WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 27-year-old Korean actor who was found dead in his house is the third young Korean celebrity to die within three months.
- His death comes after two other K-pop stars died in their homes from suspected suicides.
- Such deaths have sparked criticisms from various media outlets that described the Korean entertainment environment as grim and extremely ‘pressurized.’
South Korean actor Cha In-ha has unexpectedly died in his home at the age of 27, becoming the third Korean star to die within a period of three months. At this time, circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been revealed.
Popularly known for his cheerful image, Cha had only recently started to see his career flourish as he landed major several roles in big Korean dramas, one of which is the TV drama series ‘Love with Flaws’.
His passing comes as the latest in a string of celebrity tragedies in the country. K-pop stars Sulli, 25, and Goo Hara, 28, were found dead in their homes in October and November, respectively. Police have ruled out foul play and both deaths were treated as suspected suicides.
A report on Cha’s death from Variety notes the “pressurized and dispiriting” system in the South Korean entertainment industry where pressure comes from demanding managers and harassment from fans who brutally criticize them online.
Echoing these views, Forbes also pointed out that aside from being criticized for serious offenses like drug or alcohol use, many k-pop celebrities are scolded in social media for dating, gaining weight, or giving unfavorable opinions. This is why South Korean web portals Kakao Corp. and Navar are planning to implement changes on their opinion sharing platforms.
In Goo Hara and Sulli’s case, both were victims of vicious cyber bullying, according to media reports. In addition, Goo Hara was also dealing with a lawsuit against a former partner who sexually assaulted her then threatened to damage her career by releasing a sex video. He was later sentenced to jail for one year and six months. At this time, Goo’s agency also ended her contract.
It’s not yet known if Cha has faced similar issues. It was revealed that hours before his death, the actor had posted one last selfie on Instagram.
His agency has requested fans to stop spreading rumors and speculations about Cha’s death as well as to not release speculative reports so his family can mourn in peace.