[Weekly Digest: May 16-22] LE SSERAFIM’s Kim Ga-ram takes break due to bullying scandal...'The Roundup' hits 2 mln viewers on fourth day of release

연합뉴스 / 2022-05-22 07:00:34
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by Ra Hwak Jin / Kim Sun Min

▲ This photo, provided by Source Music, shows LE SSERAFIM's Kim Ga-ram. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


◇ LE SSERAFIM to temporarily perform as 5-member group excluding 'bullying scandal' Kim Ga-ram 

K-pop rookie girl group LE SSERAFIM, which has faced a crisis due to the member Kim Ga-ram’s bullying scandal, decided to perform as a 5-member group for a while.

The agency Source Music said through the fan community Weverse on Friday afternoon, “After we discussed with Kim Ga-ram, the singer decided to temporarily halt the schedules and focus on caring herself,” adding, “LE SSERAFIM will perform as a 5-member group for a while until Kim returns after her recovery.”

There have been allegations against Kim Ga-ram for bullying her friend ‘A’ in 2018, when she was in middle school, and the singer is currently facing a crisis as the photo of the “Notice of School Violence Committee Results” was revealed.

▲ This photo, provided by Source Music, shows LE SSERAFIM's Kim Ga-ram. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The victim A said in a statement revealed through the law firm Daeryun on Thursday, “I was bullied by Kim Ga-ram and her friends in late April to early May in 2018 and later transferred to another school because I couldn't stand the continued abuse."

In particular, as it was confirmed that the victim A sent the related certification contents to HYBE(Source Music) through the law firm on Apr. 21, which was before LE SSERAFIM’s debut, the response of the agency, which denied the rumors as a “malicious slander,” has come under fire.


However, Source Music aggressively refuted the statement by saying “Kim Ga-ram was the victim of school violence as well.” It highlighted, “’A’ took pictures of a friend taking her clothes off and publicly posted them on the social media page of the other friend,” adding, “Kim Ga-ram and her friends were furious about the behavior and complained, but there weren’t any physical abuse.”

The agency also said, "We have already begun to take legal action against the cases where the evidence has been secured among false information," adding, "We will secure evidence for the rest of the cases and take additional legal measures."

Meanwhile, LE SSERAFIM canceled the schedules for KBS 2TV's "Music Bank” and fan sign event, where the members were set to appear on May 20, due to such controversy over school violence. 




▲ This photo, provided by ABO Entertainment, shows "The Roundup." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

◇'The Roundup' attracts 2 million viewers on fourth day of release

S. Korean crime action film "The Roundup” starring Ma Dong-seok has surpassed two million cumulative viewers on May 21, which is the fourth day of its release.

The distribution company ABO Entertainment announced that “The Roundup” garnered 2,001,105 cumulative audiences on Saturday at 12:30.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (also known as Doctor Strange 2)" which has been at the top of the box since its release on May 4, fell to the second place with the release of "The Roundup." The cumulative number of audience was 5,144,000 until Thursday, which is close to the cumulative number of "Doctor Strange" with 5,446,000.


▲ This photo, provided by ABO Entertainment, shows "The Roundup." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

“The Roundup” marks the highest record among the S. Korean films that have been released for the last three years. The film has set record higher than that of the movie “Deliver Us from Evil,” which attracted two million viewers on the fifth day of its release in 2019.

The film depicts the story of Detective Ma Seok-do(Ma Dong-seok) heading to Vietnam to extradite a suspect only to find out about additional murder cases involving an unknown killer Kang Hae-sang(Son Seok-koo), who has committed crimes against tourists for many years.

Meanwhile, various works including "Song of the Poet" and "Land and Housing," "Mass," which depicts the parents of school violence victims, and the French Romantic Comedy "The Speech" have been released ahead of the weekend.




▲ In this AFP photo, South-Korean director and actor Lee Jung-jae (C), and actors Jung Woo-Sung (L) and Jung Man-sik (R) arrive for the screening of the film "Hunt" during the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 19, 2022. (Yonhap)

◇Lee Jung-jae makes directorial debut with 'Hunt' at Cannes

"Squid Game" star Lee Jung-jae made his directorial debut with the espionage action thriller "Hunt," which premiered at the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Friday.

At Grand Theatre Lumiere, the main venue of the world's most prestigious film festival, "Hunt" was first shown as part of the non-competition Midnight Screening section and received a three-minute standing ovation.

Lee, who also starred in the movie, and lead actor Jung Woo-sung stood together and thanked the audience, who clapped and cheered for the 131-minute film that depicts the intelligence war between South and North Koreas during the military regime in the 1980s.

▲ This photo, provided by Megabox Plus M, shows a scene from "Hunt." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Hunt" is a story about two rival intelligence agents in South Korea, Pyong-ho (Lee) and Jung-do (Jung), who separately chase after a North Korean spy leaking top secret information that could jeopardize national security. But finally the two discover a plot to assassinate the South Korean president.

It is Lee's first film where he works behind the camera in his 30-year acting career, during which he has starred in about 40 films and TV series. He also wrote the script of his maiden film.


▲ This photo, provided by Megabox Plus M, shows the poster of "Hunt." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

He said his film seems to focus on the decadeslong inter-Korean conflict, but he tried to shed light on the past wrongdoings committed by a few to instigate people to make fake news, propaganda or political manipulation.

"This movie is not only about what happens in Korea but also about stopping all conflicts in the world," he said. "I like to think that this film is more about people who are working to right their ill-conceived ideologies, rather than to tell a story about North and South Korea."


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