South Korea is one of the countries where the government actually responded to the coronavirus pandemic in a way that stemmed the disease’s spread. It’s also a place where massive entertainment companies control every aspect of their pop stars’ lives. So now we get a weird situation where a whole company is apologizing because one pop star went to a bar with his friends last month.
As Reuters reports, Big Hit Entertainment, the company that manages the globally massive boy band BTS, has apologized because Jungkook, one of the seven members of BTS, went out to a bar/restaurant with his friends on the evening of 4/25. (The party of friends also reportedly included members of pop-idol groups Astro, Seventeen, and NCT.) When Jungkook and his friends went out a bar in the Seoul neighborhood Itaewon, the government had advised not patronize bars. Since then, 170 new cases of COVID-19 have come out of an outbreak in Itaewon, and bars have once again been shut down.
In a statement, Bit Hit Entertainment says, “We have no excuse that we placed the artist’s personal life before we were able to emphasise the importance of social distancing. We bow our head in apology… [Jungkook] is also deeply regretting on how he did not follow social distancing measures seriously.” Jungkook is reportedly showing no symptoms and has tested negative for the coronavirus.