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Korean Entertainment Comes To A Halt In the Wake Of A National Tragedy

By Staff Reporter | April 18, 2014 04:07 AM EDT


With the rescue operations for the Se Wol ferry's shipwreck stymied by operational miscues, the Korean entertainment industry made an unilateral decision to shut down until the situation is improved.

Korean ferry Se Wol crashed on April 16th near South Jeonju. The current analysis is that there will be more death and casualty than previously anticipated, with some 200 passengers missing and expected to have deceased. When the news was first released, the general consensus was that rescue operations will go smoothly and the incident will be resolved in a few days. However, the situation turned for the worst, and the Korean entertainment industry has decided a shut-down of sorts in an effort to show their support for the families of the victims as well as to stay ready to broadcast any news of the tragedy.

Broadcasting companies stopped the airing of all drama and entertainment shows until further notice. MBC's "Cunning Single Lady", KBS's "Golden Cross", and SBS's "Three Days" were all replaced by real-time news reports. MBC's "Radio Star" and SBS's "Oh My Baby" was also canceled. Such cancellations are expected to continue at least until Friday.

The news programs for all three major TV stations received unprecedented high ratings. Nielsen Korea released a report that said KBS' "9 O'Clock News" had a 16.5% rating. The combined rating of all three TV stations' news program was 39.7%.

As the situation is serious, news programs and its anchors are being scrutinized against sensational journalism. A JTBC anchor was called out for asking a high school student, "Did you know your friend died?" Amid harsh criticism, news anchor Son Suk Hee solemnly apologized, saying, "We will not make any excuses but learn from our mistakes. We apologize sincerely."

Weekend programs are shutting down as well, including "SNL Korea", "Comedy Big League", and "M! Countdown". Disaster-themed movies are also being made unavailable for the weekend.

K-Pop is also responding to the situation by forgoing comeback stages and events. Block B decided to postpone the release of their single "Jackpot". Block B tweeted, "Our song is a happy song about celebration, and unfortunately the timing is not right for us to celebrate on the stage, especially in the wake of a national tragedy. We will postpone the release to an undecided future date." JungGiGo also delayed his album release.

A Pink cancelled their fan meeting scheduled for April 19th. They stated, "It would be right for us to enjoy our fans and sing with them in the wake of such tragedy. We will postpone this event until further notice, and we humbly apologize to our fans."

EXO also did right in the sight of the Korean people by cancelling their comeback stages which were scheduled for this week. There is a good chance that they will also delay the release of their single "Overdose". EXO's delay is expected to bring a chain-reaction of delays to the upcoming releases and other comeback stages as well.

Because the movie industry runs on a tight schedule, all the films will be released on schedule. However, all the regular events and things that the stars do for publicity are all being cancelled.

Various weekend events, including actress Jun Ji Hyun's event with Fissler Korea, are being cancelled.

Celebrities, including Rainbow BLAXX Jaekyung, Solbi, and actor Song Seung Hun are reaching out and showing concern through various means, including Facebook and Twitter.

JTBC's Son Suk Hee, who is known to keep his emotions under control, could not keep his tears down during his interview with an engineer who told him the chance of there being survivors are slim to none. 

Tagged :  Block B, Jackpot, Junggigo, A Pink, EXO, overdose, Jun Ji Hyun, Cunning Single Lady, Golden Cross, Three Days


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