In the 1930s, the film industry in Hollywood set the standard of “Hollywood filmmaking” with its development of star-contracts so oppressive, actors would be trapped for years within them. However, the implications of creating such a star-system have far surpassed what William Hays believed he was doing in the 1930s. In South Korea, a big star-system still exists and in many ways, mirrors what the United States did in the 1930s. What is informally known as “K-Pop” is a label for the music industry that seeks to emulate western ideals not only in looks, but in practice. This system allows the South Korean people to hold up their ideals as far as the traditionalism that is so deeply imbued in their society as well as create a huge following and profit. However, this unregulated system has negative side-effects that also mirror the negative side-effects that the Hollywood system caused by ways of oppressive and aggressive tactics to keep their film stars shining, even if it was artificially. By looking into the process in which these stars start out as children and grow up into a life where their single occupational knowledge is dance, how can they be expected to survive otherwise? In this thesis, I argue that there is a symbiotic relationship between the traditionalism that has existed in Korean society for centuries, and because of this mentality, many of the western ideals from decades ago are still in use today.
Welsh, Molly, "K-Pop Or K-Death? The Mirrored Oppression From Hollywood In The 1930s" (2014). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 1.