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How Celebrities Respond to Choi-Gate Chaos 2016-12-04 오후 8:35:00

Shocked and devastated by the fact that a single individual, manipulating the president and moreover using her power to accumulate personal wealth, had been exerting unconstitutional power over their societies, the South Koreans ran out to the streets, demanding the resignation or the impeachment of the impotent president. As the president continued to show her desire to keep her position, more and more people openly revealed their disgust and dictate to the obdurate leader who does not heed to the public opinion, and the celebrities, also courageously joined the movement.

Singers portraying anger through their Songs

Shortly after the major media started to report about the Choi Sun Sil Gate issue, the well-known singer, Lee Seung Hwan, collaborating with his fellow singers—Lee Hyo Rim Jeon In Kwon, Lee Kyu Ho, Jang Pil Sun, Kim Guang Jin, Lyn, Yoon Do Hyun, Nell, Sweet Sorrow, Ha Dong Gyun, and more—released free digital album, its lyrics portraying the sorrows and shocks felt by the Korean citizens and in addition, trying to embrace the wounds of the people. The song embodies the current frustrations of the South Koreans and the hope of the people to see the better future. Along with the release of “Abandoned on the Road” (길가에 버려지다), artist San E’s “Bad Year” also exhibited his criticisms toward the current administration. San E, in his lyrics, used equivocation and pun, making the words sound like “Choi Sun Sil,” the name of the individual who have brought chaos to the Korean society. Not only that, artist Jerry.K. released his new song, "HA-YA-HEY"--Ha Ya means resignation in Korean--using parody to seize the public attention, thus ridiculing the stubbornness of the President who refused to respond to the public's demand.

Opinions through Social Networking Media

Social Networking Media, SNS, has been playing significant role in delivering the opinions of the celebrities regarding the Choi-gate issue. Regarding the fact that the President Park had used "Gil La Im" as her alias to cover her identity when visiting ChaUm hospital, another institution that was benefited from Choi's manipulation of the President, the popular composer Kim Hyeong Seok commented in his SNS: "Despite the refusal, the truth will eventually be exposed to me, and you," with the screen-captured image of the scene from drama "Secret Garden." (Gil La Im is the name of the protagonist of the drama "Secret Garden" that was popular during the period when the President Park frequently visited the hospital for uncertain purposes). Singer Jung Jin Woon, also targeted President Park and uploaded Hyun Bin's image from the drama, commenting "Is this your best?"--a famous line of the "Secret Garden."

Unfortunately, some of the celebrities who supported the protest of the people received criticisms from the supporters of President Park, known as Park-Sa-Mo (박근혜를 사랑하는 모임). Actress Kim Yoo Jung was victimized for her comment that indirectly encouraged the people to continue to protest. Some advocates of Park re-commented on her instagram that she will start boycott on the products that Kim advertised and that she hope that Kim will fail as she continue her path as an actress.

Showing through their actions

Kim Je Dong, along with several other celebrities who were enraged by the President's action, visited not only Seoul, but Busan and DaeGu to organize and lead the protest. Kim Mi Hwa and Lee Seoug Hwan organized a concert to help people to express their dissatisfaction toward the inability of Park's administration. In fact, Lee Seung Hwan, soon after the news report of the JTBC, revealing the fact that Choi had manipulated the President to exert her power over governmental issues, displayed a poster on his entertainment company building, "Dream Company," and was sued by the supporter of President Park. Despite the punishment of paying the fee, he continued to display the "Park should resign" poster.

Many celebrities also ran out to the streets to join the movement of the people. Cha In Pyo, Kim Dong Wan, DJ DOC, Lee Jun, Moon Sung Geun, Lee Gi Woo, Lee Cheng Ah and Yoo A In participated in the 5th protest, and many more supported the protest through their SNS, participating in "turning off light" movement.

Despite the continued efforts of the Korean people lead by the brave celebrities who have openly showed their political opinions, the President Park, in her 3rd speech, clearly revealed her desire not to resign. She insisted that she will stay in her position until the Congress decide for her fate. Based on current situation, it seems that the Congress's decision to impeach the President will be the only way to pacify the incensed people of South Korea.

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