A 21-year-veteran of the industry, Kim Dong Wan from Shinhwa recently took to Instagram to post a message that’s connected to recent news about Sulli, talking about the state of how mental health is treated within the industry.
When an athlete suffers a ligament injury, even in cases when recovery by conservative treatment or rehabilitation is possible, they are usually advised to receive surgery despite the potential aftereffects. This is because the treatment period that follows an injury is included in their contracts. With the surge in media outlets and celebrities, there are more and more things that they are forcing each other to do. There are so many adults who expect young [celebrities] to show bright and healthy smiles when they can’t eat or sleep properly. They expect [the celebrities] to be sexy but not have sex and to be tough but not fight with anyone. Many junior celebrities are agonizing over how big of an illness they want to carry in their hearts for the sake of the sweet taste of money and status. So many papers and reports are telling us how convenient and fast psychoactive drugs are and how many side effects and aftereffects they bring about. We must no longer stand by and watch people offer substances because they were asked to or because they need a quick solution. We cannot overlook the fact that the complacent actions taken by large agencies can bring about a contagious disease that is spread without contact.
Not sure if anything aside from losing money will actually get the industry to change or the government to make a change for them, but people like Kim Dong Wan speaking up about this en masse would certainly help. Not everybody has the ability to literally fight the power and win as they did, but people talking openly and honestly about it is a start.
Basically it sounds like he’s calling for more of a big picture overhaul of how companies go about their business and how the public look at idols rather than focusing on finding a scapegoat to blame so everybody can just move on. To me, that is definitely the right approach, but it’s also a more difficult thing to change so hopefully others follow even though I doubt it.