Idol “bar rooms” under controversy in Korea

Article: “60 million won per episode” Celebrity ‘drinking room’ under controversy… Is there a reason why they can’t quit?

Source: Herald Economy

Celebrity ‘bar rooms‘ are becoming a source of controversy in Korea.

Sulbang‘ a YouTube broadcast where famous celebrities and idols appear and chat while drinking all sorts of alcohol including beer, soju, wine, and makgeolli are causing controversy. In just 4 months, a YouTube channel ‘Sweet Hyung‘ with broadcaster Shin Dong-yeop has surpassed 1 million subscribers surpassing mukbangs (eating shows). 

Talk entertainment shows that naturally encourage drinking such as Kian84’s “Drinking View’ and Jo-Hyunah’s ‘Thursday Night’ are very popular these days. The most popular video on YouTube this year was the drinking broadcast ‘Chajung-Karina‘ with 16.64 million views as of October. 

Money is also flowing into liquor stores. As YouTuber drinking shows with famous celebrities become popular recording millions of views, liquor companies are also competing to launch PPL ads. For popular channels, CF costs per episode range from 50-60 million won. 

After it was pointed out that the ‘Sulbang’ craze is exceeding a dangerous level, the government recently targeted these broadcasts and issued new guidelines to “minimize access of this content to minors. In scenes that glorify drinking, broadcasters should inform of the harmfulness through warning signs, etc.”

It’s pointed out that the sight of famous celebrities drinking and chatting amicable in a comfortable atmosphere can create a distorted perception of drinking. In particular, many of YouTube users are kids or teenagers. There is also a growing concern among parents who stated, “Mukbang is problematic already but now Sulbangs too?!”

Government regulations are limited to “recommendations” and not “mandatory.” Unlike broadcasting, there is virtually no way for the government to regulate YouTube.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare stated, “There are many scenes of drinking in video content featuring famous celebrities and influencers. But since it cannot be regulated by law, we are urging voluntary self-restraint.”

  1. [+4,088, -1,513] Shin Dongyeop-ssi, you’ve made a lot of money already, as a public figure you should quit with sulbangs! I know you have some level of awareness of intelligence. Would you like it if your kids started drinking because of sulbangs? You’re someone with good character and huge social influence. I like drinking too but stop happily drinking alcohol doing sulbangs!!
  2. [+1,340, -233] He has since forgotten his duties as a public figure. Kick him out of public broadcasting! We as a society can help him start a new life as a YouTuber. Kick out all bar mukbang YouTubers!!
  3. [+850, -86] I seriously don’t understand watching a mukbang or sulbang..
  4. [+598, -31] These are people who make money from celebrities but are living as beggars themselves..
  5. [+469, -51] This is what happens when you become obsessed with money! Our country is slowly descending into alcoholism and pseudo-leadership!
  6. [+165, -1] Park Myung-soo was right. You have to be careful with what you eat and drink. As the saying goes, ‘alcohol is the end all..” once the country falls into the dark pits of alcohol, all kinds of scandals from drunk driving, molka, sexual assaults etc. are going to be even more rampant!
  7. [+138, -0] If you’re a famous celebrity with great social influence, the idea of trying to entertain people through sulbangs drinking for no reason is just.. pathetic and regrettable.
  8. [+90, -1] This is a time as a society that we need to stop with drinking culture. This is why there are so many drunk driving scandals.. mukbangs are inappropriate already. Famous celebrities and idols also have a huge influence on kids!
  9. [+16, -2] We need to start collecting a 90% tax! If you choose to do sulbangs instead of working hard sweating blood like the rest of us then at least as a country we can profit from the high views. The days of Sodom and Gomorrah are not far off.. 
  10. [+12, -0] Sulbangs are seriously trash!

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