Monday, August 15, 2022

Bullying debate starts after death of pop star

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Fans mourned and questions were asked Monday after K-pop star Goo Hara was found dead in a possible suicide, which would make her the second female singer in a month to take her own life in the high-pressure industry.

The body of Goo, a member of former girl group Kara, was discovered Sunday evening at her home in Cheongdam, one of Seoul’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Police were still investigating her cause of death and Yonhap news agency reported they were “keeping the possibility of suicide in consideration”.

In May, the 28-year-old star apologised to her fans after being hospitalised following a suspected suicide attempt, saying she had been “in agony over a number of issues”.

Before her body was discovered on Sunday her Instagram account was flooded with hate comments about her appearance and her history with her former partner.

Goo made her debut in 2008 with Kara — for several years one of the two biggest K-pop girl groups — and pursued a solo career after the group broke up, completing a tour of Japan last week.

Her death sparked an online petition on the website of the South’s presidential office calling for stronger punishments for cybercrimes and abusive online comments, which garnered more than 20,000 signatures in less than a day.

“It was not long ago that we lost someone through hate comments and this cannot happen again,” the petition said. “Please protect the people from hate comments and criticisms that are spreading like a virus.”

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