Molka (a hidden or spy camera) is often illegally installed in public places, like restrooms, hotels, and changing rooms to secretly film women. It’s become such a serious issue in Korea that thousands of reports are filed by women for being illegally filmed every year. Cosmopolitan Korea has come under fire for releasing an editorial that appeared to glamorize the crime.
The magazine released photos that captured the backs of their models, imitating the low angles men use to secretly film underneath women’s clothing or record them using the restroom.
The editorial didn’t go over well with Korean netizens, who spoke up against the way the magazine seemed to minimize a severe issue.
Netizens emphasized the importance of consent and the life-threatening consequences of having an illegally filmed nude video leaked on the internet.
- “It terrifies me that not a single soul at Cosmopolitan Korea thought to stop this editorial as it was getting planned, scheduled, booked, directed, drafted, confirmed, published, and printed. What does this magazine even stand for?”
- “When will they stop apologizing for ‘having offended people’ and actually start taking responsibility for the wrong things they’ve done?”
- “Dear editor Kim So Yeon and photographer Won Bum Seok, we’d like to know your intentions behind this shoot!”
- “Taking pictures without consent is not an ‘issue that is controversial in society.’ It’s a criminal offense. Please stop downplaying your mistake.”
- “You know people are suffering and even losing their lives because photos are being taken without their consent on public transportation, in bathrooms, at home, and who-knows-where-else. As a trend-setting fashion magazine, you should be more aware of these things. Shame on you.”
After receiving negative responses to the editorial, Cosmopolitan Korea apologized through its Instagram page. That further angered netizens.
We sincerely apologize to everyone we have offended with the previously-posted editorial.
We admit that we were insensitive to the issues that are controversial in society right now, and we’re reflecting on the choices that were made.
We at Cosmopolitan promise that we’ll be more careful and thoughtful in content creation so that this does not happen again. Again, we’re terribly sorry.
— Cosmopolitan Korea
They were angered by the magazine for continuing to minimize the crime as a “controversial issue,” especially when its audience is the demographic most targeted by spy cameras.
- “Like what year are y’all living in…? It’s a bummer that people in the fashion industry are this slow to change. I’m baffled that NO ONE stopped and thought for a second while this entire shoot was getting arranged and published. This act of crime is NOT art.”
- “Cosmopolitan markets to a huge female audience, doesn’t it? So what made them think this concept will sit okay with their readers? If, in fact, no one on the team found this to be offensive, then the whole team needs to go. I can’t believe these people still get paid after f*cking up their own line of work like this.”
- “ISSUES THAT ARE CONTROVERSIAL IN SOCIETY RIGHT NOW? LMFAO. Illegal filming is not a small issue. You’re all trying to downplay what you’ve done.”
- “Cosmopolitan Korea raking in that dirty money from people into illegal filming! How cool is that!”
- “What you call an issue that is controversial in society is ACTUALLY a criminal offense. Call it what it is, please. LMAO.”