The #MeToo movement is gaining even more traction in Korea as another incident of sexual harassment has been brought to light involving veteran actor Han Jae Young, and theater company CEO Kim Young Soo.
On March 4, an anonymous actress, surnamed Park, posted on her personal Facebook about how she was harassed by Theater Shinhwa’s CEO Kim Young Soo and actor Han Jae Young in 2010.
“I want to report Theater Shinhwa CEO Kim Young Soo and actor Han Jae Young for sexual harassment.” — Park
According to the detailed post, the harassment from Kim Young Soo started with little things like a kiss on the cheek here, a kiss on the lips there. But the harassment escalated one night when Kim Young Soo called Park out to drink.
“Since the subway wasn’t running anymore, I was planning on sleeping at the theater. But he took me to a motel. He told me not to misunderstand, and to sleep properly. It felt wrong, so I slept on the sofa. But the CEO took off his clothes and went to shower even when I was there. After his shower, he told me to come to bed with him.” — Park
When Park turned down the CEO’s advances, he became angry with her and told her that he shouldn’t have given her so many parts in the company play.
After the incident, the CEO did everything in his power to make Park’s life miserable. He even scolded her in front of her peers every chance that he got. Not knowing what to do, Park went to actor Han Jae Young for advice.
“Han Jae Young and I went to a nearby bar to drink. Nobody else came. We talked about acting for a bit, and then I paid and we left. I was going to sleep at the theater, but he asked me to go to a motel with him. I was shocked. What kind of person would ask that after I just cried to them about being sexually harassed. I rejected him, but he followed me, then he sexually harassed me. I kept rejecting him, and he finally left.” — Park
After the news of his sexual harassment broke, Han Jae Young’s agency, Sem Company, released an official apology.
“Hello. This is SEM Company.
We are releasing our official statement on the news that was distributed about Han Jae Young yesterday.
First, we apologize for the late release of this statement. We wanted to confirm the truth with the actor himself before releasing an official statement. We are truly sorry for the disturbance we may have caused due to the shameful news.“
Han Jae Young also released an official apology.
“This is Han Jae Young. I thought that I should apologize to the person first, so I called her, and sincerely apologized to her. She has forgiven me and accepted the apology.
For whatever reason it may be, she was hurt, so I would like to sincerely apologize to her again with my head hung in shame. With this experience, I will take a hard look at myself and reflect on my mistakes. Again, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience I may have caused to people.”
Theater company CEO Kim Young Soo’s official apology reads as follows:
“This is Theater Shinhwa’s CEO, Kim Young Soo.
I would like to sincerely apologize to the person who has been hurt by my past actions.
I sincerely regret my actions and am deeply reflecting on the suffering I caused while I was running the theater because of my narrow-minded thinking and short-sightedness.
If I get the opportunity to meet with her, I will officially apologize and do everything I can to heal the pain.
In addition, I am even more embarrassed and ashamed for delivering this shameful news, adding to the series of events happening in the world of culture and art.
I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt due to my actions.
I would also like to apologize to the Theater Shinhwa members and theater colleagues who followed me and believed in me.
I take full responsibility for this situation by resigning from the CEO position of Theater Shinhwa, and I will suspend all of my projects and activities.
To those who have been hurt, I hope this can provide even just a little bit of comfort.”