It has been nearly three days since International Women’s Day has passed. However, I will not be talking about International Women’s Day but I want to talk about something that recently surfaced (or to some people, resurfaced) which would have made it into a top debate on International Women’s Day 2011 about women’s rights and crimes committed against women. And I bet it would have caught the attention of concerned people from all walks of life. In case you have no idea what it is, I am talking about the Jang Ja Yeon tragedy which made headlines (to the point of resurfacing) very recently and the proof is right here in this AsiaOne news online article.
If you are wondering who is Jang Ja Yeon, she was a promising young Korean actress (For those who had watched the Korean teen soap drama, Boys Over Flowers (Korean adaptation of the famous Japanese shojo manga Hana Yori Dango), you might remember her for playing the role of a mean and annoying girl named Sunny) who could have made it big on the television and silverscreen right now in 2011. Unfortunately, her life ended tragically in suicide in 2009 which not just rocked the whole of Korea and the world but also left many wondering why would someone like her so young and full of potential had to end her life like this.
But a few days ago, her suicide case resurfaced in the news around Asia such as this article from The Straits Times and another from allkpop.com which exposed the dark and sinister side of the entertainment industry: the use of slave contracts and forcing a female star like Jang Ja Yeon into what would have been called veiled prostitution (or to some known as modern day sex slavery) as well as sexual abuse, rape and exploitation. If you are still reading this and cannot help but feel outraged and at the same time wonder about how much hell poor Jang Ja Yeon was subjected to when she was still alive, you are not alone. In fact, a member of a Korean pop band MBLAQ tweeted in response to the tragedy to show that he does not condone what those 31 men did to her.
As a blogger, I cannot help but wonder how many other girls are exploited, trapped and used (and abused) as modern-day comfort women in the Korean entertainment industry (as well as in other entertainment industries around the world). Let us all hope that the late Jang Ja Yeon gets the justice she had been trying to fight for. And let us all know that her death was and will never be in vain. At the same time, let us all hope that a tragedy like this does not repeat itself. As for the monsters who robbed her of her innocence and made her suffer, they will have to answer to God for what they had done (and shame on them!). Last but not least, this piece from The Korea Times summed it up well.
Anyway, what says you about the issue of the unknown and sinister side of entertainment industry that Jang Ja Yeon and other girls are trapped in? Do you believe that more needs to be done to prevent another ‘atrocity’ from happening within the entertainment industry? Your opinions are welcome.