Korean President Ready to Resign

South Korea’s under-siege president Park Geun-hye says she has asked parliament to help her find a way of stepping down honorably.

Park said that she will resign if the National Assembly can find a practical means for a smooth handover of power. Parliament is currently set to discuss her possible impeachment on Friday.

Her tentative offer to resign would avoid the pain and shame of her being forced out of office. Her current term has 13 months to run.

She has been embroiled in a series of controversies and her approval rating dropped to single figures. The latest scandal revealed her to have relied too heavily on a personal friend Choi Soon-sil who may have influenced political decisions for personal gain. Exposure of the links — and Choi’s links to a shamanistic group — has sparked mass protests on the streets of Korea.

Park has presided over a deeply illiberal regime that is widely regarded to have restricted personal and media freedoms.

The media industry also found itself part of the story. In recent weeks members of parliament exposed a blacklist of public figures including film makers Park Chan-wok and Lee Chang-dong who Park’s government deemed as hostile and therefore ineligible for public funding.

Choi and her associate a TV and commercials director Cha Eun-taek were alleged to have influenced a presidential media advisory committee. Through that Choi is said to have exercised influence over the Culture Ministry to push her own vision and to make appointments to government agencies of Cha’s associates.

Allegations have also been made concerning CJ Entertainment, the country’s largest movie studio. The company is alleged to have green lighted patriotic movies “Ode to my Father” and “Operation Chromite,” both big commercial hits, in response to government pressure. CJ Entertainment’s head Miky Lee is also rumored to have been ousted as a result of direct influence from Park’s office.

An increase in the budget of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) for its render farm project has also come under suspicion of Choi/Cha influence. It may now be probed by prosecutors.

Similarly, Park’s intolerance of media criticism may have indirectly led to the two year problems of the Busan film festival. The mayor of Busan and a Park ally launched a witch hunt at the festival after its 2014 edition programmed a documentary “Diving Bell” (aka “The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol”) which alleged a government cover-up after the fatal ferry sinking earlier in the year.


More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content