9. Managers Pimp Out Their Stars
In 2009, a Korean actress named Jang Ja-yeon was found dead in her apartment. She’d committed suicide, unable to go on, as she explained in her note, with being pimped out to every executive she met. Her manager, she wrote, had been forcing her to service powerful people. If she tried to refuse, he’d beat her bloody.
The police raided her agency’s office and found, on the third floor of the building, a secret sex room hidden behind a paneled wall. They had a brothel in their office to keep VIPs entertained—and they were making their stars do the entertaining.
It was big news in South Korea, but it wasn’t an isolated incident. Two-thirds of all Korean girls in the entertainment industry say they’ve been pressured into having sex with an executive or a politician to advance their careers. In the world of Korean entertainment, this is just how things are done.
As one girl—who remained anonymous—put it, in Korea, “You have to know men in order to work.”