Zico Faces Criticism After BBC’s Documentary on the ‘Burning Sun Scandal’

On the 19th, the BBC released a documentary titled “Burning Sun: The Women Who Exposed the K-Pop Stars’ Secret Chatrooms.” The documentary reignited backlash towards singer Zico.

The documentary covers the ‘Burning Sun scandal,’ which involves former BIGBANG member Seungri and singers Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon from FT Island.

These artists were implicated in crimes such as sexual assault and illegal filming and distribution of videos.

Following the documentary’s release, Zico’s social media posts were flooded with comments related to the scandal:

“Your friend’s golden phone was on BBC News.”

“Explain the golden phone.”

“What did you see on Jung Joon Young’s golden phone? Share it with us.”

“I watched the BBC Burning Sun documentary.”

“What was on the golden phone that you read so thoroughly?”

Back in January 2016, three years before the Burning Sun scandal broke, Zico appeared on the MBC variety show ‘Radio Star’ and mentioned, “Jung Joon-young has a ‘golden phone.’” He explained that it wasn’t a regular phone but one used only for emergencies and KakaoTalk. He likened it to a “Pokémon directory” with many contacts saved.

During the show, Zico asked Jung Joon Young, “You don’t have that anymore, right?” Jung Joon Young replied, “I still have it. Zico comes to my house and asks, ‘Where’s the golden phone?’ He lies on the bed and reads it like it’s his own.” Jung Joon Young added that Zico would search contacts in the phone alphabetically.

Although Zico didn’t provide a detailed explanation for calling it the “golden phone,” the show portrayed it as a directory of Jung Joon Young’s contacts.

After Jung Joon Young was found guilty of illegally filming and distributing videos, Zico’s comments resurfaced. He clarified, “The story about the phone I mentioned on the show has nothing to do with this unfortunate incident.”

He added, “All I saw on that phone was a list of contacts, and I haven’t been in touch with Jung Joon-young for a long time. Please refrain from making hasty assumptions. I will take strong action against malicious comments and the spreading of false information.”

Zico was not implicated in the Burning Sun scandal or the illegal filming and distribution activities involving Jung Joon Young.

However, shortly after the controversy resurfaced, Zico performed at Yonsei University’s festival. This led to numerous online posts expressing discomfort, with comments like, “Inviting Zico is an embarrassment for the school,” and “Did it have to be Zico?” Some students even put up posters on campus criticizing the decision.

Inha University Consumer Studies professor Lee Eun-hee commented, “Inviting singers to university festivals indirectly uses students’ money through tuition fees and student union dues. Expressing opinions against thoughtlessly inviting individuals who have caused social controversy is reasonable from a consumer standpoint.”

What are your thoughts on this situation?



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