2 out of 3 Women in Movie Industry Suffer Sexual Harassment

  • By Song Hye-jin

    March 13, 2018 12:17

    Two out three women working in the Korean movie industry have suffered sexual harassment or assault, a survey out on Monday suggests. The most prevalent form was inappropriate comments, but one in nine respondents said they were accosted for sex.

    The survey was conducted by the Korean Film Council and Women in Film Korea from June to September last year of 749 actors, producers, writers and crew, 62.3 percent of whom were women. Some 46.1 percent of respondents said they suffered sexual harassment -- 61.5 percent women and 17.2 percent men.

    Of the women, 11.3 percent said they were accosted for sex, while 22.3 percent said they were either touched inappropriately or told to touch others intimately. Some 27.6 percent said they were coerced into dating or meeting privately with the abusers.

    The perpetrators were mostly movie executives, colleagues, and their teachers at drama school. 

    The incidents often occurred in after-work gatherings (44.3 percent), followed by meetings or other work-related settings (19.4 percent), movie sets (16.8 percent) and conference rooms (15.4 percent). 

    A third of women or 31 percent said they suffered such abuses most frequently when they just started their career. And it seems budding talents who work on a freelance basis are more vulnerable, with 50.4 of actresses and 41.2 percent of writers experiencing abuses, compared to 10.6 percent of regular staff employed in film companies.

    Actresses are the easiest target, often being told to expose themselves in auditions or on set. One respondent said, "What usually happens is the director suddenly proposes to make the scene 'sexier' by asking you to reveal more of your body, which was not in the script."

    But some 46.3 percent respondents opted not to ring the alarm. Only 12.9 percent said they reported the abuse and only 0.7 percent raised a ruckus on the scene. Some 53.5 percent said they only told their friends but chose not to inform the authorities. A mere 0.3 percent said they went to the police.

    Myung Films head Shim Jae-myung and director Lim Soon-rye, who spearhead the fight for gender equality in the film industry, said that they will step up their activities and efforts for the cause. 

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