You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Korean Sex Assault Crisis Deepens With Cover-up, Charges Against Festival Director

The catalog of sex crime allegations is fast becoming a crisis for the Korean film industry.

Kim Yong-bin, former head of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, was Wednesday indicted on a charge of indecent assault. One day earlier, it emerged that staff of the Korean Academy of Film Arts attempted to bury details of a female-on-female assault that has since resulted in a suspended prison term for director Lee Hyun-joo.

Kim has been accused of sexual assault by two women. One, a former programmer, reported that Kim touched her backside in the festival offices in 2013 and praised how well her jeans fitted her. The other says Kim assaulted her during a workshop meeting a month later.

Kim has denied the allegations, but the police have now charged him. He is free on bail until next week, when the case will be addressed by prosecutors.

Lee, whose lesbian romance “Our Love Story” won multiple prizes, was found guilty in December 2017 of a sexual assault in 2015.

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) now reveals that Lee’s victim complained to a KAFA professor who told her not to make trouble. The Academy head was also made aware of the complaint, chose not to take action.

New KOFIC chairman, Oh Seok-geun this week apologized to the victim and said that the Council will take measures to avoid further incidents.

As the #MeToo campaign has gained momentum in Korea, other institutions are now weighing in. Last week, the National Assembly’s education, culture, sport and tourism committee, KOFIC and Women in Film Korea jointly launched Deun-Deun: Center for Gender Equality in Korean Film.

On Tuesday, Culture Minister, Do Jong-hwan promised to increase efforts to root out sex crimes in the culture industry, and to protect rights and interests of artists. “(The government) will not let the term ‘art’ mean the exploitation of women or allow violence towards them,” said Do.

According to the police, some 70 people have been accused since the beginning of #MeToo. Ten, including prominent film director Kim Ki-duk and renowned stage director Lee Yoon-taek, have been charged with crimes. Earlier this month, veteran TV actor Jo Min-ki committed suicide after multiple accusations were made against him.

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content