Netflix’s ‘Celebrity’ is a South Korean mystery drama show directed by Cheol-gyu Kim revolving around the e-celebrity industry of Seoul. Featuring Park Gyuyoung as Seo Ah-ri, an ambitious steadfast newcomer, the story follows her rise to fame and the several complications that come along with it. After accidentally falling into the world of influencers, Ah-ri fights her way to the top and becomes one of the most influential celebrities in town. Along the way, surrounded by the glitz, glam, and infamy, Ah-ri makes a few friends, Han Jun-kyung and Yoon Shi-hyeon, and makes more enemies.
However, after witnessing the scandalous darkness of the industry, Ah-ri decides to expose the harsh truth of what goes on behind the scenes. The episodes, alternating between the past and the present, create a compelling narrative about classism and celebrity culture. If you’re curious to find out where the life of fame leads Ah-ri and the people around her, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Celebrity.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Celebrity Plot Synopsis
Seo Ah-ri, a former privileged rich kid whose family went broke, now works as a middle-class beauty saleswoman with no time for social media or celebrity drama. After a chance meeting with old high school friend Oh Min-hye, a successful influencer, Ah-ri reluctantly agrees to an invite to a celeb event as Min-hye’s guest. Although the party proves to be a disaster for Ah-ri, she makes an impression on everyone, including the marketing consulting firm, A.Picks’ Ju Seung-hyeok.
After watching Ah-ri’s new Instagram profile growing as a side effect of her connection to Min-hye and her own impressive fashion sense, Seung-Hyeok offers to represent her with his agency. At the same time, Min-hye’s brand image takes a harsh hit due to a recent feud between her public “bestie,” Biniimom, and Wang Ro-La. As a result, Seung-hyeok tries to attach Ah-ri’s new brand with Min-hye’s. Nevertheless, the idea fails miserably when the rest of Gabin society, including Jin Chae-hee, a spoilt influencer from a wealthy family, looks down on Ah-ri’s financial background.
Meanwhile, Han Jun-kyung, Hue Cosmetics’s CEO and significant city socialite, becomes infatuated with Ah-ri and starts pursuing her. As Ah-ri’s success continues to grow, she makes a controversial statement criticizing celebrity culture, which catches the attention of an anonymous account called “bbbfamous.” With bbbfamuos’s help, Ah-ri reaches the right audience and blows up on the internet. As her fame grows, she surpasses the Gabin Society members, which makes Chae-hee hate her even more.
Eventually, Ah-ri gets roped into one of Chae-hee’s hangout sessions involving hard drugs. Although Ah-ri doesn’t participate, she unwittingly becomes a witness to an Aragon club employee, Kim Gwang-ho’s death by overdose. Chae-hee’s sister-in-law Shi-hyeon, a famous philanthropic businesswoman, convinces Ah-ri to distance herself from the incident. However, once Ah-ri discovers the employee is dead, the same starts to weigh over her conscience heavily.
Nevertheless, Ah-ri continues to focus on her business, launching a successful clothing/lifestyle brand Ari&. However, once Min-hye learns about the death at Aragon’s, she secretly releases the story to the public. Due to Chae-hee’s involvement in the man’s murder, her brother, Jin Tae-jeon, a powerful lawyer, tries to bury the story using Ah-ri as the scapegoat. Jun-kyung and Shi-hyeon try to go up against Tae-jeon but are unsuccessful. Ultimately Ah-ri’s reputation runs into the ground, and her business drastically crashes while she receives swarms of online hate.
As the Aragon incident gets swept under the rug, people continue to scrutinize Ah-ri, cyberbullying her and accusing her of awful things. After Jun-kyung has a horrible car accident, Ah-ri considers ending her life. Months later, Ah-ri surprises everyone across South Korea by starting a live stream, where she promises to expose the truth and the grim details behind it. She continues to reveal everything about her journey and every influencer’s secrets over the following days. As a result, the Gabin Society and Tae-jeon frantically try to locate Ah-ri, who was declared legally dead months ago.
Celebrity Ending: Is Ah-ri Dead Or Alive?
When Ah-ri starts her exposé live stream, people are bewildered by her presence. Shortly after she falls from fame, Ah-ri faces immense online backlash, and her personal life also starts to deteriorate. Due to the same, Ah-ri considers ending her life. Unlike other influencers, Ah-ri is openly critical of the culture surrounding celebrities from the start. Due to the same, the Gabin society, with its classist and privileged outlooks, hates Ah-ri for her success and wants to see her career ruined.
Once they succeed in the same, Ah-ri realizes she doesn’t want anything to do with this industry anymore since it’s all made up of lies. The whole thing takes a huge mental toll on Ah-ri, and she considers committing suicide. Eventually, authorities find her car in the sea and declare her dead.
Therefore, when Ah-ri returns to the internet in her live stream, many speculate her stream is pre-recorded or otherwise staged. Nevertheless, she proves them wrong by responding to comments in real-time. Eventually, when the live stream discusses Gwang-ho’s death, both, Tae-jeon and the cops start trying to track her down. However, once the account’s IP address gets cracked, people discover that Ah-ri was not behind the live stream.
Instead, her best friend, Yoon Jeong-Sun, is behind the camera, using Ah-ri’s brother, Du-Seong’s help to AI deep fake Ah-ri’s face on the live stream. Since the influencer industry and Tae-jeon mistreated Ah-ri so severely, Ah-ri wanted to make them pay for their actions. Ah-ri knew if she tried to retaliate, the online hatred for her would drown out the truth. Therefore Ah-ri faked her death so that when she resurfaced online, it would garner a large audience willing to hear what she had to say.
Ultimately, the live stream successfully exposes Gabin Society’s secrets and showcases how the influencers exploit their privilege. It also brings justice for Gwang-ho and his family by revealing Chae-hee and Tae-jeon’s involvement. In the end, Ah-ri finally returns from the shadows, alive in the flesh, to confront the catalyst behind her fall: bbbfamous.
Who Is Bbbfamous?
The person behind the bbfamous’s account seems to know all of Seoul e-celeb’s most controversial secrets and is willing to share them with Ah-ri. In doing so, they help Ah-ri climb the ranks and fight back whenever someone tries to sabotage her success. However, as time passes, bbbfamous starts to become more controlling, demanding Ah-ri reply to them at the drop of a hat. All the while, they keep their identity a secret, only citing their position as Ah-ri’s fan when asked about their motive.
As such, Ah-ri becomes suspicious of bbbfamous and asks them to reveal their identity so that she can judge their character for herself. The same upsets bbbfamous, who approaches Min-hye and Chae-hee with secrets about Ah-ri’s success to help them take her down. Through fabricated chats and mobilized hate accounts, bbbfamous successfully ruins Ah-ri’s life.
Therefore, after serving the influencers their comeuppance, Ah-ri goes after bbbfamous in person. Bbbfamous is a regular girl named Lee Seon-yeong who works at a luxurious spa. The Gabin Society frequents the spa, and since they fail to acknowledge the staff’s presence, Seon-yeong easily eavesdrops on their conversations to find out dirt about them and their colleagues.
Seon-young is a deeply insecure and clinically depressed woman. After watching influencers flaunt their allegedly “perfect” lives on social media, Seon-young got sick of it. She can never catch up to them, no matter how much she tries to emulate their lifestyle with knockoffs and fake backstories about her alias Eun-chae.
Therefore when Ah-ri enters the scene as a newcomer from a financially unstable background, Seon-young starts helping her. Nevertheless, over time she turns her hatred toward Ah-ri as well, making her another one of her online cyberbullying victims. When confronted by Ah-ri about the same, Seon-young snaps and tries to commit suicide by jumping out of a window. In the end, Seon-young only sustains minor injuries with a scope of recovery, after which she will finally have to face the consequences of her actions.
Is Han Jun-kyung Dead?
When Gwang-ho overdoses at Aragon Club, Jun-kyung witnesses the incident alongside Ah-ri and Shi-hyeon. Initially, he leaves Tae-jeon to take care of the aftermath and the man’s health since it directly affects his sister, Chae-hee. However, Jun-kyung asks Tae-jeon to take responsibility and report the accident once it becomes clear that Gwang-ho has died. Nevertheless, Tae-jeon continues to cover up his death since revealing it would ruin Chae-hee’s reputation.
As such, when Jun-kyung declares his intention to reveal the truth himself by testifying, he directly threatens Tae-jeon. Therefore Tae-jeon sends his men after Jun-kyung, arranging a car accident. Following the accident, Jun-kyung undergoes surgery that leaves him unconscious for months. For most of the time that Ah-ri’s post-fake-death live stream is live, there is no trace of Jun-kyung to be found. Keeping his recovery a secret, Jun-kyung, like Ah-ri, works from the shadows.
In the end, Jun-kyung’s legal team discovers evidence proving Tae-jeon’s involvement in Jun-kyung’s attempted murder. After ensuring Tae-jeon gets what’s coming for him, Jun-kyung reunites with Ah-ri. Throughout the show, Jun-kyung remains forthcoming about his feelings for Ah-ri, but Ah-ri stubbornly ignores them. After Jun-kyung’s accident, Ah-ri admits her feelings to herself but thinks it’s too late by then. Ultimately, the couple finds their way back to each other, both alive and well.