Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
Newly emerging South Korean actor Cha In-Ha has been found dead on Tuesday. The South Korean entertainment industry has been racked by several suspected suicides in the past two months from two previous celebrities. Police are investigating the cause of death of the 27- year-old. As of now, no details have been revealed. Cha’s acting career began in 2017 with a short film called, You, Deep Inside of Me. He was a member of an actor group, Surprise U, that was headed by entertainment company Fantagio. His last post on Instagram was captioned, “Everybody,Watch Out” according to the South China Morning Post.
Cha’s death is the third death to plague the notorious South Korean entertainment industry within two months. This news comes after the suspected suicides of two K-pop celebrities, Sulli, 25 and Goo Hara, 28, both of whom committed suicide a month apart of each other. “Their fall can be as sudden and as dramatic as their rise to the height of fame,” said Lee Hark-joon, a South Korean journalist. “Theirs is a profession especially vulnerable to psychological distress, they are scrutinized on social media around the clock, and fake news about their private lives is spread instantly.” Their deaths indicate what has been called a toxic fan culture, as most of these artists are subjected to online abuse that goes unchecked.
Those deaths demonstrate the intense pressure that K-pop stars go through. Earlier throughout the year the popular K-pop band, BTS underwent a month long break from the industry, with their management saying that break would allow them to “enjoy their normal lives as normal twentysomething young men,” according to The Guardian. Also, according to the Hyundai Research Institute, the band is worth 3.5 billion annually to South Korea’s economy. Stating that they would have “extended period of rest and relaxation” to “recharge and refresh as musicians and creators.” While the K-pop industry demonstrates a wholesome image in public, behind the scenes it has been plagued with personal attacks, sexual abuse and concurrently, suicide. The K-pop groups BTS and Blackpink became increasingly vocal on mental health issues addressing the suicides of other K-pop members. As South Korean music and movies are becoming more noticeable internationally, documentaries and articles regarding the dark side of the Korean entertainment industry are becoming increasingly frequent, as well as a study of the World Health Organization that has conducted a study that reveals South Korea’s rankings as having the world’s 10th highest suicide rate in the world.
Cha’s last post on social media was the night before his death. He posted on his Instagram account a post with the caption “Everybody, watch out”. He was found dead the next morning in his apartment by his manager. Police are investigating and have not yet revealed the reason as to why or how he died. It has been advised by the public to not come up with any rumor regarding his death until after the coroner’s results, according to his family’s wishes. Stay tuned to find out the toxicology report.