The Korean Entertainment Management Association as well as three other industry related organizations have released a joint statement against removing celebrities from projects based on bullying allegations. The organizations who have signed under the statement include the Korean Entertainment Management Association, the Korean Entertainment Producers Association, the Association of Korean Drama Producers and the Korea Federation of Popular Culture and Arts.

Firstly, the organizations apologized for the issues regarding school violence and pledge to stand by victims in the case that the accusations are proved to be true. However, they appeal to the public to refrain from acting against celebrities based on unconfirmed rumors, citing damage to the industry and relevant crew.

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Celebrities that have been embroiled in school bullying rumors. | DongA

Firstly, we bow our heads in apology. We are in deeper regret than anyone else for the fact that a portion of pop culture artistes (to be referred to as celebrities from here on) have been embroiled in criticism from the community over school violence issues that occurred in their schooling days.

Even if they had been immature and young before they became celebrities, the harsh wounds caused to the victims are ones that will not be able to be taken back and the reality is that they will require lots of time to heal. We offer our condolences to every one who was been damaged by this. In addition, if the matter appears to be true, we believe that the responsibility ought to lie with the celebrities wholly.

However, we wish to appeal that the recent situations do not only affect the celebrities who have been exposed for their wrongdoing, but also will affect the industry of popular culture as a whole. Hence, we are desperately requesting the benevolent understanding of the public.

Firstly, regarding the acting activities for celebrity perpetrators. If they suddenly withdraw from the program in the middle, re-filming is inevitable as the existing footage has to be voided. This will cause huge distress to the crew who worked hard on the project as well as the other celebrities involved.

That is not all. The huge costs of producing the programs are also wasted, creating another problem. This will lead to losses for companies that are involved such as the broadcasting stations, the producers and the entertainment industries. I hope that you will not see this as a light issue as it gives a huge blow to the Korean pop culture industry, and that you will take into account the damages and duress it delivers to the industry as well.

This goes to say, it is absolutely not so that we are against the exposing of celebrities that commit school violence. However, without strict investigations of the truth, it will cause a fatal blow to both the celebrities and the industry. Rather, as we recognize the seriousness of the matter, we hope that these matters may be reasonably solved in a trustworthy way, such that no unnecessary harm will occur.

Firstly, we will be active in helping heal the pain of the victims. If the celebrity is found out to be truly at fault, we will stand in the victims’ shoes and do our best to solve the matter.

Secondly, the industry will be active in preparing countermeasures as well as means for self-reflection. We will expound on educating celebrities on social responsiblities and obligations through the relevant organizations.

Thirdly, regarding baseless rumors, we will be calmly and carefully responding to matters so as to minimize the damage to the industry and to protect the artists involved. If celebrities are accused falsely, we will be doing our best fo resolve the misunderstanding and to protect the honor of the relevant parties by explaining the confirmed facts to the public.

— The Korean Entertainment Management Association, the Korean Entertainment Producers Association, the Association of Korean Drama Producers and the Korea Federation of Popular Culture and Arts

Lastly, the organization also makes a request to the press and media, asking them to refrain from making unilateral claims that will damage the industry and celebrities involved. They also pleaded with broadcasting companies and producing firms to reconsider any hasty decisions to drop celebrities based on public suspicion.