Jackie Lim and The Prostitution of Korean Entertainers, 1995

(Source: ITH)

Update, December 2013: A very old post, which I’ve long since removed the original commentary to (and consequently the comments also). But hopefully someone may still find the translation useful!

해외동포 연예인 붐을 일으킨 재키림의 10년 전 사진 / Jackie Lim, The Creator of an Overseas Korean Entertainer Boom

삼성은 하이버네이션 기능 때문에 안정성에 문제가 많은 그린컴퓨터를 얼른 단종시키고 매직스테이션이라는 새로운 브랜드를 선보였는데, 매직스테이션은 꽤 오래 출시되면서 장수 브랜드로 자리 잡았다.

Because the “hibernation” function was causing many problems with stability, Samsung quickly stopped producing “Green computers” in 1995 and launched a new brand called “Magic Station” instead, which became a very successful brand over the next ten years.

매직스테이션III의 광고모델은 당시 새롭게 떠오르던 해외동포 연예인인 재키림이다. 몇 개 국어를 자유자재로 구사할 수 있었던 재키림은 재원이라고 칭찬받으며 화려하게 연예계에 데뷔했다. 재키림은 SBS ‘생방송 TV 가요 20’, KMTV ‘동방특급 비디오자키’ 등을 뛰면서 가수와 비디오자키로 활동했다. 재키림은 비디오자키의 열풍을 일으켰을 뿐만 아니라 오늘날의 해외동포 연예인 붐을 일으킨 불씨가 되었지만, 정작 본인은 한국 연예계에 적응하지 못하고 방황으로 얼룩진 비운의 운명을 걷게 된다.

Jackie Lim was a new and upcoming star when she appeared in the “Magic Station 3” advertisement in 1995. As she was fluent in many languages she received a lot of attention and praise when she made her original debut, both starring as a singer and working as “video jockey” on the SBS program “20 Songs On Air” and KMTV’s “High-Class Eastern Video Jockey”. Ultimately she proved so popular she provided the spark for a boom in interest in overseas Korean entertainers. But she soon found it difficult to adapt to the Korean entertainment industry, and became a bit lost for which direction to take herself and her career.

재키림은 마약을 비롯한 좋지 않은 사건에 휘말리는데, 그녀가 이런 사건에 빠진 이유는 ‘한국에서 실력으로 활동하려 했지만 자신을 성적대상으로만 보면서 높은 사람 자리에 불려나가야 하고, 동료연예인들로부터 왕따당하면서 외로워서 약을 하게 되었다.’고 밝혔다. 재원이라고 떠들었던 뒷편에는 여성 연예인에 대한 여전한 성차별과 고위권의 압력, 동료 연예인의 텃세가 있었던 것이다.

Later, she became disgusted and further disheartened by trying to succeed as a singer in Korea through her own abilities but while facing the virtual prostitution of female entertainers that goes on behind the scenes. Not only was she regularly pressured to entertain and provide sexual services for politicians and business leaders, who saw her merely as yet another trophy girlfriend to be used, but on top of that she was also ostracized by other entertainers too, angered by whom they saw as an uppity overseas Korean whom they intended to put in her place. In the end she became very lonely and depressed and got involved with drugs.

이미지: 1995년 삼성 매직스테이션3 광고에서 밝게 웃는 재키림. 하지만 이 웃음 뒤에는 잘못된 연예게 관행으로 인한 외로움과 고통이 숨어있다.

Photo caption: Jackie Lim smiling brightly in Samsung’s advertisement for the Magic Station 3. But hidden behind the smile there was a great deal of loneliness and pain caused by the Korean entertainment industry’s bad practices (source).

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