Korean reporter-turned-YouTuber Kim Yong Ho is notorious for his malicious rumor-spreading and problem-stirring channels, Entertainment Reporter Kim Yong Ho and Garo Sero Institute. Though his YouTube profile claims that he is “an editor and hard-nosed warrior in [the] media field” revealing “extraordinary insights behind ordinary K-Pop and entertainment,” most K-Pop and entertainment fans have considered him an attention-seeker with his problematic content.
Countless celebrities, like actresses Han Ye Seul and Jun Ji Hyun, have fallen victim to the reporter’s unfiltered and unverifiable gossip. In his latest live video, however, the reporter announced that he is quitting YouTube—breaking down in tears and calling himself a “monster.” Though the video has since been deleted, numerous Korean media outlets covered the reporter’s sudden retirement, highlighting the fact that he apparently “cried in remorse” during the video.
Looking back, I think I’ve become addicted to stabbing people with my words. My channel brought in a lot of subscribers, views, and tip-offs. It made me wild and turned me into a monster…It’s like I’ve turned into one trying to expose the monsters out there. I need to stop before I really lose myself.
— Kim Yong Ho
According to the reports, Kim Yong Ho claimed in tears that he “isn’t being forced to retire,” but that he “is choosing to step away because [he is] ashamed.” He denied this being a permanent retirement but commented that he has no intention of returning to the platform.
I started becoming more influential and it made me think I have power. I became arrogant…I need to go figure things out with myself. But I’m too ashamed of myself for having been so drunk, so arrogant, so rude. This isn’t a permanent retirement, but as of now I have no plans on coming back.
— Kim Yong Ho
The internet, however, remains convinced that Kim Yong Ho’s goodbye video is nothing but a show. For one, the reporter himself mentions “lawsuits” filed by the celebrities he has badmouthed on his channel. Many believe the “apology and retirement” comes from these lawsuits progressing forward and finding Kim Yong Ho at fault.
One netizen commented, “He’s apologizing because he’s afraid he’ll lose his lawsuits and needs to show the court that he’s a changed man who is reflecting and improving. But it’s not working because everyone knows who you are inside, Kim Yong Ho.”
It’s a reporter’s duty to question, but it is not my place to decide what’s right or wrong. But I started using my platform to call these celebrities out and judge them…I crossed a lot of lines and overstepped a lot of boundaries. So I have a lot of lawsuits filed against me. I’ve been to court so many times. I admit that I’ve been problematic in many ways. And I’m sorry about that…
— Kim Yong Ho
Additionally, others believe the unexpected retirement stems from his personal scandal. Four days before his final video, Kim Yong Ho got slammed by another YouTube channel. The Seo Sa Jang TV channel released a series of viral exposé videos—allegedly recording Kim Yong Ho’s voice. The recordings capture the reporter at an escort bar, not only gossiping about his usual target celebrities but also power-tripping his way out of paying for the drinks and services.
You need to get out of this business if you can’t supply me with the right ladies. I’ve been going to escort bars for the past 15 years. You need to do better than this. Show me what you got…
— A voice recording of Kim Yong Ho talking to the bar manager
Kim Yong Ho admitted that the voice recorded is indeed his.
I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s me, but it is. I feel helpless that my voice got recorded and exposed all over YouTube. But I said what I said. I should have been more careful about what I say…I always tell myself to watch what I write and watch what I say, but I was too drunk to keep my own promise.
— Kim Yong Ho
Kim Yong Ho’s ongoing lawsuits include charges of defamation filed by Lieutenant Ken Rhee, who had his budding career from Fake Men destroyed by Kim Yong Ho’s groundless accusations; by actress Han Ye Seul, who revealed her boyfriend only to be attacked by the reporter’s claim that he used to be a male escort; and by comedian Park Soo Hong, who most recently became targeted by the reporter for “having been violent toward his ex-girlfriend.”