SEOUL, March 15 (Korea Bizwire) — As the #MeToo movement grows in South Korea, TV broadcasters are considering preventative measures to weed out sexual harassment on set.
MBC, one of the major national broadcast networks, said on Wednesday the department of drama series has provided sexual harassment prevention training for the staff of the upcoming two-episode series, ‘I’m Going Crazy, Because of You!’, which is set to be aired in May.
Both the film crew members and the cast of primetime drama series ‘Tempted’, ‘Let’s Hold Hands Tightly and Watch the Sunset’ and ‘The Rich Son’ received education on sexual harassment before script reading practice began.
The #MeToo movement is also impacting the way scripts are written. Cable network tvN has included guidelines for sexual harassment prevention in scripts.
The guidelines outline undesirable behavior in detail, advising against making ‘physical contact that could be sexually humiliating’ or ‘comparing or describing colleagues’ appearance sexually’, while teaching victims how to report sexual harassment, including contact information for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
“There is an atmosphere on set as of late that people should come forward and not shy away if there is something wrong,” an official at KBS said.
The move comes amid growing pressure on employers across the sectors in South Korean society to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace
When accusations of sexual harassment emerge, actors are often stepping down mid-filming and consequently throwing the whole TV production process off track.
Renowned South Korean actor Cho Jae-Hyun was removed from tvN’s hit series ‘Cross’ after admitting to some of the sexual harassment allegations brought against him.
Following rumors accusing an actor referred to as ‘J’ of forcing a kiss on a young staff member after sitting her down on his lap, Cho issued a statement, in which he called himself a ‘sinner’ and said he bowed his head in apology to the victims who had been hurt.
The role of Go Jung-hoon, the character who Cho played on Cross, was heavily edited in the run-up to the 12th episode where he was killed off in a deadly traffic accident.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)