A recent survey of entertainers found that one out of five actresses was forced to provide sexual entertainment to influential figures or witnessed their colleagues forced to do so.
This indicates the late actress Jang Ja-yeon, who committed suicide in March because of her coerced involvement in “casting couch” favors ㅡ a situation in which actresses are forced or expected to have sex with influential figures in order to get work in films or on TV ㅡ was not an isolated victim in the entertainment industry.
The first survey of its kind was conducted by a union for entertainers, headed by actor Kim Eung-seok, in April, one month after Jang was found dead in what was ruled suicide.
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.
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.
About 25 percent also said they were “directly” asked to pay money in exchange for media exposure or experienced behavior infringing upon their human rights, while 68.2 percent said they witnessed or have information about similar cases involving their colleagues.
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.
Of the respondents, 62.3 percent said they faced disadvantages for refusing such demands.
In the meantime, the head of the late Jang’s former management agency was taken into custody after a court in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, issued an arrest warrant Monday night.
The issuance came eight hours after the court questioned Kim Sung-hoon to determine whether his arrest was necessary.
Kim is the key figure believed to hold clues to solving questions surrounding the actress’s suicide.
Judge Lee Sang-woo, who issued the warrant, said, “Taking him into custody was necessary to prevent him from fleeing.”
Kim, who was extradited from Japan Friday, had been questioned for more than 40 hours over three days until Sunday.
Police are deepening their investigation as he is reportedly denying allegations that he forced the late actress to provide “sexual services” to corporate and media executives and showbiz VIPs for greater media exposure.
In their application for the arrest warrant, charges against Kim include intimidation, violence, embezzlement and threats. But the alleged coercion of Jang into sexual entertainment was excluded for a lack of evidence, police said.
The 40-year-old was apprehended last week in Tokyo after hiding in Japan since December. During the period, he defied repeated requests to return to Seoul for questioning over Jang’s suspicious death. (Korea Times)