South Korean film industry launches anti-sexual abuse workshops

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Seoul, Feb 16 (IANS) The South Korean film industry is launching several initiatives like anti-sexual abuse workshops to combat sexual harassment cases.

This has come in the wake of the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movements, which have gathered steam in Hollywood and elsewhere, and women are speaking out against sexual misconduct in their workplace like never before.

An increasing number of filmmakers, including director Baek Seung-hwa, are arranging for crew members to take part in anti-sexual abuse workshops.

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the state-backed organisation for promoting Korean cinema, is currently funding such workshops on film production sites and has plans to open a centre this year offering educational programmes and hotlines for victims, reports

A committee for preventing sexual violence has been launched by the Directors Guild of Korea, and committee members including Lee Yoon Jung and filmmaker Park Hyun-jin are collaborating with KOFIC to produce guidelines, taking a cue from the Producers Guild of America’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines.

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Hyun-jin says the industry has a long way to go, but is encouraged by the steps so far.

“It will be a very long process. KOFIC will be releasing results of a survey on sexual misconduct in the industry that will certainly help. We are taking small steps, but this will be a good start,” she said.

In last December, South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk was accused of forcing an actress to do an unscripted sex scene and slapping her on set while demonstrating a violent sequence for his 2013 drama Moebius.

Another actress, Kwak Hyun-hwa, took legal action against filmmaker Lee Soo-sung for releasing her nude scenes from the 2012 drama “A Room With a View” even though he had promised to edit them out.

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