Rumors have recently spread online that the drama’s PD Jeon Chang Geun was mentioned on Jang Ja Yeon’s list. The late actress’s death in March 2009 was ruled to have been a suicide, and she is said to have left behind a final document in which she listed influential figures in the business and media industries that she had been forced to sexually entertain. At the time, 10 people who were mentioned in the actress’s list were cleared of suspicions, and the case ended with only her agency CEO and manager being charged for assault and defamation. After an online post was made claiming that Jeon Chang Geun was included on the list, rumors circulated and there were even some people who said they would boycott his new show. Many viewers have been commenting on JTBC’s website demanding a statement from the network.
As such, JTBC was forced to address it in a statement.
We are conveying JTBC’s statement about the controversy regarding the drama “Mystic Pop-Up Bar” and director Jeon Chang Geun. When PD Jeon Chang Geun was questioned by the police in relation to the “Jang Ja Yeon List,” the internal investigation cleared him of suspicions. PD Jeon Chang Geun earnestly took part in the investigation in order to prove his innocence, and the police went as far as checking his phone records and DNA. The investigation found that PD Jeon Chang Geun not only didn’t know Jang Ja Yeon at all, he also had no connections with anyone at her agency. JTBC has confirmed the above statements. Despite this, there have recently been people online linking the “Jang Ja Yeon List” to PD Jeon Chang Geun and his drama “Mystic Pop-Up Bar,” thereby spreading one-sided rumors and denouncing him. There are even outlets that are reporting solely on the situation happening online, without doing any fact checking. There are senseless insults that go against the findings of the police investigation, and this is an act close to a personal attack. Therefore, JTBC plans to take strict legal action against those who criticize our staff and program without any clear evidence. We also hope that you will refrain from further false speculation so that no other damage is caused.
That led to an apology from the rumor creator.
A post including an apology for the circulation of the rumors was uploaded to an online community on May 26. The poster wrote, “It was also said when PD Jeon Chang Geun’s previous works premiered that he had been mentioned on the list in 2009, but I uploaded this post thinking it was true because I didn’t see the separate articles saying that he was cleared of suspicions or refuting the claims.” They went on to say that if legal action is taken, they understand that they deserve to deal with that. “I’m very sorry for taking part in turning an innocent person into a second victim,” they wrote.
Okay, but as I always say about legal action in Korea, remember that truth is not a defense. And if you read JTBC’s statement, they do not deny he was named on the list, and given how Jang Ja Yeon’s case was handled (as well as many other sexual crime victims), it’s not exactly reassuring that he wasn’t charged.
That said, I also don’t see enough to condemn him based on this, but I definitely believe the fact that his name was included on the list deserves to be known so people can make their own decision.