The Burning Sun Controversy: Unraveling the Full Story
It began a few weeks ago with BIGBANG’s Seungri and reports of illegal activity in his club, initially from a fight breaking out and lack of police action. But the story has grown into something unbelievable—straight out of a crime K-Drama plot. With information still being held back for the investigation, a myriad of rumors have been coming out that implicate members of FTISLAND and even ZICO, revealing a tangled web of corruption and illegality. In light of the rumors, we’re going to take a deep dive into the confirmed issues surrounding Seungri and singer Jung Joonyoung.
The Beginnings at Burning Sun
The basis of the incident began on November 24 at Seungri’s club, Burning Sun. A victim by the name of Mr. Kim claimed that a woman who was being sexually harassed grabbed his attention then hid behind him. After asking the security guard for help, he was beaten up by the guards and what he claims were their “friends.” There is video evidence of this. He was then dragged off to a police station and was assaulted by the police as well. It was this incident that Seungri first apologized for on Instagram on February 2, claiming that he hadn’t been at the club the night of the incident. Additional reports began to come out about violence and drug abuse at the club, of which he claimed he had no knowledge, but says he will cooperate with the investigation. Amidst the investigation, there is confirmation that Burning Sun has been bribing the police. Burning Sun proceeds to be shut down, and amidst all this, the Kakaotalk conversations that we are all unfortunately now familiar with were leaked.
These conversations shone light on some of the things for which Seungri is guilty. In these messages, he’s seen setting up VIP clients with prostitutes, which both Seungri and his agency YG Entertainment denied when these messages came to light. However, the police confirmed that the messages were real and not tampered with. Along with the messages involving prostitution, messages were also found by a whistleblower on Jung Joonyoung’s phone that showed a group chat between the two and several other celebrities that shared hidden camera photos and videos of women the members had previously been involved with, without their consent. Since the group chat was deemed legitimate by authorities, Seungri announced his retirement from the entertainment industry, and has since been banned from leaving the country. YG’s stocks have absolutely plummeted, and their biggest investor has backed out from investing in the company. As of March 13, in an effort for the company to save face, YG has terminated their contract with Seungri.
Jung Joonyoung is the only other person that has been confirmed to have been involved in the group chat regarding hidden cameras. The evidence was found on his phone when he turned it in for repairs, and given to the authorities by a whistleblower who saw the contents of the phone. In the messages, Joonyoung is seen making light of cases of rape, where videos of girls who are likely drugged and unconscious are presented to him. There has also been additional information in the chats discussing criminal acts, such as possible intention of rape and drugging victims. As of the time of this article being written, Joonyoung has been booked on charges, and will be considered a main suspect as investigations continue. The chances of him getting out of this without jail time are significantly low, but the chances that he’s totally innocent are even lower. There’s no time to believe he’s innocent anymore, as he has come out on his own and admitted to his crimes, likely not because of actual guilt, but to save face after getting caught.
Who Else is Behind it?
So far the other suspected members, Yong Junhyung of HIGHLIGHT, Lee Jonghyun of CNBLUE, Roy Kim, and Lee Hongki and Choi Jonghoon of FTISLAND (among other non-celebrities), have either denied involvement themselves or had their agencies release information denying involvement. Roy Kim is not involved, and it came to light that rumors of his involvement were started by netizens. The police have confirmed that others are involved, but the names have yet to come out so far and have been left to speculation.
But it is not just celebrities that are involved. As guilty as Seungri is for his hand in prostitution, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him as being used as a scapegoat by higher-ups with more money and more influence. The clients that he was providing prostitutes for are just as guilty, and it’s been a well-known problem in Korea that illegal activities from prostitution to drug use have been an issue in nightclubs. Police corruption is another known problem that is once again being brought to light in this case, with evidence now spanning as far back as 2016. You’ll find a lot more in-depth information in the following Twitter thread that will explain the gravity of this controversy and how Seungri and Joonyoung are just the tip of the iceberg on a mammoth of a scandal.
This case is still in its early stages of being revealed, which means that a lot more surprising information is likely to come out in the coming weeks that could possibly be even more upsetting. It's hard to believe with what we already know, but it is totally possible that some of our other beloved group members could end up being guilty as well. This entire ordeal has been difficult for Seungri, BIGBANG, and Jung Joonyoung fans, and it’s possible that it could affect even more of us in our respective K-Pop fandoms going forward. I predict that even more shocking cases of criminal activity will come to light in the coming days and weeks, and everyone should be prepared for the names that can be leaked in that time. This is only the beginning of a very deep and dark scheme that likely transcends the idol industry. Buckle in and get ready for a wild ride.