While COVID-19 has continued for the second year in a difficult time, various incidents shook the Korean entertainment industry in 2021. Controversy over the private lives of actors and artists made the headlines across the nation this year, and there was, luckily, some good news amidst all the chaos.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories that took the celebrity world by storm in 2021.
Squid Game’s Global Success
Squid Game, which was released back in September, has set the record for staying atop Netflix’s Top 10 chart for 53 days. It sparked a global phenomenon and acted as a springboard for viral memes and a keen interest in the cast and their personal lives.
Moreover, the smash hit show took home the trophy for Breakthrough Series – Long Format at the 2021 Gotham Awards and bagged The Binge Worthy Show of 2021 at the People’s Choice Awards.
Plus, the show is also currently nominated for three awards at the Golden Globes.
Yoon Yuh Jung from ‘Minari’
Yoon Yuh Jung won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in Minari at the 93rd Academy Awards.
She became the first Korean actress and the second Asian actress to win an Oscar after Miyoshi Umeki did with her 1957 movie Sayonara.
This year alone, she bagged a total of 42 awards at major film festivals, including the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
Brave Girls ‘Chart Reversal’
Brave Girls has established itself as a new icon of ‘Chart Reversal Queen‘ after EXID. It took four years for the Brave Girls, who had the full support of the fans, to become known to the public. Brave Girls‘ ‘Rolling‘, which made viral through a YouTube video, stayed at the top of various music charts and caused a change.
Their story, which was about to disband, also contributed to their popularity. The image of the Brave Girls, who silently walked their path with the dream of becoming a singer, came to those in their 20s and 30s as hope and comfort.
After the successful reverse run, They released another song ‘Chi Mat Ba Ram‘ which continued its popularity, surpassing 10 million views on YouTube within a day of its release. In addition, they had a busy year as they received a lot of offers from the entertainment and advertising industries.
BTS Continues Success
It is no exaggeration to say that this year is also the year of BTS. Following the release of ‘Butter‘ and ‘Permission to Dance‘, ‘My Universe‘ in collaboration with the band Coldplay filled the Hammer Billboard chart with the name of BTS.
The phenomenal boy band also took home four Billboard Music Awards and three American Music Awards. Currently, they are waiting for their first Grammy celebration after they have been featured as nominees for two consecutive years.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the popularity of BTS could not be stopped. At the offline concert ‘BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE – LA‘ held in LA, with 810,000 spectators, it recorded the sixth largest profit in the history of the Billboard box score.
The popularity of BTS, which marked a milestone in the history of the United States, continues unabated.
Controversies Over School Violence and Personal Lives
School violence controversies struck a heavy blow on the broadcasting industry this year. The premiere of Dear M, starring Park Hye Soo, was postponed indefinitely and Ji Soo was dropped from River Where the Moon Rises in the middle of its run. (G)I-DLE’s Soojin also left the group after she was accused of committing school violence.
Following the finale of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Kim Seon Ho was swept up in controversy for forcing his ex-girlfriend to get an abortion. Kim Seon Ho admitted that he is the Actor K mentioned in the article exposing his acts and apologized. He dropped out of all of his projects except for the film Sad Tropics.
Kim Jung Hyun and Seo Ye Ji also faced major crises in their acting careers after it was revealed that they were past lovers. It was revealed that Kim Jung Hyun’s departure from MBC’s Time back in 2018 was due to his relationship with Seo Ye Ji. They have both temporarily put their activities on hold due to this scandal and are currently preparing to make TV returns as of now.
Controversy Over the Distortion of History
Two of the fictional historical drama series, Mr. Queen and Joseon Exorcist, sparked debate over its inaccurate historical narrative. Mr. Queen had to suspend all VOD services after its finale and Joseon Exorcist was canceled after airing just two episodes.
Furthermore, Snowdrop, which had been embroiled in controversy over its alleged distortion of history even before it premiered, is getting international attention as the viewer’s worries came true.