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(EDITORIAL from Korea Times on Oct. 11)

2017/10/11 06:59

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Sexual abuse in showbiz

: Weinstein, Kim Ki-duk cases dead ringers

Miramax co-founder and Hollywood wheeler-dealer Harvey Weinstein is facing allegations of sexual misconduct over decades including sexual harassment of actresses such as Ashley Judd, and employees in his company.

Sounds familiar? In terms of abusing dominant power to force actresses to perform against their will, it reminds us of an old case that was recently revealed -- one about renowned Korean director Kim Ki-duk.

Both the Weinstein and Kim cases point to the need for victims to testify against these sexual predators in the movie industry. As seen in the Weinstein case, members in the Korean movie industry should come out in support of the victims.

The American producer admitted to some of allegations but denied others, offering apologies to the victims but threatening legal action against the whistleblower.

Weinstein is credited with many successful films including "Shakespeare in Love" in 1998 for which he won an Academy Award, and other successes such as "Pulp Fiction" and "The English Patient."

   After the sexual harassment allegations surfaced, the film mogul was fired by the Weinstein Company, the production studio he founded in 2005 and a dominant force at the Oscars with films such as "The King's Speech" and "The Artist."

   A chorus of condemnation has come from the Hollywood establishment, including Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Judi Dench, all of whom had worked with the producer in some of their key works.

Weinstein's appalling behavior would not have been made public had it not been for the brave women who spoke out. It must have taken a lot of courage for them to reveal the shameful side of such an influential producer.

Here in August, an actress filed a complaint with the prosecution against film director Kim Ki-duk, claiming that he forced her to shoot sex scenes without her consent and verbally and physically abused her during the shooting of the 2013 film "Moebius. " He admitted to the assault, but denied sexual harassment allegations.

Kim came to prominence after he won the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for "Pieta. " The actress, who later pulled out from the film, kept quiet about the violence for a long time because of his huge influence in the film industry, according to the Federation of Korea Movie Workers' Union. But few Korean actresses or others in the industry have come out in condemnation.

The Weinstein and Kim cases are basically about a powerful man taking advantage of their position of strength to prey on women. This goes beyond the film industry. Women in all workplaces should not be afraid to speak up. Others should see such cases of sexual abuse as their own business.

(END)

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