What does it take to be a pop star in Korea? Looks, an appealing personality, and according to Taiwanese singer Estrella Lin, the willingness to be pimped out by your agency. Estrella Lin, former member of girl group 3EP Beauties, asserts that her agency attempted to barter her body to business investors while she was aiming to develop her career in Korea. The attempt was not successful, and now Lin has returned home and published a book revealing the corrupt nature of the Korean entertainment business, reports Taiwanese media. According to Lin, actors, actresses, and singers are encouraged to sell their bodies, or are sometimes even forced, in order to obtain opportunities in Korea. The expectation is an unwritten rule in the entertainment industry of the country, said Lin. The situation is not unheard of in Korea. Just in recent memory, actress Jang JaYeon of Boys Over Flowers fame, committed suicide in 2009 due to her coerced involvement in "casting couch" favors. Following the scandal (which was ruled inconclusive due to lack of substantial evidence), a survey of entertainers was conducted - it found that one out of five actresses were forced to provide sexual services to influential figures, or had witnessed their colleagues being compelled. Out of 2,000 entertainers who were asked to participate, only 183 responded. Of the 183, however, 19.1% admitted to personally participating in or knowing of someone who took part in the "couch casting" calls. Shockingly, 62.3 percent revealed that they would face disadvantages if they refused. And Estrella? "I was pressured to 'sexually' entertain investors, but I never allowed myself to do so. I'm not afraid of Koreans protesting because what I said is true." Lin was also told to change her date of birth from 1980 to 1985, as she was considered "too old" for the industry. Details regarding Lin's management company have not yet been revealed. Sources: Korean Herald, Chosun Ilbo, Korea Times
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