The South Korean entertainment industry grounded to a halt in the wake of the Sewol ferry tragedy last month that left the people of South Korea grieving until now.
According to the Guardian.com, a ferry with more than 460 passengers on board—mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School in Ansan—capsized and sank off the coast of South Korea on their way to Jeju Island from Incheon last April 16, Wednesday.
As of this writing, 259 deaths have been confirmed, 174 people have been rescued, and 43 people are still missing according to the AsianCorrespondent.com.
Immediately after the tragic incident, the Korean entertainment industry, including broadcasters, producers, and the artists themselves, put their schedules and programs on hold to offer their condolences and show their support for the families of the victims.
Kpopstarz.com reported that the major South Korean TV networks temporarily filled their primetime drama slots with new programs.
Some of the programs that were temporarily cancelled were MBC's Cunning Single Lady, KBS's Golden Cross, and SBS's Three Days.
In addition, Soompi.com reported that the weekend variety shows and music programs from the big three TV networks were also cancelled, including SBS’s Inkigayo and Star King; KBS’s Music Bank, Immortal Songs 2, Entertainment Weekly; MBC’s Show! Music Core, We Got Married, and Infinity Challenge.
COMEBACK STATUS. Meanwhile, K-Pop idol groups also decided to delay their album release and comeback in the K-Pop scene.
The 12-member boy group EXO postponed the release of their single "Overdose" to May 7. It was scheduled to be released last April 21.
Kpopstarz.com released the statement of EXO’s management agency SM Entertainment: “The decision has been made to offer our condolences to the victims and our hopes and wishes that the missing persons will return back safely.
“We ask the fans who have been waiting for the release of the album for their understanding and patience.”
Aside from EXO, the list of May comebacks include Infinite, Beast, 2PM, Junggigo, San E, Wheesung, T-ARA's Jiyeon, and Secret's Hyosung.
Block B, on the other hand, told their fans on Twitter that their group and management team decided to cancel their comeback and album release amidst the national distaster.
A part of their tweet said, as translated in English, “On April 16, we announced that we will be temporarily postponing the release and comeback for Block B’s single Jackpot.
“However, there are missing people, casualties, and family who are suffering in the present national disaster.
“It will be difficult for the company and the members to promote the album in this situation, and therefore we decided to cancel both the release and comeback.
“The company and members all came to this difficult decision after much evaluation. We would like to sincerely apologize to the many fans who have waited all this time for Block B’s comeback.”
ì•ˆë…•í•˜ì„¸ìš". ì„¸ë¸Âì‹œì¦ŒìŠ¤ ìÅ¾…ë‹ˆë‹¤. ë¸"ëÂ½ë¹„ ì‹±ê¸€ [JACKPOT]ìÂ˜ ìÂŒì›Â ë°œë§¤ (cont) http://t.co/7IZlRZucZQ— ë¸"ëÂ½ë¹„ (@blockb_official) April 29, 2014
YELLOW RIBBON MOVEMENT. Meanwhile, other South Korean celebrities shared their thoughts on the incident through social media, including 2PM’s Taecyeon and Chansung.
Taecyeon posted on his Twitter account, as translated in English, “People who spread lies and rumors right now are not even humans.”
ì§€ê¸ˆ ê±°ì§"ê³¼ ë£¨ë¨¸ë¥¼ ë§Œë"¤ì–´ë‚´ëŠ" ì‚¬ëÅ¾Œë"¤ìÂ€ ìÂ¸ê°„ëÂ„ ì•„ë‹ˆë‹¤— taec yeon ok (@taeccool) April 20, 2014
Chansung shared his dismay over the individuals who continue to disseminate false information about the incident.
As translated in English by Allkpop.com, Chansung said, “It's very saddening and disappointing.. I don't feel so good after the accident.
“It would be like that after just the accident, but my heart hurt more because of the evil occurrences after the accident as well as the stabbing of the hearts of people who are already suffering through the spreading of unconfirmed information.
“These people... I hope they suffer as much as they caused.."
ì°¸ ìŠ¬í"„ê³ ì•ˆíƒ€ê¹Âë‹¤..ì‚¬ê³ ìÂ´í›„ë¡œ ë§˜ìÂ´ ì¢‹ì§€ ì•Šë‹¤. ì‚¬ê³ ë§Œìœ¼ë¡œëÂ„ ê·¸ë ‡ì§€ë§Œ ì‚¬ê³ ìÂ´í›„ë¡œ ìƒÂê²¨ë‚˜ëŠ" ì•…ì§ˆì ÂìÂ¸ í–‰ìœ„ë"¤ê³¼ í™•ìÂ¸ëÂ˜ì§€ ì•ŠìÂ€ ì‚¬ì‹¤ë"¤ìÂ´ ëÂŒì•„ë‹¤ë‹ˆë©° íÅ¾˜ë" ì‚¬ëÅ¾Œë"¤ìÂ˜ ë§ˆìÂŒìÂ„ ì°Œë¥´ëŠ" ê²ƒìÂ´ ëÂ" ë§˜ìÂ´ ì•„íŒ ë‹¤. ê·¸ëŸ° ì‚¬ëÅ¾Œë"¤.. ì •ë§Â ìÅ¾Âì‹ ë"¤ìÂ´ í•œ ì§"ê±°ë¦¬ë§ŒíÂ¼ ì•„í"„ê¸¸..— í™©ì°¬ì„± (@2PMagreement211) April 19, 2014
He’s Beautiful star Park Shin Hye and 2NE1’s Sandara Park joined the Yellow Ribbon Movement in social media to show support for the families of the victims.
Actress Park Shin Hye tweeted, “Please, please, I hope everything will be alright and there will be no more injuries and harms. I pray that people will come back to the arms of their loved ones.”
ì œë°œ.. ì œë°œ ë¬´ì‚¬í•˜ê¸¸.. ëÂ"ìÂ´ìƒÂ í"¼í•´ê°€ ì—†ê¸¸.. ë§Å½ìÂ€ ìÂ´ë"¤ìÂ´ ê°€ì¡±ìÂ˜ í’ˆìœ¼ë¡œ ëÂŒì•„ì˜¤ê¸¸.. ê¸°ëÂ„í•˜ê³ ë˜Â ê¸°ëÂ„í•©ë‹ˆë‹¤...— ë°•ì‹ í˜œ (@ssinz) April 18, 2014
Sandara Park, on the other hand, tweeted the hashtag #PrayForSouthKorea to express her support for the Sewol tragedy victims.
Celebrities also donated money to the families of the victims of the Sewol ferry tragedy.
Miss A’s Suzy was reported to have donated 50 million won (P2.14 million).
A JYP Entertainment representative confirmed and told CJ E&M enewsWorld, "It is true that Suzy donated," and "after disucssing it with her parents, she donated to the Life Share Association in her hometown, Gwangju, on April 22."
The talent agency representative continued, "Suzy didn't let her donation be known, so the agency had no idea.
"She wanted the donation to be made quietly, so she did so through her parents."
According to CJ E&M enewsWorld, actor Kim Soo Hyun of the hit drama You Who Came From the Stars expressed his condolences by donating 300 million won (P12.86 million) to the victims' families and the Danwon High School memorial altar.
On April 24, the Key East Entertainment, Soo Hyun’s agency stated, “Kim Soo Hyun donated 300 million won to the students of Danwon High School. He wanted to help the people who were suffering the most.”
YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk made a donation of 500 million won (P21.43 million), according to South Korean news agency Newsen.
A YG Entertainment representative told the news agency that Hyun Suk met with his executives and said, “As a parent who is raising children, I’ve fallen into grief that is beyond words as I followed the Sewol incident.
“There are no words in this world that will console the families who’ve lost their children.”
CJ E&M enewsWorld also reported that Suzy’s labelmate, Junho of 2PM, made a donation worth 30 million won (P1.29 million), TV host Kang Ho Dong donated 100 million won (P431,018), MBLAQ’s Lee Joon and San. E gave 10 million won (P428,740) each, and Park Shin Hye gave 50 million won (P2.14 million).
REGULAR PROGRAMMING. Three weeks after the tagedy, South Korean TV networks returned to their regular programming starting with their drama series.
KBS’s drama series Big Man started airing last April 28. MBC’s newest drama series A New Leaf and SBS’s Doctor Stranger are both slated this Monday, May 5, while SBS’s You’re All Surrounded airs on Wednesday, May 7.
Variety shows with exception of music programs also returned last weekend.
KBS’s Entertainment Weekly; MBC‘s We Got Married, Infinity Challenge, and Change the World Quiz; and SBS‘s Star Junior Show and Star King have all resumed last Saturday, May 3.
KBS’s Superman Returns and 1 Night, 2 Days; MBC’s Daddy! Where Are We Going?; and SBS’ Running Man and Roommates all resumed broadcast on Sunday, May 4.