|Ilkwang Group and Polaris CEO Lee Gyu Tae (from left), model-actress Clara, rapper Iron and girl group Ladies’ Code|
The Korean entertainment industry and many of its fans are reeling from last night’s news that the South Korean police have shut down Polaris Entertainment after CEO Lee Gyu Tae was arrested on March 11 on charges of fraud and embezzlement.
The beleaguered agency manages such popular artists as Ladies’ Code, Kim Bum Soo, Ivy and Yang Dong Geun. Polaris Entertainment has been in the news quite a bit since last year after the tragic accident that resulted in the death of EunB and RiSe of Ladies’ Code and the ongoing controversy surrounding Clara’s charges of sexual harassment against Lee Gyu Tae.
Lee Gyu Tae’s trouble with the law stems from his activities with Ilkwang Group, the parent company of Polaris Entertainment. Ilkwang is an arms trading giant, and Lee Gyu Tae, who also heads the group, is accused of lobbying to artificially inflate the prices of training weapons that are being imported from Turkey for the Korean Air Force, allowing the Ilkwang Group to make as much as $50 million USD from the deal. Both Lee Gyu Tae and Ilkwang Group are being investigated for embezzlement and overcharging the Korean military.
The reactions of many Hallyu fans have been strong, ranging from disbelief to sympathy for the stars represented by Polaris. See the many reactions below from Twitter!
And one very worried fan took to Instagram to express her worries:
Since the Ilkwang Group’s establishment in 1985, Lee Gyu Tae has established subsidiaries in education with the establishment of private academies and in the entertainment industry with Polaris Entertainment.
The news comes a week before solo artist Iron was scheduled to debut from Polaris. What impact this will have on his debut, as well as the comeback of Ladies’ Code and Clara’s lawsuit remains to be seen.
What effect do you think this surprising news will have on Korean entertainment? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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