The fierce controversy has given internet users enough fodder to clap for a few more weeks. However, one crucial aspect is being ignored – mental health! Read on to find out.

All it takes is a Google search to find articles with the most sensational headlines and click-bait content! “Scandal” is a term used indulgently by South Korean tabloids when a problem is reported. Scandal broke out when actor Kim Jung Hyun was discovered by Mr. Queen with his “Crash Landing On You” co-star, Seo Ji Hye. A paparazzi publication stated that the former co-stars were lovers in real life and that Kim Jung Hyun was planning to join his girlfriend’s agency. Culture Depot, Seo Ji Hye’s agency, strongly denied dating rumors but confirmed that Kim Jung Hyun I did indeed attempt to sign an exclusive contract with them.

Kim Jung Hyun’s agency launched a tirade against the actor, revealing that they had made painstaking efforts to cover up his scandals. For the uninitiated, Kim Jung Hyun was heavily criticized during the press conference of her 2018 drama Time for his rude behavior towards member of the Girls’ Generation, Seohyun. The actor then left the show, citing eating and sleeping disorders. The subject was forgotten as both artists moved on from this disastrous experience. O & Entertainment revealed that Kim Jung Hyun’s behavior was unprofessional and reminded him that they tried to cover up his “problems with girlfriends” during the making of Time.

All hell broke loose when Dispatch Korea went a step further and revealed that the “girlfriend” in question was actress Seo Yea Ji, who manipulated Kim Jung Hyun into being rude to Seohyun. Dispatch Korea leaked private chats between them in which Seo Yea Ji instructs Kim Jung Hyun to be rude to everyone on set, especially Seohyun, and not to shoot romantic scenes with her. Kim Jung Hyun plays the “sweet and obedient” friend who follows her instructions to the tee and even describes himself as “stiff Kim”. The leaked chats became a major topic of discussion among internet users and K-Drama fans around the world. The international media had a local day dealing with the actors’ private lives and trying to extract scandalous information about them.

Several former workers went on a witch hunt against Seo Yea Ji for allegations of bullying and school violence. Suddenly there were “blind things” about being a dominant friend who cheated on several men, a woman who uses and discards men for pleasure and controls them. Multiple rumors have it that actor Kim Jung Hyun was mentally tortured and molested, driving him almost to the point of no return!

The reactions to Kim Jung Hyun were slightly sympathetic. Internet users pitied him for being the victim of a friend’s “bad witch” and some mocked him for not being manly enough to overpower them. “Why didn’t he just break up with her?” Was the most common rhetoric that went around like Chinese whispers. Seo Yea Ji finally canceled the premiere of her film and retired into a cocoon. After a belated silence, Seo Yea Ji’s Gold Medalist agency released a statement clarifying their stance. They expressed their contempt for Dispatch Korea’s role in the scandal and apologized to Seo Yea Ji’s fans. Kim Jung Hyun also wrote a heartfelt apology for the mistreatment of Seohyun to the staff of his drama Time and his former agency O & Entertainment. He also apologized to Culture Depot for dragging her through this mess.

This is all that has happened in those few days, and it’s just the whole point. The outer layer of what we, the audience, know. Only those affected know the real truth. The question, however, is: is anyone even concerned about learning the truth? Everyone wants a piece of gossip, something to talk about. I remember the moment when the controversy broke out and my phone couldn’t stop humming when all of my friends sent me a message regarding the controversy. I’ve been part of the juiciest discussions on WhatsApp where the matter has been debated, debated and sided.

Instagram and Twitter were full of past images, alleged information, and slander. Everyone has been so busy enjoying the food from this junk that we are largely ignoring the most important thing that needs to be bought to get out – mental health. Almost immediately they all split into two teams – Team Kim Jung Hyun versus Team Seo Yea Ji. Nobody cared to know the glaring and only truth staring right into our souls is total disregard for mental health.

Everyone involved – Dispatch Korea, the actors, agencies, internet users and opportunists were busy doing dirty laundry in public and completely forgot to learn important lessons from this pointless, viral controversy. First of all, I consider it a criminal offense to post private chats about someone in a public forum. It is a violation of information technology and an individual’s privacy. How did Dispatch Korea get these leaked chats? Who allowed you to post these chats in public? How do you get away with it so easily? Shipping Korea has put many people’s lives on the line for a few extra hits. It is a shameful crime and Dispatch Korea should be held accountable for it.

Kim Jung Hyun suffered from eating and sleeping disorders, which left his mental health in poor condition. Seo Yea Ji must have gone through great agony and trauma dealing with this vicious witch hunt against her. Actress Seohyun was drawn into someone else’s chaos through no fault of her own and had to grapple with painful feelings from her past as old wounds were reopened. I admit it is a scandal, but public scandals have serious and irreversible effects. I believe that media agencies, especially social media, should act with restraint and sensitivity at such times. Disaster management should be done quickly and effectively before a problem spreads like wildfire. It is important to be sensitive and understanding about everyone’s mental health, including that of celebrities. We never know the personal battles they are fighting in their lives, and we should by no means turn social media platforms into a testing ground for judging people. Be polite.

ALSO READ: Kim Jung Hyun publishes a handwritten letter of apology for his temporary misconduct

What do you think of our point? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.

Do you think mental health has been compromised on this matter? Yes, fans and media were insensitive to understanding the problem.

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