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Survey: 6 of 10 women in Korean film industry suffered sexual harassment

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It seems sexual harassment is prevalent in the Korean film industry with 6 of 10 women claiming they’ve experienced it.

(From left) Cho Jae-hyun in ‘A Korean in Paris,' Oh Dal-su in ‘Tunnel’ and Jo Min Ki in ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ (Korean Film Council and SBS) /mb.com.ph

(From left) Cho Jae-hyun in ‘A Korean in Paris,’ Oh Dal-su in ‘Tunnel’ and Jo Min Ki in ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ (Korean Film Council and SBS)

As the Me Too movement continues to spread in South Korea to expose sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), Korean Film Council (KOFIC) and Women in Film Korea opened recently the Center for Gender Equality in Korean Film to combat sexual violence in the industry.

Following the launch, the results of a survey on sexual assault and harassment among people in the Korean film industry were released.

From July to September last year, 749 actors, producers, writers and film staff were surveyed of which 62.3 percent or 467 were women.

The survey showed that 46.1 percent of the total respondents said they experienced sexual violence and sexual harassment. Of these, 61.5 percent were women and 17.2 percent were men.

Among them, 65.4 percent of the writers said they experienced it while 61 percent of the actors, 51.7 of the producers and 50 percent of the production staff said they did.

Of the female respondents, 40 percent said they received sexual comments about their appearance, 33.4 percent said they were forced to drink alcohol or were forced to sit next to the perpetrators, 28.9 percent said they had been subjected to sexual harassment in the way the perpetrators looked at specific body parts, 27.6 percent said they were forced to meet the offenders in private while 22.3 percent said they had unwanted physical contact and 11.3 percent said they were asked for sex. Of the perpetrators, 71.6 percent were male and 5.2 percent were female.

Of the sexual violence and harassment incidents, 44.3 percent occurred at the place of drinking of eating, 19.4 percent were in places for outside meetings, 16.8 percent were in filming sets and 15.4 percent were in conference rooms.

Among those who were recently accused of sexual harassment were actors Oh Dal-su and Cho Jae-hyun and directors Kim Ki Duk and Lee Hyun Joo. Oh Dal-Su and Cho Jae-hyun admitted to the allegations and apologized.

Actor Jo Min Ki was found dead in an apparent suicide just recently after he was accused of sexual harassment by his students.

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