In a recent episode of SBS‘s Curious Stories Y — a documentary-type TV program dedicated to investigating curious events around the country — the shocking story of Kim, an 85-year-old Korean grandmother, aired.
Kim, who lives alone in a rural neighborhood of less than 30 households, had long been diagnosed with kidney problems and difficulty with mobility. Her real nightmares, however, started over 5 years ago with an unexpected visit from the neighborhood’s younger male leader, Park.
Kim claimed that Park would “grope [her] breasts and slide his hands down [her] pants” every time he visited. The sexual harassment began abruptly and continued relentlessly — and because Kim did not have the physical strength to fight against Park, she could only sit still while he molested her.
It took a while for Kim to gather up the courage to tell her son and daughter. She first asked them to install a front gate to block off the easy entry to her house. When they questioned why she would need a gate, Kim confessed her years of falling victim to Park’s nasty habits. She admitted, “It was such a shameful experience” that she felt embarrassed to even speak of it at first.
Sometimes I cried. I stayed up at night because I was scared. I thought about dying, because I didn’t see the point in living…
Rather than a gate, Kim’s children opted to install a CCTV inside Kim’s house — not only to check if Kim’s confession is true, but also to gain evidence if the harassment actually took place. To their disgust, the CCTV did indeed capture Park violating Kim over the course of several days.
Unfortunately, when Kim’s children sued Park for sexual harassment, the court ruled him not guilty. Several factors are said to have played into this result, but it was the very CCTV footage which really ended up working in Park’s favor. According to the children, the court viewed the footage and decided that Kim “must have given consent” as she did not seem to be refusing Park’s physical contact.
Shortly after the episode aired, Curious Stories Y viewers became largely frustrated with the program for broadcasting the actual CCTV footage.
They flooded SBS’s viewer forum with complaints over the “complete lack of sensitivity of the production team” for blasting Kim’s tragedy on national television — especially when Kim had commented that she is ashamed of what had happened to her.
- “Petition for punitive measures against the production team who aired sexual harassment CCTV footage.”
- “I’m baffled by how the producer of this show even got employed. How is he still keeping his position?”
- “Shouldn’t the production team have been more thoughtful about what to do with the CCTV footage…?”
- “Airing the footage was literally harassing the grandmother all over again.”
- “I’m going to file an official complaint about this.”
- “About that CCTV footage… Does the production team not care about the victim’s human rights?”
One viewer questioned, “Would the production team have aired the CCTV footage, had this been about their immediate family member?”
Curious Stories Y is yet to respond, but as the concerns continue to grow, viewers expect the footage to be edited out of the future reruns. Other petitions have since been circulating as well — requesting the arrest of Park and a more thorough investigation of Kim’s case overall.