Women all over the world are speaking out about their experiences of being harassed, and South Korea is no exception. After a relatively slow start this fall, momentum has increased dramatically in recent weeks.
The #MeToo movement, which started in America and has, so far, ended the public careers of men from Hollywood (such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K.) to Washington D.C. (e.g. Al Franken, Roy Moore, and John Coyners) has reached South Korea’s entertainment industry.
Here are the celebrities who under scrutiny so far:
1. Choi Il Hwa
Choi Il Hwa is a 35-year acting veteran who has starred in many minor roles in dramas. He resigned from his position as chairman of the board for the Korean Actors Association, apologized for his past, and expressed a willingness to face the legal consequences of his actions.
2. Oh Tae Seok
Oh Tae Seok is a world-famous stage director who founded the Mokhwa Repertory Company in 1984. He has been accused of improperly touching his female assistant.
3. Han Myung Gu
Han Myung Gu was a theater actor and professor at Seoul Institute for the Arts. He resigned from teaching and apologized after being accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment.
4. Lee Youn Taek
Artistic director of leading theater group Yeonheedan, Lee Youn Taek was accused by multiple actresses of sexual harassment and assault. He has apologized for his acts and said he is willing to take responsibility for his crimes.
5. Jo Min Ki
Actor Jo Min Ki was accused of taking advantage of his position as a professor at Cheongju University to sexually harass female students for years. After first denying the claims, he has since admitted to wrongdoing, been fired by the school, and had his contract terminated with his agency. The police have announced that he will be summoned for investigation sometime in March.
6. Jo Jae Hyun
Following the accusations of actress Choi Yul, actor Jo Jae Hyun apologized for his actions. TvN has announced that he will be written out of their drama Cross, which is currently airing, even though he is the male lead.
7. Oh Dal Su
Though accused of harassing female junior actresses while a member of a Busan theater troupe in the 90s, Oh Dal Su has denied all allegations.
8. Nam Goongyeon
This drummer and radio DJ was accused by a traditional Korean musician of sexual harassment over the period of months. Though the accusations were anonymous at first—identifying neither the accuser nor the accused—Nam Goongyeon soon released a statement (with the help of his lawyer) denying everything.