April 16, 2024
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Ryu Jun-yeol’s ‘Greenwashing’ Controversy: Environmental Activist or Golf Enthusiast?

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Ryu Jun yeols Greenwashing Controversy Environmental Activist or Golf Enthusiast

Actor Ryu Jun-yeol has been in the spotlight lately following his public admission of a relationship with actress Han So-hee on the 16th. However, this newfound attention has been overshadowed by a controversy surrounding his environmental activism and his fondness for golf, a sport often linked to environmental destruction.

Ryu has a well-documented history of environmental advocacy. As a supporter of Greenpeace, he has participated in environmental interviews and the “I Am a Polar Bear” campaign, raising awareness about the severity of the climate crisis. He further solidified his activist image by becoming the first ambassador for Greenpeace East Asia in April 2023, appearing in various advertisements and documentaries.

This image of environmental consciousness came into question, however, when details about Ryu’s avid golfing hobby emerged. The controversy centers on the inherent contradiction between promoting environmental responsibility and participating in a sport with a significant environmental footprint.

South Korea, as of 2020, has 514 golf courses, representing a mere 0.98% of all sports facilities. Yet, these seemingly small patches of land collectively cover a staggering 510,248,290 square meters, translating to a whopping 89.7% of the total area dedicated to sports facilities. Maintaining sprawling green courses necessitates vast quantities of water and pesticides. The daily water consumption of these facilities nationwide is equivalent to the amount used by singer Psy for a mind-blowing 1,493 consecutive days of his drenched performances. Additionally, the construction of golf courses often involves deforestation and land clearing, destroying existing habitats and harming ecosystems.

Ryu Jun yeols Greenwashing Controversy Environmental Activist or Golf Enthusiast

Considering the environmental impact of golf and Ryu Jun-yeol’s enthusiastic participation in the sport, it’s no surprise that the public is scrutinizing his environmental activism. The public perception is particularly soured by the contrasting messages – Ryu’s strong environmental stances on social media juxtaposed with his leisure activity that contradicts those very beliefs.

This dissonance has been further amplified by Ryu’s own admissions. On several TV shows, his love for golf has been a topic of discussion. In the 2021 show “Seri Money Club,” actress Uhm Ji-won revealed she played her first round with Ryu, while comedian Yang Se-chan jokingly remarked about Ryu’s “golf obsession.” Earlier this year, in a January interview, Ryu himself acknowledged being a golf enthusiast, finding enjoyment in the sport’s resemblance to life’s challenges. He even frequently shares photos on social media depicting himself on the golf course, club in hand.

Netizens have been quick to point out this hypocrisy. Comments like “How can a golf lover be an environmental activist?” and “Doesn’t he know golf destroys the environment?” reflect the public’s disappointment with Ryu’s seemingly conflicting stances.

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