Roy Kim Forest In Gangnam Causes Concern In Light Of Criminal Investigations
With Roy Kim undergoing investigation for sharing illegal footage of women, locals have expressed concern over the forest located in the middle of Gangnam, which is named after him.
On April 16, News1 reported the forest is filled with cherry trees and other flowers with a mail box labeled “To Roy Kim” as well as a pavilion with a wooden plaque titled “Roy Kim Forest.”
Roy Kim has close ties to Gangnam. His fan club Royrose collected donations with Child Fund in 2015 and created the Myunghwa Children’s Library at Suseo Myunghwa Social Welfare Center in Suseo, Gangnam. The next year, he was selected as an ambassador for “Happy Space of Sharing and G+Star Zone.” Rice, daily necessities, and instant noodles sent by the singer’s local and foreign fans were delivered to low-income households through Gangnam. The forest was set up around 2013, when Roy Kim was at the height of his popularity right after winning Mnet’s survival program “Superstar K” and around the time of the release of his first full-length album “Love Love Love.”
However, as he is a subject of investigations regarding illegal filming and distribution of sex videos alongside Jung Joon Young and Seungri, residents living nearby expressed concern with the forest. Though it’s unlikely that there will be an immediate negative perception of the region because of the forest name, it has become rather uncomfortable for locals. A 38-year-old man named Mr. Park said, “If it’s not an official name but a plaque, it’s a good idea to remove it quickly.”
The social enterprises that were responsible for creating this forest are also in a difficult situation. One source said, “We are aware of the controversy [in relation to the Roy Kim Forest] and are in the process of internal discussions on how to take care of the situation.” There are various forests named after stars, but none of those celebrities have been booked by police for causing a social stir. The same source shared, “Since the opinion of the fandom that donated toward the creation of the forest is the most important, we will gather their opinions and take action.”
DC Inside Roy Kim Gallery, which participated in the creation of Roy Kim Forest at the time, did not offer any official position. In addition, the fan club “Kim Sang Woo.com,” which reportedly participated in the creation of the forest at the time, was already confirmed to have ended its activities after leaving a notice on Twitter in 2014, which is expected to be an obstacle in gathering opinions.
The city of Seoul and district of Gangnam, which own public land where the forest was created, said they are not using the name in official administration, and as such they do not get involved after a name has been attributed non-officially.