Popular comedian Kim Gu-ra has quit all the TV programs he hosts after an old audio clip went viral in which he referred to the so-called comfort women forced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan as "prostitutes."
The one-minute audio clip came from an online radio program he hosted back in 2002 on the popular political parody website Ddanzi Ilbo. Kim reports on an incident where 80 prostitutes at a brothel in southeastern Seoul rented buses to visit the National Human Rights Commission to protest against an indiscriminate police crackdown.
"We haven't seen a sight like this, where 80 prostitutes board two buses, for quite a long time, probably since the comfort women or something like that," Kim is heard to say. When the clip spread on the Internet, websites of popular TV programs Kim hosted were filled with thousands of comments criticizing the comedian.
As controversy intensified, Kim issued a statement through his agency saying he would immediately quit the eight entertainment programs he hosts.