Females in South Korea are having their voices heard through social media, and there’s fresh hope that males will be held accountable for their actions.
Ikran Dahir and.
Last updated on March 22, 2019, at 4: 16 p.m. ET.
Posted on March 22, 2019, at 3: 00 p.m. ET.
Last year saw the start of South Korea’s #MeToo movement when Seo Ji-Hyun, a prosecutor from Seoul, spoke up after she was groped by a senior associate. Ever since, women across different markets have actually slowly begun to speak about their personal experiences of abuse and harassment.
Now, a leakage of explicit group chats involving a number of prominent males in entertainment has actually resulted in calls from the public to reinvestigate incidents of a comparable nature where guys were not prosecuted.
The person at the center of the current scandal is Seungri, a 28- year-old K-pop star who was the youngest member of the kid band Big Bang, among South Korea’s biggest idol groups and one of the first K-pop acts to start visiting worldwide.
However, for the very first time, ladies in South Korea are seeing concrete outcomes for their efforts to get their voices heard through social media, and there is the hope that perhaps, this time, the guys involved– and others before them– will in fact be held liable for their actions.
At the end of February, a press reporter from South Korean broadcaster SBS FunE got a hold of explicit videos and messages from a group chat on South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk that included several prominent men in the entertainment industry allegedly setting up woman of the streets for foreign financiers, recording explicit videos of females without their permission, and distributing the footage in the chat.
The messages had actually been anonymously emailed to an attorney by a whistleblower after somebody in the group chat sent their phone in for repair. It is unclear whether the whistleblower was the individual fixing the phone, according to Korean news agency, Yonhap
The identity of the person who sent their phone in for repair work was later on revealed to be Jung Joon-young, a 30- year-old singer-songwriter, who has since been jailed.
The lawyer, Bang Jung Hyun, sent out an archive of the messages, which he stated spanned 8 months, to SBS FunE and reported the case to South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission after he found messages associated with a continuous investigation into a bar called Burning Sun.
On March10, Seungri was booked on charges of breaching anti-prostitution laws and called in for questioning by police over claims of substance abuse and setting up prostitutes for foreign financiers at bars he has ties to. Police said they had also reserved three to four other individuals who at the time were unnamed.
The same day, cops likewise searcheda bar called Arena, where Seungri had obviously unlawfully used woman of the streets in December 2015 to an unnamed foreign financier, according to the messages. Prostitution is a crime in South Korea punishable with jail time for three years.
South Korean news outlet Sisa Press also released messages that appeared to show a discussion in between Seungri and his organisation partner prior to a trip to Indonesia, when Seungri apparently used different females to business partner and asked how much he would pay the women. The screenshots appear to reveal Seungri pointing out the price of 10 million won ($10,00 0).
The next day, Seungri surprised his fans by revealing that he was retiring from music.
The 28- year-old and his label, YG Home entertainment, have repeatedly denied the accusations and said that the messages were produced. Seungri’s organisation partner, Yoo In Suk, a co-CEO of investment business Yuri Holdings, has actually likewise rejected accusations that he himself was also associated with the group chats.
Seungri had already been questioned in February as part of the examination into Burning Sun nightclub, where he was the general public relations director.
Cops had started examining the nightclub after a man named Kim Sang Kyo stated he was attacked by the club’s personnel when he was helping a lady who had actually been sexually pestered there.
Kim said that the attack left him with broken ribs, however he was himself likewise positioned under arrest and further attacked by police.
The investigations into the messages from the group chat likewise exposed the existence of group talks where guys were sharing raunchy videos of females who seem uninformed that they were being shot.
In South Korea, there has actually been a growing issue of tiny concealed cameras that are utilized to tape people in altering rooms, bed rooms, restrooms, and in different private areas. The specific videos– understood as” molka”– are frequently distributed throughout the web on porn sites.
On March 11, Jung, who would later be exposed as the owner of the phone sent in for repair work, was called as a participant in the group chat. He has been accused of sharing 10 videos of females over a 10- month duration.
His agency initially rejected the allegations. Jung had run out the country at the time however said sorry at the airport upon returning to the country on March12 He launched a statement later on that day admitting to the accusations.
A day later, South Korean media outlets called another member of the group chat as Choi Jong-Hoon, 29, a member of South Korean rock band FEET Island. Choi apparently sent a message to the group chat talking about being captured driving under the influence and presumably asking a policeman to deal with it without the public knowing.
Choi’s label later on stated that, after talking to him, Choi did pay a 2.5 million won ($ 2,500) fine for drink driving and had his license suspended for 100 days in February2016 His label stated that he would cooperate with the police in their investigation and while the investigation is taking place, he would stop all activities with the label.
Jung and Choi appeared to be involved in an exchange where Jung stated, “Let’s all meet online and go to a strip bar and rape in a cars and truck.”
Someone just called as Park then reacted, “We do that in real life too, you know.”
Choi agreed, and Park included, “This is a motion picture. Believe about it for five minutes. We just didn’t murder, a lot of bastards have actually gone to prison for that.”
All eight members of the group chat have actually now been recognized. They are: former Big Bang member Seungri, Yoo, Jung, Choi, and four noncelebrities. All of the individuals in concern have now retired from their particular companies and have actually been questioned by cops.
On March 14, Yong Jun-hyung, a member of the K-pop group Highlight, likewise announced that he was retiring from the show business, even though he was not associated with the group chat. Yong said that he had actually begun talking with Jung at the end of 2015 and admitted to participating in “very inappropriate conversations.”
Following the scandal, the South Korean public has been shining a spotlight on previous cases where males have been said to have abused their power, such as the death of Jang Ja-yeon, an actor who eliminated herself in 2009
Jang had left a note where she implicated her representative of requiring her to provide sexual favors to 31 high-profile home entertainment figures and reporters. Her agent was not determined but was arrested in July 2009 and charged for coercing her. He was offered a 1 year prison sentence.
A Few Of the 31 people Jang implicated in her note were examined by the police at the time however were acquitted, according to the Korea Times. The names of the 31 people were kept by SBS TELEVISION out of privacy concerns.
As the statute of constraints on Jang’s case runs out at the end of March, people campaigned on social networks to get Jang’s case retried by getting South Korea’s president to extend the time.
The project got support from star Yoon Ji-oh, who said she had actually seen some of the names on the letters in concern. She posted to Instagram stating she thinks the late star was sexually assaulted and affirmed at a trial of a reporter who was accused of sexually attacking Jang on March 18.
Issues about authorities corruption in Seungri’s case likewise resulted in growing assistance for a petition that was begun on March 12 as a last-minute project to ensure that Jang’s case was not forgotten before the statute of limitations ends. It now has more than 670,00 0 signatures.
On March 18, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reacted by putting in an emergency order, which will allow prosecutors two more months to investigate Jang’s case.
The president also stated there will be comprehensive investigation into another case involving previous vice justice minister Kim Hak-ui.
Kim was implicated of raping women and receiving sexual services that were organized for by a designer who was trying to find company prefers from the then– senior prosecution official.
Kim went on to become the vice justice minister and later resigned when the claims surfaced. He was cleared in 2013, but there have been doubts by the Justice Ministry if the prosecution had actually correctly examined his case, according to the Korea Herald.
The president has actually ensured the public and stated that extensive investigations would not only be performed in the old cases, however also in the one involving Seungri.
Regardless of the government’s announcements, people are still encouraging the public to continue signing the petition about Jang in order to get even more time and to keep the conversations going.
On Thursday, Jung was apprehended after appearing in court and admitting to all the charges. He has been stopped by his management company.
Choi’s management business likewise stated it was terminating its contract with him.
Seungri has actually continued to deny the allegations, with his lawyer going on TELEVISION and saying that the text messages ran out context and that the vocalist wasn’t scheduling a sexual escort but rather a woman to accompany the company partner.
Seungri was questioned for the fourth time by police on Thursday, March 21, regarding a violation of the food sanitation act at one of his clubs.
Individuals have actually also been contacting Netflix to take down a show featuring Seungri on Netflix entitled YG Future Technique Office
A Netflix spokesperson informed BuzzFeed News that they have actually been informed of the claims and “take the issue seriously.”
” We have no plans for doing active promo of this program,” the spokesperson stated. ●
Lee Jong-Hyun has actually not retired. A previous version of this post said he had.
This story has been upgraded to state that Jung Joon-young was the individual who sent their phone in for repair work.