SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – The chairman and CEO of Kumho Asiana Group is facing sexual harassment allegations amid the growing #MeToo movement in South Korea, after female employees took to the internet to take issue with his alleged inappropriate behavior in the workplace, including a ‘forced hug’ and a ritual ‘lining up pretty flight attendants’.
In the midst of the latest sexual harassment allegations in South Korea promoted by the international #MeToo movement is Park Sam-koo, who heads the aviation giant Kumho Asiana Group, as an online post alleging Park’s inappropriate behavior around female flight attendants has gone viral.
Since first appearing on the company’s anonymous board, the post, which claims to expose Park’s sexual harassment at work, saw a plethora of inappropriate encounters with Park shared among Asiana employees, including blatantly favoring attractive flight attendants and pressuring them to give him a hug.
Park travels to the headquarters of Asiana Airlines in Seoul on the first Thursday of every month to cheer on flight attendants, according to the airline.
Standing in a circle in the lobby, Asiana flight attendants clap their hands with Park as part of the monthly corporate ritual, during which Park exchanges greetings with his workers, offers advice, and encourages female workers back on the job after maternity leave.
Park now faces a series of allegations of sexual harassment during a routine that many would expect from the North Korean regime, with many employees accusing the CEO of treating them like his personal cheering squad, as well some feeling pressured to shake hands with him.
It’s not the first time that Asiana Airlines has faced criticism over sexist behavior, as the airline’s work festival has been slammed in the past for forcing female employees to dance in racy outfits.
Kim has reportedly said openly that he comes to meet female flight attendants to receive ‘energy’, according to the Hankyoreh, which cited a source close to the airline.
Following criticism over some of the female employees at Asiana Airlines having to perform a traditional New Year’s bow clothed in hanbok, traditional Korean attire, Park also began receiving bows from male workers.
“Taking advantage of the momentum of the #MeToo movement, we now need to discuss things we found unfair but were too scared to speak up against, and use the chance to change corporate culture in a healthier way,” one Asiana Airlines employee said.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)