On December 3rd, Entertainment & Lifestyle Company CJ ENM (CEO Heo Min-heoi) awarded ten people as '2020 Visionary' who have inspired the global audience with their pioneering achievements in Korean pop culture during the year.
CJ ENM has selected ten iconic figures who have led changes and innovations across the entire entertainment industry in the past year through the recommendations of cultural critics and industry trend experts, as well as big data analysis, spanning artists and creators active in all fields of Korean popular culture, including broadcasting, movies, music, and performances. Naming them ‘visionaries,’ CJ ENM plans to highlight the achievements and insights of the ten people selected through its various avenues for promotion such as video campaigns on its own channels.
The inaugural ‘2020 Visionary include, in the Korean alphabetical order, writer Kim Eun-hee, producer Kim Tae-ho, writer Park Ji-eun, boyband BTS, film director Bong Joon-ho, girl group BLACKPINK, singer and actor Rain, actor Song Kang-ho, producer Shin Won-ho, and entertainer Yoo Jae-seok.
In 2020, all industries experienced a growth crisis due to the pandemic. Yet it has been a monumental year for Korean pop culture as it emerged as a mainstream worldwide while demonstrating its vision for the future. As a global entertainment company representing Asia, CJ ENM has selected 'visionaries' to highlight the achievements of the iconic figures who took the lead in promoting Korean pop culture across the world and put forward the future development directions of the culture.
The 10 people awarded as this year’s visionaries’ are recognized as having led the industry trend by going beyond just buzz and making unique moves in their respective fields. Producer Shin Won-ho, who raised the status of cable dramas with the series, has turned some conditions far from the box office formula, such as the casting of lesser-known actors and the selection of the human drama genre into his strengths in his successive hit dramas such as and . Producer Kim Tae-ho, who has been at the forefront of popularizing fringes since the days of , has created the syndrome of the main character and the secondary character in highlighting the infinite expandability of entertainment programs. Entertainer Yoo Jae-seok has re-established himself as an all-around entertainer with the outstanding power of empathy and solidarity through as well as his incredibly adaptable performances across new characters every time in .
Also included in the list are writer Park Ji-eun who took the lead in creating the 4th wave of Hallyu in Japan by depicting romance across the border between two Koreas in the drama contributing to the K-drama craze around the world, and Kim Eun-hee, writer of , who has popularized the world’s favorite genre featuring in the most Korean style.
Following last year's honor at Cannes Film Festival, director Bong Joon-ho swept the Academy Awards with this year, attesting to the potential of Korean cinema. Actor Song Kang-ho, who has appeared in a range of films acclaimed by both critics and audiences, won the 45th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 26th Screen Actors Guild Award for acting ensemble in , a testament to his acting skills recognized in Hollywood as well.
BTS and BLACKPINK who have swept the Billboard charts and showed the expanded power of K-pop that is rapidly stretching to content tailored to the MZ generation, such as games and social avatars, on the back of their worldwide fandom. Positively accepting the reinterpretation of his song as a digital play culture 'meme,' Rain took advantage of it as a communication channel with the public getting an explosive response.
Si Yeon-jae of CJ ENM Marketing & Commerce said, “‘Visionaries’ are those who comfort the public with their own language, look to the future, and propose new directions during tough times,” adding, “Through the selection, we intend to fulfill our role as an entertainment company that empathizes with the zeitgeist and looks to the future. In that context, CJ ENM will mobilize all its resources to spotlight the honorees with an aim to make the selection a prominent as significant as ‘TIME 100’ in the global entertainment industry.”
Starting this year, CJ ENM plans to announce ‘visionaries’ at the end of every year along with keywords for entertainment stream used as the criteria for its selection. The ten people and the entertainment stream keynote applied to this year’s selection will be introduced by the host Song Joong-ki in the special section of Asia's biggest music awards 'The 2020 Mnet ASIAN MUSIC AWARDS (MAMA)' to be held online on December 6th.