Another K-pop star has died.
Yohan, best known for his work in TST, passed away at the age of 28.
And though his cause of death hasn’t been disclosed, it’s rumored that he died from suicide .
It’s time for Korean pop fans to address this serious issue.
Yohan’s passing is just the latest in a series of disturbing K-pop deaths.
Last year, when Goo Hara and Sulli committed suicide within a few weeks of each other, Korean music fans were forced to look at the scandals within their industry.
Many pop stars train for stardom for years, and their time at the top is fleeting at best. The fandom is genuinely toxic. It fluctuates between extreme praise and violent insults directed at “their faves.” Career transitions are difficult, if not impossible. And many K-pop stars suffer from mental illnesses, including eating disorders and depression.
Overall, the K-pop environment isn’t a healthy one, either for its fans or for its stars. Even Korean journalists on the music beat are told not to report a star’s cause of death. That leaves many deaths shrouded in mystery.
But while many fans blame the journalists, Kim Dae-O says the blame belongs to the K-pop industry itself:
South Korea’s entertainment industry itself has to bear a lot of the responsibility. It treats celebrities as commodities from whom a few powerful agencies can squeeze as much income in as short a time as possible. [But] there is no easy solution.
Whether we like it or not, K-pop celebrities endure far more than they have to. And it’s time for the fans to recognize that celebrities are only human—and to treat them as such.