Maybe you’ve noticed that ever since Jo Min Ki‘s death, reports on Me Too have basically been nonexistent, and it would be comical to believe that’s so because everything has been covered already. A recent statement made by alumni of Cheongju University (where Jo Min Ki was a professor) likely hints at the actual reason, as they spoke up for the victims who came forward against the actor hoping to get people to stop harassing them.
Alumni of Cheongju University, where the late actor Jo Min Ki was a professor at, expressed intent to take legal action against the people who are criticizing the victims who spoke up about his sexual harassment. The alumni stated, “The only reason the victims revealed their scars of sexual harassment to the world was in hopes to prevent it from happening again. However, they are currently receiving a second round of attacks from social media, including a constant stream of comments on social networking site postings and private messages through Facebook accounts. The alumni talked about the danger of secondary attacks and explained, “By passing the blame onto the victim, you will cover up the truth and obscure the essence of the incident. Criticizing and attacking victims can fall under defamation and contempt, and can be considered a crime committed under the laws regarding promotion of information, communication network use, and protection of information.” The alumni revealed plans to take firm legal action against those who made the victims experience a second round of trauma from such actions. They added, “All members of society must be collectively responsible for creating a safe college environment from sexual violence. Cheongju National University’s theater group against sexual violence will not give up its will to reveal the true story of sexual violence within the school in order to prevent students from becoming victims.”
Again, Jo Min Ki admitted to sexual harassment and more than 20 victims had gone to the police before his death. He didn’t only sexually harass female students, but male students as well, and type of environment he created led to male students having a handbook of instructions to protect female classmates from his advances.
While his suspected suicide is unfortunate, it’s difficult to see the logic behind attacking the victims over it, both because he seemed like an abusive monster to basically anybody he wielded power over and because the alternative of expecting victims to keep silent is horrific. I don’t expect anybody to disagree with that rather obvious point, but I do think the fact that the alumni even had to speak up to protect victims from abuse speaks to a reality that there’s less public support for Me Too in Korea than many international netizens seem to think exists — as evidenced by Yoo Ah In alluding to it as a witch hunt, a petition blaming Me Too supporter President Moon Jae In for his death, and women being shunned at work. Thus, I do think it would be more important than ever for public figures to lend their support.