Yoochun News of the Week: Cast in Sea Fog and Randomly Incurs Netizen Wrath for Smoking

The netizens in South Korea are notoriously judgmental and not afraid to unleash their ire at whatever is the hot topic du jour. When it comes to their celebrities, mostly they require vanilla complacency in their public persona coupled with a hard working ethos. In previous years, some of the topics that have gotten celebs in hot water include tax evasion, propensity for violence, and draft dodging. This year the male celeb touchy subject is once again military service, but it’s not about draft dodging insomuch as it’s about going but slacking off. The entertainment division was scrapped recently on the heels of the report that male stars serving get extra time off and seem to be treating it like an easy vacation job. Which is how Yoochun got side-swiped with a minor controversy this week when he was photographed by tabloid Dispatch while he was out eating, drinking, and smoking with his buddies in a restaurant. Totally legit, right? Not according to the irate netizens who put two-and-two together and realized Yoochun was smoking yet once he enlists he’s been exempt from active duty and will serve in the PR department due to a lifelong asthma condition. Netizens hollered “unfair!” and asked whether the asthma is false (no, he has it, and people with mild asthma can smoke though its not the best idea), or whether he can’t do hard military duty due to asthma that apparently isn’t severe enough to stop him from smoking. I can’t believe this is even news. Compared to actual A-list male star draft dodgers 7 years ago, this is like trying to create a scandal out of smoke (har har). So it’s best to get to Yoochun’s other news this week, this one considerably better for his career. Song Joong Ki is off to the army and turned down the role in director Bong Joon Ho’s upcoming movie Sea Fog and Yoochun has been tapped in his stead. The male lead is actually Kim Yoon Seok, who is so much awesome everyone should just bow down, but the chance to work with both guys is priceless. This ought to be fantastic news for Yoochun fans and will have lasting effects if he’s good in it, while the smoking kerfluffle will evaporate into the ether.

I was actually way more interested in the smoking scandal pictures because it caught Yoochun out driving his Rolls Royce Ghost. First off – Yoochun drives a Rolls? I totally would not have thought it. A young hip guy, I would have seen him in a Maserati. The Ghost is the low end of the family, but still starting at around $230,000 to drive one home, whereas the Phantom is double that price and the just released Wraith somewhere in the middle. I also find it amusing for him to drive a white Ghost in Seoul and not expect to be easy tailing for any paparazzi. Chunnie, go buy yourself a Hyundai for daily driving needs. And quite smoking, it’s smelly and bad for your lungs and you are a singer with a lovely voice. I think if Yoochun shines in Sea Fog, he will go a long way to silence his naysayers because if Bong Joon Ho picked him for a movie, he’s clearly seen potential there. And I think Yoochun is fine when he plays characters that are earnest and likeable. I hated his obsessive and one-track-minded grabby character in Missing You and boy was that a painful watch. He also looks sexier when he’s dirty and scruffy (remember those Blacksmith ads?) and I’m expecting lots of that in Sea Fog where he plays a sailor.

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Yoochun News of the Week: Cast in Sea Fog and Randomly Incurs Netizen Wrath for Smoking — 26 Comments

  1. I agree with everything said…smoking is a unhealthy, but I don’t see the huge scandal. Heck, people with lung cancer still smoke so if he chooses to smoke with asthma, who are we to judge? Plus, with him being in the public eye for over 5 years now, I’m sure it would have been revealed by now if he truly doesn’t have asthma…people just need something to whine about.

    Seriously happy about his upcoming role though. If he continues in this upward trajectory, he’ll make it big and improve his skills. It’s unlike my other favorite actor (LMH), who’s appearing to revert to safe roles when he could do so much more (though I am excited for Heirs and am trying not to judge too soon). 😀

    • No, yoochun became famous in 2003 as part of boy band TVXQ. Later on bcuz of issues with their contract, yoochun, jae joong, and junsu left the record label. Then they formed their group JYJ. So yoochun has been popular for 10 years.

  2. smoke scandal ha3
    while I agree that it’s a bit too much, but I can see why it frowned up on.
    dodging because of asthma but smoking? not good. just quit smoking for good, chunface! it’s bad for you. and your body already so thin its funny!

  3. i think the smoking news is out and about again due to envy of the fellow agencies/actors. he has beaten 30 actors to get this role. just saying..

  4. They just need to investigate if there are any suspicion of fraud when he did his draft medical examination. If there aren’t he can smoke all he wants.

    • Yoochun’s initial evaluation is a level 7, which means exemption. He went back three times to get rechecked, and the last evaluation was a level 4, so he will enter public service.

      Yoochun does have chronic asthma and there are quite a few fancams of him having an asthma attack floating around the net. In the US military, pretty much any male(perhaps same in Korea) with chronic asthma is automatically disqualified from active duty. Anyone with his condition is a liability to his comrades in the battlefields. Unless some resourceful knetizens can unearth proofs that Yoochun gave himself asthma since childhood in order to dodge military service, the article is rubbish. But off course, it’s Dispatch.

      As an ex-smoker who tried to quit so many times before succeeding a few years ago, I can testify that quitting smoking was so hard. And since smoking is so common in Korea and probably within his circle, Yoochun will struggle even if he desperately wants to quit. Good luck to him.

      • And congrats to Yoochun for landing such a prestigious gig. Kim Yoon Seok is one of his role models, so I am sure Yoochun is thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with such an esteemed actor.

        I have liked Yoochun ever since I first saw him in SKK; and even though he was quite stiff, especially in the beginning, he somehow he still managed to sell Lee Soon Joon to me. There was something about Yoochun-the actor–that I liked immediately. As an actor, he’s still has a long way to go, but I think he’s one of those idols that has the knack for acting.

        Ms.Koala, I agree that presently, he’s competent at playing earnest and likable characters. From the description of his character Dong Shik, Yoochun will portray a soft-hearted and naive young sailor who will oppose the nefarious captain to save his love. It’s reported that he beat our thirty other interested actors for the role and that he had a long discussion/audition with the production team beforehand. Thus, they must think that he is what they are looking for.

        As a fan, I am happy for him and hope that will do well since he’s been working out is known to prepare meticulously for his roles. Hope that this is a stepping-stone for his acting career and that he shall competently portray more diverse characters in the future.

  5. Asthma is a complicated disease. Last year we learned our youngest kid got it and let me tell you, we wouldn’t have guessed it. Total surprise. He never ever had problems inhaling or did funny sounds. It is quite treatable and he is able to do all his beloved sports. Just by the look of the vids showing Yoochun with problems to breathe (somewhere on YT), it seems he got a different level of Asthma. He is able to exercise and dance, but would he be able to do the stuff the Korean army demands from the soldiers as seen on Real Man? I highly doubt it.

    Nevertheless he should just quitt. It’s uncool, stinks and will kill you eventually.

    On to the real news: Very happy to see he got the chance to act in such a prestigious project. Love him. Good luck Yoochun!

  6. smoking scandal – pfftt. LOL Are there asian actors out there that don’t smoke? That’s more headlining news. In any case, Chunnie – I agree with all the others here. Smoking is bad still for ones health – asthma or no asthma. So quitting is the best option and better for those around you too. Win win. In all honesty, it’s his own body, if he wants to smoke, that’s his choice. Word to the wise, smoking is bad for you. Quit before its too late.

    Best career opportunity ever!!! Congrats Chunnie!! Fighting.

  7. Smoking scandal? Pfft..I bet Dispatch stalked him to get info if he’s dating someone or not. They got nothing so they went with smoking scandal instead lol

  8. In another life, Captain Koal, we were probably friends (or I was your handmaiden) because looking at the car is exactly the kind fo thing I would do as well. A Roll Royce Ghost in White? Is that screaming, “Take a Picture! Take a Picture” The only town in the U.S. where that would not make people stop and stare is New York City. Even in Hollywood, people would stop expecting a movie star to get out.

    And yes, we should all bow down to the awesomeness of Kim Yoon Seok. He could make reading the telephone directory interesting and intense. Has he ever been even mediocre in anything? It almost seems unfair to have that much talent

  9. Dayum, that smokin’ namja up there in that photo is Yoo Chun??? Huh.

    Okay. Never thought I would say this, but I guess.. he actually looks.. good.

    And what? He’s going to be in a BJH movie? Wow. I assume BJH, (though he’s the producer and not the director this time) is involved in the whole casting process too, right? Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t heard of him casting an idol in his projects before?

    Oh well, I’m just going to trust the entire production crew on this one. They casted him so they clearly saw potential in him somewhere. Yoo Chun is definitely improving and even though I don’t follow him that much, I truly wish the best for him in this movie (mostly because I really wanted this movie to be a big success).

  10. I read elsewhere that BJH is only the producer, not the director which was a huge disappointment.

    I only watched SKKS with Yoochun and he was okay in it. But definitely a downgrade from Song Joongki even though I think SJK is a tad bit overrated too.

  11. I would never EVER wish to be a celebrity in South Korea. To think that wherever I went everyone could be a “paparazzi”, discreetly take pictures of me with their cell phones and keep tabs on my daily life… HELL NO!

    But if I were a celebrity, I’d keep a really low profile. I’d drive a cheap car, I wouldn’t go around in sunglasses/mask/hat (that ends up being more obvious/suspicious than showing your face) and I wouldn’t post in any social website (blog, twitter, whatever).

    With that being said… whenever I read these news I feel bad for the celebrities for not being able to lead normal lives without being judged. On the other hand, they chose that life knowing exactly what it would entail. It’s the price to pay.

  12. I think it has to do more about him not taking care of himself when he has a medical condition that could be worsened by smoking. I remember when Patrick Swayze was photographed smoking while being treated for pancreatic cancer.

  13. Gosh, what a contrast without make-up and photoshop, he looked pretty awful in the picture on the right (talking on the handphone).

  14. this reminds me of all the ridiculous scandals around Japanese idols especially jhonny’s whenever anyone of them is rumooured to be dating or having kissed someone, the stuff gets so surreal and cruel for the often young idols at times, I never got it, lately one AKB48 member shared her hair to apologize to fans after it got out that she was dating another celeb ! I see it’s the same in Korea, it’s like once you’re an idol you’re not human anymore and supposed to srt some sort of ideal, this is so hypocritical

  15. I couldn’t handle being a celebrity in SK. I’d have held a press conference or released a letter, cussed out all the batcrazy netizens, called them out on their hypocrisy and told them to shove it and move to another country and start a whole new career. No thank you!

    I’m not saying all this because of YC in particular, just these “scandals” where nobodies try to run a person into the ground for something they have probably done before or would do in the same situation. I get its a different society with different standards but I’m always amazed at the fear the SK entertainment industry seems to have of these netizens. They are just too extreme sometimes.

  16. Yoochun is decent enough, I’ve no complaints at all about his acting, there are areas that he needs to improve but that’s to be expected in someone who’s only acting for 3-4yrs. I would’ve loved to see Joongki in here too, but oh well..

    As for that random scandal, just wow. How can they even pick on him when he was just being his normal self? With chronic asthma, I doubt he’d still be allowed to join the active duty even if he stopped smoking. You disappoint me, Dispatch. It would’ve been more interesting to see him in a dating scandal of some sort. Ha!

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