Welcome to our special edition of What’s Up in Dramaland, with Professor CedarBough Saeji. We ask CedarBough to share her thoughts on the bullying scandals, how dramas compare with real life, and what the role of fandom is during times of moral crisis.
00:02:17: Introducing Professor CedarBough Saeji
00:04:33: Perceptions and prevalence of bullying in Korean schools
00:06:03: Overview of actors accused of school violence
00:13:27: The difficulties presented by S. Korean defamation laws
00:15:44: The celebrity-corporate ecosystem, and the socioeconomic value of a clean reputation
00:21:54: What do accusers want from the accused? Who else has a stake in the outcome of these allegation, and how does it affect the investigation?
00:25:23: Why now, and why is bullying such a hot button issue with the general public? What does society and “the discourse” owe to victims?
00:30:44: Hierarchy as a societal problem, and school life as the learning ground for negotiating pecking order
00:36:04: Competition and academic success: who becomes a bully in Korean schools, and what has celebrity got to do with it?
00:45:13: As a fan, what is an appropriate response to have when you learn about the wrongdoings of an actor you like?
00:51:26: International fandom, and doubling down on expectations of celebrity perfection
00:53:21: Is there a path to redemption after celebrity wrongdoing? How to make a comeback, and gender differences
00:58:05: How jealousy moves mountains: the Tablo scandal, and struggling to survive “Hell Joseon”
01:01:01: How should dramas themselves/the industry respond? Situating ourselves as fans and outsiders
01:05:06: Concluding remarks
LINKS AND READING:
Professor CedarBough Saeji:
- The Seungri Scandal and South Korea’s Gender Disparity
- South Korea’s Corruption, Exposed by Burning Sun
- CedarBough on Youtube
- Cedarbough on Twitter
- In the News: Korean Celebrity, Ethnic Nationalism, and Beauty Ideals
- Just beautiful people holding a bottle: The driving forces behind South Korea’s love of celebrity endorsement
- The Tablo Scandal [Stanford Magazine]
- Further reading referenced in the episode: Shin, Haerin (2015). Tablo and Spectatorship. Choi, J.B. & Maliangkay, R. K-Pop – The International Rise of the Korean Music Industry (Ch. 15). Routledge.
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This episode was edited by Saya.