to those who quietly resume their activities after a period of self-reflection after the controversy.
Recently, former (G)I-DLE member Soojin announced the release of her first solo album. This will be her first return in over two years since she left the team amid suspicions of school violence. At the time, she was embroiled in suspicions that she had committed school violence during middle school.
수진 (SOOJIN) 1st EP
[아가씨] Concept Photo #5
— SOOJIN OFFICIAL (@BRD_SOOJIN) November 1, 2023
Soojin eventually left her team due to the controversy, but she did not make any statement regarding the additional allegations of school violence that were raised afterwards. Meanwhile, the person who revealed the suspicion of school violence was acquitted of defamation charges, and attention is focused on the truth or her suspicions of school violence, but there was no satisfactory explanation.
Soojin, who shut down activities due to the withdrawal from the team, has continued her absence since then without any other activities. Would two years of self-reflection be enough? She opened an Instagram account in July and recently announced that she signed an exclusive contract with a new agency. However, given that the truth about the allegations of school violence has not yet been revealed, views on her return are not all positive.
Meanwhile, singer and actor Eru, who was found guilty in the first trial last year on drunk driving charges, attempted to return after about ten months of hiatus. At the time of trial, he stated, “I will stop all entertainment activities and take time for self-reflection. I will deeply reflect and look back on myself so that something like this will never happen again.”
Although he did withdraw from the drama he was scheduled to appear in and consequently stopped all activities at the time, his self-reflection didn’t last very long. Recently, he quietly began his comeback by participating in the production of his father Tae Jinah’s new song.
These two celebrities are not the only ones trying to make a quick comeback after controversy. Kim Saeron also gained attention by returning through a music video a year after being in court on charges of causing an accident while drunk driving. Hwang Young Woong also announced he would release his first mini album just six months after leaving the survival program he appeared in due to suspicions of school violence and dating violence against his ex-girlfriend.
There is a growing number of celebrities who quickly announce their return as if nothing had happened, even though they clearly caused social controversy (whether due to a crime or a moral issue). Of course, the public’s reaction towards them is still cold, but they will cover up past issues and move past them by pushing ahead with their activities. Considering these actions, it is not entirely absurd to speculate that Lee Sun Kyun, who recently caused controversy due to drug use charges, may quietly take steps to return once the controversy subsides.
An entertainer’s job requires to have an appropriate sense of responsibility as a public figure, as they engage in activities that attract the attention and love of the public. In a situation where public criticism continues due to one’s own mistakes, it is never desirable to have the mind-set of “I will only take in fans who like me” without an understandable attitude of self-reflection or a clear investigation of the truth about the situation.
Of course, placing excessive standards on individual mistakes is also an attitude that should be avoided, but when trying to overcome mistakes and return to the profession of an entertainer, due responsibility is necessary. With this, experts feel that until the public empathizes and forgives their return, criticism of “self-indulgence” will follow them like a label.