'Parasite' Throws Spotlight on Korea's Real Corruption

      February 12, 2020 13:17

      The historic success of director Bong Joon-ho's film "Parasite" at the Oscars has focused the international spotlight on real-life corruption in Korea society like the nepotism scandal surrounding ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk.

      In an article on Monday titled "'Parasite' reflects deepening social divide in South Korea," Reuters wrote, "In 'Parasite,' one character fakes a diploma for her brother to get a job as a tutor for a rich family. The scene reminded some [Koreans] of an ongoing scandal that led to the resignation of Justice Minister Cho Kuk."

      Cho and his wife Chung Kyung-shim allegedly forged documents to help their children gain admission to prestigious schools and win awards. Cho is also accused of insider trading though a hedge fund owned by his family. He denies the allegations.

      "The issue was a particular disappointment to the young people who supported [Moon Jae-in] when he became president on a platform of cleaning out corruption," Reuters added.

      The Washington Post also chimed in, saying job prospects in Korea "are often based on family and school ties that favor the privileged," and added that Cho "was recently forced to step down after months of controversy and massive protests over corruption charges."

      Already back in October last year, the Economist published an article pointing to Moon's pledge to make Korea "fairer" in the presidential election in 2017 and the nepotism scandal involving Cho and his family. It said it was therefore no wonder that the film "struck a chord" with Koreans and sold over 10 million tickets in the country.

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