Michelle Yeoh, Kim Hye-soo mourn Itaewon tragedy; Korea's entertainment industry halts activity


Kim Hye-soo (left), Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis mourn Itaewon Halloween tragedy. Photos: Kim Hye-soo/Instagram, AFP

As Korea entered a week-long national mourning period after a tragic Halloween crowd surge that killed at least 154 people in Itaewon, central Seoul, on Saturday (Oct 29) night, the Korean entertainment industry is offering its condolences.

Korean film distributors have called off events following the deadly crush.

Lotte Entertainment on Monday said it cancelled all stage greeting events that were planned on Sunday for the film Confession.

Stage greetings are promotional events organised by the film distributor and are popular among local moviegoers, as they allow the audience to watch the film together with the actors and ask questions in person.

For a series of stage greeting events for Confession, cast members So Ji-sub, Kim Yun-jin and Nana were scheduled to visit CGV Yongsan, Megabox Coex and Lotte Cinema Konkuk University, all in Seoul.

“We ask for understanding. This decision was made as we entered a week-long national mourning period,” Lotte Entertainment said in a statement.

Remember distributor Acemaker Movieworks also scrapped its plan to hold a stage greeting event with actors Lee Sung-min and Nam Joo-hyuk on Sunday.

The distributor of the new comedy film Men Of Plastic, starring Korean American actor Don Lee, better known locally as Ma Dong-seok, on Sunday cancelled its press conference scheduled for Monday.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families of the unfortunate accident that occurred in Itaewon. We also wish for the quick recovery of the injured who are going through treatment,” Showbox said.

Terrestrial broadcasters have decided to focus on special reporting on the Itaewon incident instead of broadcasting entertainment show and drama series originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

SBS drama series Cheer Up, and reality shows Same Bed, Different Dreams 2 - You Are My Destiny, and Dolsing Fourmen – or Four Divorced Men – were among the cancelled shows.

Korean music network Mnet also decided to skip this week’s episodes of popular shows including Artistock Game, Street Man Fighter Commentary, Street Man Fighter, M Countdown and Show Me The Money.

Meanwhile, many Korean movie stars offered condolences following the Itaewon accident.

“Pray for Itaewon. I will pray for their souls,” actor Ko So-young wrote on her Instagram.

Actor Kim Hye-soo on Sunday shared the phone numbers to call to report missing persons from the Itaewon disaster.

Actor Hong Suk-chun, also widely known as the owner of several restaurants that shut down due to Covid-19 in Itaewon, said on his Instagram, “Please pray. May the souls of the deceased rest in peace.”

International stars like Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh expressed condolences from overseas as well.

Yeoh wrote on her Instagram: "so shocked and saddened by the Itaewon tragedy. Heartfelt condolences."

"A terrible tragedy in Seoul. The loss of so many young people enjoying the freedom to celebrate together again. As we gather on our own groups, in our own ways on Halloween, hold them and their families near," Curtis said on Twitter. – The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

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