Recent weeks have not been all sunshine and rainbows for the South Korean entertainment industry and fandom. That much has been assured by the recent consecutive deaths of two high-profile K-Pop stars not far apart from each other. The one-two punch combination of deaths by suicide of Sulli in October and Goo Hara in November has cast a shadow over South Korean showbiz, with popular blame tending to be levied at either the rising levels of “toxicity” in the accompanying fan culture, to the traditional patriarchal society prevalent among Koreans. And now, another K-Pop personality has passed on under circumstances too tightly kept, that questions have only arisen about it.
E! News Online has it that Cha In Ha, K-Pop group member and promising new star on Korean TV, has died this Tuesday, December 3, at the young age of only 27 years old. His passing has become something of a new mystery for South Korean showbiz, seeing as very little details were provided. All that was shared was that Cha was found unresponsive at his home this week by his manager, who called the police. A formal statement on his death was later announced by Cha’s talent agency Fantagio.
It is interesting to note that Fantagio, beyond the expected expressions of grief within their organization and Cha’s fandom, also asked that the late idol’s family and friends not be bothered by his followers and to be given their privacy, particularly for the funeral which will be done behind closed doors. Then there is the request for the fans to not engage in speculation and rumors regarding Cha and the cause of his death. Considering how fresh the deaths of Sulli and Goo Hara have been in South Korean minds, Fantagio looks to be erring on the side of caution.
Cha In Ha (or real name Lee Jae-ho) made his start as a member of the K-Pop group Surprise U, which debuted 2017. He also began making headway in television acting on major South Korean network MBC, featuring in “Love with Flaws” and “The Banker.” His final scenes done on “Love with Flaws” as the character Joo Won-suk have been announced by MBC TV to be aired after his death.
Image courtesy of Yahoo News