Kang Ho Dong has left. Even though he used the word “temporary,” no one is exactly sure how long he will be gone. Even Kang Ho Dong himself is unsure about this.
After he announced his temporary retirement, there was a huge fuss. There are four programs that are in deep trouble since his departure: KBS “1 Night and 2 Days”, MBC “Golden Fishery- Knee Drop Guru,” SBS “Strong Heart” and “Star King.” It was reported that the PD’s of all four programs got together for an emergency meeting regarding the future of these shows.
The reason for Kang Ho Dong’s “temporary” retirement has evoked words such as “disappointment” and “shock” from fans. Since Sept. 9, Kang Ho Dong was scrutinized for tax evasion, and held an emergency press conference. In just seven minutes, he shook the Korean entertainment world into a wild frenzy.
“When I took up wrestling, the whole country supported me. As a result, I was able to make it to the top and become the best. After that, when I wanted to become a celebrity, everyone backed me again. If it hadn’t been for all the support and love that I received, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to where I am today. However, I repaid your love with disappointment. This is my fault. I can feel everyone’s anger and disappointment, and I will reflect on my actions thoroughly,” Kang Ho Dong admitted.
Through the press conference, people realized that there are only three things that are important in Kang Ho Dong’s life: wrestling, broadcasts, and his family.
In 1989, at the young age of 18, Kang Ho Dong won the renowned wrestling title in his weight class. From 1992 until he retired from wrestling, he retained that title seven times. He won the championship five times. (The man was a beast.) Soon after, with the recommendation of Lee Kyung Gyu, Kang Ho Dong started his career in broadcasting. Since then, he and MC Yoo Jae Suk have maintained the titles as Korea’s best MC’s.
If he put his mind to something, he came out number one. However, with wrestling, broadcasts, and anything worthwhile, luck is not enough. Using only his will power and effort, he was able to make his way to the top, earning the love of Korea on his way. It has already been 19 years since he started off his celebrity career.
After disappointing Korea however, he can no longer “show his face” on shows. Kang Ho Dong just panicked.
At first outraged upon hearing his tax evasion case, the public was shocked when Kang Ho Dong announced his temporary retirement. Many said that it wasn’t “neccessary to go that far,” and expressed their anger at why everyone was “criticizing only Kang Ho Dong.” The public was very much against his retirement. Just as quickly and fiercely their anger fired up, it cooled down just as fast.
Netizens who supported Kang Ho Dong through the entire ordeal said, “We know that it will be difficult for him to return so quickly after this situation, but we are very much afraid that he may never return.” Just as he retired from wrestling entirely in 1992, fans are afraid that they may not see him again. Although some may doubt his permanent retirement, it isn’t entirely impossible.
Kang Ho Dong is not smiling anymore. For whatever reason, his fans are pleading as they patiently await his return.
What will the Korean entertainment industry do without him? What is the future of Korean show programs?