November 16, 2001 19:33
Following the arrest of top actress Hwang Su-jeong for the use of methamphetamine, singer Psy has also been arrested, charged with smoking marijuana. Entertainment industry insiders are concerned that more drug-related arrests may follow.
Celebrities who have spent time in foreign countries are apparently uneasy about the news since the list of previously charged stars include Lee Hyeon-u, Sin Hae-cheol, Sin Dong-yeop, Uptown and Gang San-e, all of whom have spent time abroad. As the use of marijuana is viewed more liberally in countries like the US, stars with international experience are the targets of speculation.
Broadcasters concerns that their own reputations could be tarnished if celebrities featured on their networks are charged for the use of illegal substances. Ha Seung-bo, a producer of "Name of Rose," a show on SBS, said that if a star who is appearing on a series or a show is charged with narcotics use, the show itself will be affected by through the decline of its public image and popularity.
As the Seoul Broadcasting System had prepared a special comeback stage for Psy in time for the release of Psy's second record on Monday, his appearance has been replaced by other singers at the last minute. In addition, MBC and KBS are also perplexed as they too had planned on casting Psy on their shows.
However, while the entertainment industry agrees on a thorough crackdown on such drug abuse, insiders were not happy over the speculations and rumors with no solid evidence. One owner of a celebrity management agency objected to criticism that the entire industry is rife with drug use.
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