K-pop industry should value safety over money amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/24 18:48:40

Tifa Chen Inset: K-pop band BTS Photos: IC

The number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea has been increasing day by day, but this dire situation is not being given any priority in the country when it comes to the entertainment industry. The K-pop industry continues to operate as usual and many stars still have busy schedules.

Since performances like concerts and overseas tours have a high likelihood of helping spread the virus, the entire K-pop industry should follow in the footsteps of China's entertainment industry and suspend all operations until COVID-19 is eliminated.

No more work, no more events and all K-pop stars should quietly stay at home like most Chinese stars have been doing to protect their own safety and the safety of others.

The latest report from South Korea said that 161 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 833 and seven deaths.

Prime Minister of South Korea Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday called the outbreak of the deadly virus a serious situation and said the government will do all it can to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, according to reports, on Saturday South Korean girl band Blackpink held a concert in the Fukuoka Dome, which can hold more than 50,000 people.

The concert enraged some Chinese netizens, who took to China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo to criticize the band's management company for endangering their idols' health.

"Our four girls did not wear any protection masks and performed for several hours in a confined space with a huge number of people. It was so dangerous!" one Chinese netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

"We are so worried about them," a Chinese Blackpink fan who asked to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Monday. 

"We hope they can wear masks any time they are in public," she said.

However, photos posted online show member Lisa going without a mask while heading to South Korea's Incheon International Airport to fly to Italy for Milan Fashion Week.

K-pop stars should learn from China's celebrities in this time of crisis. During the lockdown in China, stars have been turning to livestreaming to interact with fans and even film TV shows. 

Besides livestreams, many Chinese stars have been uploading vlogs shot at home to share their daily lives with netizens. These videos have been positively received and is something South Korean celebrities should consider. 

Recently, the South Korean film The Flu went viral on Chinese social media for its similarities to the COVID-19 outbreak. If any country should recognize how important it is to avoid the tragedy in the film from becoming real, it is South Korea.


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