South Korean actor Cha In-ha is seen in this undated picture provided by his agency Fantasio. Photo: Yonhap via REUTERS

South Korean actor Cha In-ha found dead in latest K-pop tragedy

By Sangmi Cha

South Korean actor Cha In-ha was found dead in his home, police said on Wednesday, the country's third young celebrity to die in the past two months amid growing debate about the intense social pressures artists face.

While South Korea's pop culture mostly projects a wholesome image on stage and screen, it has recently been marred by a series of untimely deaths and criminal cases that revealed a darker side of the industry.

A police official told Reuters Cha, 27, was found dead on Tuesday and that the cause of the death was not immediately known.

Cha, whose real name is Lee Jae-ho, made his film debut in 2017 and was previously a member of the five-member boy band Surprise U, which released two albums.

The singer-actor had left an Instagram post the day before he was found dead, telling his fans to take care in the cold winter.

His talent agency Fantagio in a statement expressed "the deepest mourning for his passing" and asked the public and the media to refrain from spreading stories about his death.

Cha's death comes after a K-pop singer, Koo Hara, 28, was found dead at her home last month. She had been subjected to personal attacks on social media.

Her death followed the apparent suicide of a fellow K-pop idol star, Sulli, a former member of girl group f(x), in October. Sulli, 25, had spoken out against cyber bullying.

The cases have cast a dark cloud over the K-pop craze, one of South Korea's most successful soft power exports, and brought a renewed focus on personal attacks and cyber bullying of young stars that goes largely unpunished.

The industry has also been hit by a series of sex scandals. Last week, two male former K-pop band members were convicted of sexual assaults and sentenced to prison terms.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Very sad and unfortunate.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

whoever attached her on social media - sleep well?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Terrible. The social media magnifying glass is more like a laser of death... RIP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sad stuff. RIP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Starting to become an epidemic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sad to see so many young people going down this road.

projects a wholesome image on stage and screen

Clearly this writer has never seen anything K-Pop related.

asked the public and the media to refrain from spreading stories about his death

Maybe I am being negative. But it sounds as if the company is just trying to cover themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being in K Pop or otherwise a Korean celeb is getting to be a high risk occupation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don’t understand, one is always free to logout from these SNS ! Why thr hell doesn’t somebody teach this to these young talents ?

I know of many sportspersons who abstain from SNA purely to make sure that this performance on the field is not affected.

Sad to these incidents being repeated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is not social media but the industry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad. Too much pressure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the heck is going on over there? That's what, the THIRD young person in 2 months to die?

Time for the Korean industry and government to stop the pressure on these young people. They reached what they wanted - worldwide popularity, time to dial it down a bit now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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