Extra! Korea

August 25, 2010

Taiwanese singer talks about being forced to sexually entertain in Korea

Filed under: gender equality, music, prostitution — extrakorea @ 6:54 am

Taiwanese singer Estrella Lin used to be a member of a girl group, 3EP Beauties, in South Korea. Now she’s talking about how she, and other female entertainers here, are pressured to sleep with investors in the entertainment industry (Chosun Ilbo, Korea Herald).

“I was forced to ‘sexually’ entertain investors but I never allowed myself to do so. I’m not afraid of Koreans protesting because what I said is so true,” she was quoted as saying by multiple news reports.

[ snip ]

“I was asked to go out and meet someone. There was a man, about my father’s age, who said ‘I will let you become whatever you become, if you let me buy your youth,’” a 20-something actress was quoted as saying in the human rights report.

It sounds very much like what was described in Jang Ja-yeon’s suicide note.

The reopening of the sensitive issue of the coerced sex trade for work and benefits in the entertainment world brought back the question of why police and prosecutors have not got to the bottom of the sex trade issue, despite the suicide of Korean actress Jang Ja-yeon in March 2009. Jang left a note saying she suffered forced “sponsorship” by her agency owner.

At that time, the police said it had identified five corporate figures, including a securities firm executive, a CEO, a drama director and three media moguls as major suspects who might have had sex with the late actress.

However, the year-long investigation ended up finding “little evidence,” according to the police, and the case was closed in April this year.

Lin claims that it happens to both men and women, and to both famous and B-list performers.

Lin wrote that any popular singers in Korea, regardless of gender, are pimped for sexual services but claimed that despite being frequently asked to sleep with investors, she stubbornly refused.

(emphasis mine)

Yu Gi-na, a film critic and professor at Dongguk University, concurs.

“Men who have power and high rank seem to think their power is bigger if they have sex with popular female entertainers in secrecy,” Yu told The Korea Herald.

[ snip ]

For Korean female entertainers, receiving a proposal to have sex in return for fame or money from influential figures is an open secret. Korean model Lee Pa-ni early this year revealed in a TV show that she was once made such an offer.

February 1, 2010

Police looking for man who solicited 14-year-old for sex

Filed under: crime, prostitution, youth — extrakorea @ 1:47 pm

The police are looking for a man who tried to buy sex from a 14-year-old online. It would be the first test case of this new law. From the article’s wording, this new software may have been used.

If caught, he will be the first case to be punished for “attempted teenage prostitution,” in accordance with a law which was put into effect this year, the National Police Agency said Tuesday.

Police suspect the man sent a message through an online chatting site on Jan. 2, offering money to the teenager named Song in exchange for having sex with him. Song reported it to the NPA’s cyber center.

[ snip ]

If convicted, he would have to spend up to 12 months in jail or be fined up to 10 million won.

December 9, 2009

Singer “Mr. Jeon” paid for sex with 16-year-old

Filed under: celebrities, music, prostitution — extrakorea @ 2:24 pm

Recently, Seoul police arrested pimps who prostituted 16-year-old runaways to clients. One of those clients was a famous singer, “Mr. Jeon,” who lives in the Jong-no district of Seoul.
When netizens began pointing out that Jeon Lee-soo (real name: Jeon Kwang-cheol), the lead singer of MC the Max, lives in Jong-no, the police changed the name of the suspect from “Mr. Jeon” to “Mr. J.”
So far, Mr. J has failed to obey a summons to the police station, and they may have to issue a warrant for his arrest.

July 23, 2009

Soliciting teenagers for sex will become punishable, even without sex

Filed under: crime, gender equality, prostitution, youth — extrakorea @ 11:36 pm

Next year, soliciting teenagers into sex-for-money exchanges (“wonjo kyoje” / 원조교제) will become a punishable offense, even if no sexual intercourse occurs.
I say, without any sarcasm, “Sparkling.”

July 7, 2009

Jang Ja-yeon’s former manager admits to beating her up

Filed under: actors/actresses, celebrities, crime, gender equality, prostitution — extrakorea @ 2:13 am

You might remember the ex-manager of late actress Jang Ja-yeon, Kim Sung-hoon, who was arrested in Japan and deported to Korea.

Police yesterday sought an arrest warrant to detain Kim Sung-hoon, the head of the late actress Jang Ja-yeon’s former management agency, on charges of physically assaulting Jang, embezzling money she earned from her performances and threatening Jang and her friends.

Kim has admitted to assaulting Jang, but he denies the other allegations. Kim is also accused of forcing Jang to serve drinks to and have sex with influential figures.

(emphasis mine)

So in his mind, corruption is something to be embarrassed about, but it’s OK to beat up women. If it were me, it would be the last thing that I’d admit to.

“Sure, I embezzled money. I both gave and accepted bribes, and cooked my accounting books, too. But I never beat up any women to force them into prostitution. Only a low-life smear of scum would do something like that.”

But that’s just me. And look at the pictures of him at the Hankyoreh and Korea Beat. I realize that, since he’s such a high-profile suspect, the police would escort him with huge guys. But Kim looks really small compared to just about every person in those two pictures. I guess that’s one reason why he beat up girls, to try to feel like a big man. I guess he doesn’t feel so tough now.

Survey suggests at least 19% of female entertainers forced to have sex

Filed under: actors/actresses, crime, gender equality, prostitution — extrakorea @ 12:24 am

Both the Hankyoreh and the Korea Times have written about the results of a poll that suggest that at least 19% of female entertainers are forced to have sex.

The results are based on 183 respondents out of nearly 2,000 entertainers who were asked to take part in the survey _ the remainder declined to answer.

Only 183 out of 2,000 answered?! I wonder why the other 1,817 refused to answer.

Of the 183, 19.1 percent said they were either forced to have sex with influential figures or witnessed their colleagues being coerced to do so.

Meanwhile, 34.4 percent, 63 respondents said they “were urged to participate in a business banquet to provide personal entertainment for an entertainment executive or broadcast official.

It sounds like about 19% were forced to have sex, and about 34% were forced to pour drinks, etc. And that’s from the 183 who responded. I wonder what the other 1,817 who remained silent would have said had they answered.

In the section of the survey asking who were the initiators, the respondents named approximately 10 persons who work as producers and senior officials in broadcasting companies, scenario writers, businessmen and politicians. The union, however, is not disclosing any names.

According to the union, the respondents gave the names of producers and executives of TV stations, writers, politicians, and business and entertainment heavyweights who were involved, but it refused to make them public.

June 24, 2009

Japanese police arrest head of late actress Jang Ja-yeon’s management agency

Filed under: actors/actresses, celebrities, crime, gender equality, prostitution, suicide — extrakorea @ 3:13 pm

Japanese police officers have arrested Kim Sung-hoon, the former head of late actress Jang Ja-yeon’s management agency. You might recall that Kim is the lame excuse for a human being who beat up Jang if she refused to sleep with rich and powerful men who were old enough to be her father.

“It will take about two months for Kim to return to Korea,” a police officer said. “Once his arrival, we will resume the stalemated investigation into figures allegedly involved in the scandal.”

Following her death, police launched a large-scale investigation, pledging to discover who had received such nasty favors from the actress regardless of their social positions.

Police concluded the investigation in April. They booked nine people out of the 20 questioned but failed to identify who the late actress was forced to provide entertainment and sexual intercourse to.

None of the corporate figures and media executives suspected of having sex with the late Jang have been booked. At that time, police said they were unable to find concrete evidence to the claim that the late actress was forced to provide sex in completing their investigation.

Jang hanged herself at her house in Bundang, south of Seoul, on March 7.

A few days later, her agent disclosed a seven-page suicide note, supposedly written by Jang, which stated that a former agent had forced her to provide sex and entertainment to several VIPs, including CEOs of two print and online media organizations, program directors and a bank CEO. The other bigwigs allegedly include owners and presidents of chaebol.

May 14, 2009

Come for the beer. Stay for the whores.

Filed under: economics, prostitution — extrakorea @ 12:59 pm

The Chosun Ilbo has a piece on how even the world’s oldest profession, which is usually immune to recessions, is also feeling the effects of the global economic downturn. For whatever reason, they focused upon two nations which are usually better known for their beer.

The London Independent recently reported that sex workers in Germany, where prostitution is legal, are taking various recession-busting measures. Growing numbers of brothels are employing modern marketing strategies and offering discounts to taxi drivers who bring in customers. The red light district in Hanover has turned to aggressive marketing after revenue dropped by over 30 percent compared to last year.

The Czech Republic, which has one of the largest sex tourism industries in Europe, has been hit badly by the recession. According to a survey firm in Prague, 60 percent of the money spent in the country by foreign tourists comes from the sex industry, but since the largest customer groups — English and German men — were dwindling, the recession has hit the Czech sex industry hard.

Maybe they’re just uppity because Kohlberg Kravis Roberts plans to buy Oriental Brewery, the makers of OB beer, from Anhueser-Busch InBev.

May 11, 2009

Chosun Ilbo sues lawmakers, and they might sue back

Filed under: actors/actresses, crime, gender equality, prostitution — extrakorea @ 9:33 am

I reported in a previous post that the senior executive of the Chosun Ilbo newspaper was planning to sue two lawmakers for libel for publicly naming him in the infamous “Jang Ja-yeon list.” The newspaper filed the civil lawsuit Monday, and it’s for one billion won ($805,000).
However, as they say, “the best defense is offense,” so both lawmakers indicated that they will also take legal action.

April 26, 2009

Newspaper exec named in Jang Ja-yeon’s list cleared of charges

Filed under: actors/actresses, crime, gender equality, prostitution — extrakorea @ 4:57 am

The newspaper executive who was publicly named by two lawmakers and an Internet-based newspaper, Surprise, has been cleared of charges by the police, at least until they are able to take Kim Sung-hoon, the head of Jang’s management company, into custody and interrogate him.
This seems to rest upon, among other things, an alibi based upon one of the executive’s scheduled meeting. Just because he had a meeting scheduled doesn’t mean that he attended it, or attended it on time. Anyone who lives and works in Korea knows that higher-ups have carte blanche to be tardy, reschedule things, leave early, and even to cancel.

The Hankyoreh also has a cartoon in which a police officer buries the Jang Ja-yeon list in a grave while shadowy figures watch him to make sure that he does it to their satisfaction.

The Jang Ja-yeon list has made its way onto the Internet, and though the Korean government has tried to chase it out of cyberspace, I think (and hope) that they will fail. That way, the list will never be buried.

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