Remaining yr seen the beginning of South Korea’s #MeToo movement when Search engine advertising and marketing Ji-Hyun, a prosecutor from Seoul, spoke out after she was groped by a senior colleague. Since then, ladies all through utterly totally different industries have slowly started to discuss their non-public experiences of abuse and harassment.
Now, a leak of categorical group chats involving plenty of extreme profile males in leisure has led to calls from most of the people to reinvestigate incidents of an identical nature the place males weren’t prosecuted.
The person on the centre of the latest scandal is Seungri, a 28-year-old Okay-pop star who was the youngest member of the boy band Giant Bang, one amongst South Korea’s largest idol groups and one in all many first Okay-pop acts to start touring worldwide.
Nonetheless, for the first time, ladies in South Korea are seeing concrete outcomes for his or her efforts to get their voices heard by way of social media, and there stands out as the hope that perhaps, this time, the lads involved — and others sooner than them — will actually be held accountable for his or her actions.
On the end of February, a reporter from South Korean broadcaster SBS funE obtained a keep of categorical films and messages from a gaggle chat on South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk that involved plenty of extreme profile males inside the leisure commerce allegedly arranging prostitutes for worldwide merchants, recording categorical films of women with out their consent, and distributing the footage inside the chat.
The messages had been anonymously emailed to a lawyer by a whistleblower after someone inside the group chat despatched their cellphone in for restore. It is not clear whether or not or not the whistleblower was the person repairing the cellphone, and the one who the cellphone belonged to has since requested anonymity, in accordance with Korean info firm Yonhap.
The lawyer, Bang Jung-hyun, despatched an archive of the messages, which he talked about spanned eight months, to SBS funE and reported the case to South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Price after he found messages related to an ongoing investigation proper right into a nightclub referred to as Burning Photo voltaic.
On March 10, Seungri was booked on bills of violating anti-prostitution authorized tips and referred to as in for questioning by police over allegations of drug taking and arranging prostitutes for worldwide merchants at nightclubs he has ties to. Police talked about that that they had moreover booked three to four totally different people who on the time had been unnamed.
The similar day, police moreover searched a nightclub referred to as Space, the place Seungri had apparently illegally offered prostitutes in December 2015 for an unnamed worldwide investor, in accordance with the messages. Prostitution is towards the legislation in South Korea punishable with three years imprisonment.
South Korean info outlet Sisa Press moreover printed messages that appeared to point a dialog between Seungri and his enterprise affiliate earlier to a go to to Indonesia, when Seungri allegedly offered utterly totally different ladies to the enterprise affiliate and requested how lots he would pay the women. The screenshots appear to point Seungri mentioning the value of 10 million acquired ($10,000).
The next day, Seungri shocked his followers by asserting that he was retiring from music.
The 28-year-old and his label, YG Leisure, have repeatedly denied the allegations and talked about that the messages had been fabricated. Seungri’s enterprise affiliate, Yoo In Suk, a co-CEO of funding agency Yuri Holdings, has moreover denied accusations that he himself was moreover involved inside the group chats.
Seungri had already been questioned in February as part of the investigation into Burning Photo voltaic nightclub, the place he was most of the people relations director.
Police had begun investigating the nightclub after an individual named Kim Sang-kyo talked about he was assaulted by the membership’s staff when he was serving to a girl who had been sexually harassed there.
Kim talked about that the assault left him with broken ribs, nonetheless he was himself moreover positioned beneath arrest and extra assaulted by police.
On the time, police initially responded to the report by saying the individual was obstructing the membership’s enterprise. Kim created a petition demanding justice, which gained over 200,000 signatures.
The investigations into the messages from the group chat moreover revealed the existence of group chats the place males had been sharing sexually categorical films of women who appear to be unaware that that they had been being filmed.
In South Korea, there was a rising downside of tiny hidden cameras which can be utilized to report people in altering rooms, bedrooms, bogs and in different private areas. The precise films — typically referred to as “molka” — are generally distributed all through the online on porn internet sites.
On March 11, Jung Joon-young, 30, a singer-songwriter, was named as a participant inside the group chat. He has been accused of sharing ten films of women over a ten-month interval.
His firm initially denied the allegations. Jung had been in another country on the time nonetheless apologized on the airport upon returning to the nation on March 12. He launched a press launch later that day admitting to the allegations.
A day later, South Korean media outlets named one different member of the group chat as Choi Jong-hoon, 29, a member of South Korean rock band FT Island. Choi reportedly despatched a message to the group chat talking about being caught drink-driving and allegedly asking a police officer to deal with it with out most of the people understanding.
Choi’s label later talked about that, after checking with him, Choi did pay a 2.5 million acquired very good ($2,500) for drink driving and had his licence suspended for 100 days in February 2016. His label talked about that he would cooperate with the police of their investigation and whereas the investigation goes down, he would halt all actions with the label.
Jung and Choi gave the impression to be involved in an alternate the place Jung talked about, “Let’s all meet on-line and go to a strip bar and rape in a car.”
Someone solely named as Park then responded, “We do that in precise life too, you understand.”
Choi agreed, and Park added, “This is usually a movie. Give it some thought for five minutes. We merely didn’t murder, a complete lot of bastards have gone to jail for that.”
All eight members of the group chat have now been acknowledged. They’re: now former Giant Bang member Seungri, Yoo, Jung, Choi and four non-celebrities. All the people in question have now retired from their respective corporations and have been questioned by police.
On March 14, Yong Jun-hyung, a member of the Okay-pop group Highlight, moreover launched that he was retiring from the leisure commerce, even if he was not involved inside the group chat. Yong talked about that he had started chatting with Jung on the end of 2015 and admitted to collaborating in “very inappropriate conversations”.
Former CNBLUE member Lee Jong-hyun has moreover retired after admitting that he moreover seen categorical hidden digital digicam footage, no matter not being inside the group chat.
Following the scandal, the South Korean public has been shining a spotlight on earlier circumstances the place males have been talked about to have abused their power, such as a result of the lack of lifetime of Jang Ja-yeon, an actor who killed herself in 2009.
Jang had left a observe the place she accused her agent of forcing her to current sexual favors to 31 high-profile leisure figures and journalists. Her agent was not acknowledged nonetheless was arrested in July 2009 and charged for coercing her. He was given a one-year jail sentence.
Among the many 31 people Jang accused in her observe had been investigated by the police on the time nonetheless had been acquitted, in accordance with the Korea Events. The names of the 31 people had been withheld by SBS TV out of privateness concerns.
As a result of the statute of limitations on Jang’s case runs out on the end of March, people campaigned on social media to get Jang’s case retried by getting South Korea’s president to extend the time.
The advertising and marketing marketing campaign acquired assist from actor Yoon Ji-oh, who talked about she had seen a number of of the names on the letters in question. She posted to Instagram saying she believes the late actress was sexually assaulted and testified at a trial of a reporter who has been accused of sexually assaulting Jang on March 18.
Concerns about police corruption in Seungri’s case moreover led to rising assist for a petition that was started on March 12 as a remaining minute advertising and marketing marketing campaign to ensure that Jang’s case was not forgotten about sooner than the statute of limitations ends. It now has larger than 670,000 signatures.
On March 18, South Korean President Moon Jae-in responded by putting in an emergency order, which is ready to allow prosecutors two further months to analysis Jang’s case.
The president moreover talked about there shall be thorough investigation into one different case involving former vice justice minister Kim Hak-ui.
Kim was accused of raping ladies and receiving sexual corporations that had been organized for by a developer that was in the hunt for enterprise favours from the then senior prosecution official.
Kim went on to develop to be the vice justice minister and later resigned when the intercourse for favours allegations surfaced. He was cleared in 2013, nonetheless there have been doubts by the Justice Ministry if the prosecution had appropriately investigated his case, in accordance with the Korea Herald.
The president has assured most of the people and talked about that thorough investigations would not solely be carried out inside the outdated circumstances, however as well as inside the one involving Seungri.
Whatever the federal authorities’s bulletins, people are nonetheless encouraging most of the people to proceed signing the petition about Jang with a view to get way more time and to take care of the discussions going.
On Thursday, Jung was arrested after exhibiting in courtroom docket and admitting to all the prices. He has been dropped by his administration agency.
Choi’s administration agency moreover talked about it was terminating its contract with him.
Seungri has continued to deny the allegations, with his lawyer occurring TV and saying that the textual content material messages had been out of context and that the singer wasn’t arranging for a sexual escort nonetheless fairly a girl to accompany the enterprise affiliate.
Seungri was questioned for the fourth time by police on Thursday March 21 referring to a violation of the meals sanitation act at one amongst his golf tools.
Of us have moreover been calling on Netflix to take down a gift that features Seungri on Netflix titled YG Future Approach Office.
A Netflix spokesperson instructed BuzzFeed Info that they have been educated of the allegations and “take the problem considerably.”
“Now we’ve got no plans for doing full of life promotion of this current,” the spokesperson talked about.●