Comedian Jeong Jun Ha, whose rise to fame came from Infinite Challenge, is now one of the better-known comedians in Korea. And while no celeb would turn down the amount of love and attention that fans give, Jeong said there’s a price to be paid for living a high-profile life.
In a YouTube series called, “All About Occupations,” YouTuber @JMunibus tagged along with Jeong as the comedian went about a day in his life. When the YouTuber pointed out how “everyone recognized [him] everywhere [he] went” during the shoot, Jeong explained the “cons” of being that well-recognized—as well as some of the worst encounters he has had with so-called fans.
It’s great being a celeb. But there are uncomfortable moments that come with that life. Even as a comedian, I can’t be fun and entertaining all the time. Like, I obviously have my bad days.
— Jeong Jun Ha
For Jeong, it was a struggle having to deal with fans even when he was having his vulnerable moments as a human being.
Being a celeb means, though, that even on those days, I’ll come across fans who—for example—want to take pictures with me. Even if I feel terrible, I have to smile and pose. Or, I can turn them down. But then I’ll be called names. They’ll say I’m rude. Or that I’m a self-absorbed prick.
The other day, someone came up to me and said, “Hey, you!” And when I looked, he went, “Oh, come on! It’s me! Don’t you remember?” Then he got mad that I didn’t remember who he was. He said that I let fame get to my head. He was a complete stranger that I took a picture with. Once. On the side of a street. And that encounter made me so upset. It even had me wondering… How do I go on living like this?
— Jeong Jun Ha
In fact, ever since he started running a restaurant, things got more difficult for Jeong—as a celeb-turned-business-owner.
Recalling a time he got “slapped in the face” for intervening in a situation, Jeong also explained how fame meant sacrifice.
Now that I’m a business owner… It’s even harder. Once, I had a customer getting rowdy and being disrespectful toward my employees. So I stepped in to intervene. I got slapped across the face.
I called the police and filed a report. He told them that he couldn’t remember a thing. He said he wouldn’t be able to apologize because he had no idea what happened. In the end, though, I decided to drop everything because… Imagine the headlines that would come pouring out if I were to drag it out in a lawsuit. “Jeong Jun Ha Involved In A Brawl” or whatever. Right? So I chose the easiest resolution… which was to forgive the person who slapped me.
— Jeong Jun Ha
In response to Jeong’s appearance in the YouTube series, Koreans agreed that some people “fail to understand that celebrities are humans, too.” Hundreds of comments rooted for Jeong, and urged one another to practice kindness.
- “I get it. Some of these people then share those pictures on social media, commenting something negative about the celebrities. What are their problems?”
- “If I had the choice, I’d choose not to take pictures. I wouldn’t be able to care if I get called names or not. I’d lie and tell them that the management banned me from taking pictures.”
- “The same kind of people are the ones who leave malicious comments toward celebrities.”
- “I don’t think I’d ever be able to handle a celeb life. Even with all the profit involved. I wish people would realize how much power and influence their words hold.”
- “F*cking rude… People are so mean. I bet these are the same kind of people who get caught on power trips. Ew.”
- “I would’ve gotten canceled a thousand times had I been a celeb…”
- “Such is the life of a public figure…”
- “Living like that must be exhausting, though.”
- “Aw, Jun Ha…”
- “The world’s full of evil people.”
- “Garbage behavior. Same goes to the people who raid celebrities’ social media accounts and spamming them with ill-intended comments.”
- “How rude, though?! People are out of their minds.”
You can watch the full video here.