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Netizens file injunction against Tablo program

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Published : 2010-09-29 20:17
Updated : 2010-09-29 20:17

 With the country’s major broadcaster MBC planning to air a special episode on singer-songwriter Tablo who has been mired in a diploma forgery scandal, internet users ― who believe Tablo “lied” about his graduation from Stanford University ― have filed a court injunction to put a hold on the program’s airing saying that the content of the program could unfairly influence the on-going prosecutor’s investigation into Tablo’s case.

The Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation’s TV program “MBC Special” on Sept. 24 released a teaser of the special episode “Tablo Goes to Stanford,” showing footage of the singer and producers of the program visiting Stanford University.

The teaser also showed the pop star, who has been avoiding public appearances for several months, speaking to the camera in a short interview, saying, “It’s not that they can’t believe me. They just don’t want to believe me.”
Tablo appears on a special episode of “MBC Special,” which is scheduled to be aired on Oct. 1. (MBC)

On Tuesday, three members of an internet community caf on portal Naver, “World where the common sense is the truth,” a.k.a “Sangjinse” in Korean, filed a court injunction against the program’s airing on Oct. 1 claiming the content of the program could have been biased in favor of Tablo.

They also said the airing should be put on hold until police and the prosecutors conclude the investigation into alleged diploma forgery and dual citizenship.

Earlier in June, Tablo showed his Stanford transcript through an interview with a local daily but online community members did not buy it, saying the transcript had been “forged.”

In late August, Tablo filed a lawsuit against 22 members of another Naver caf “We urge Tablo to tell the truth” for libel. The online community has more than 130,000 members.

Two members of the internet caf “Sangjinse” on Sept. 3 filed suit against Tablo for allegedly forging an enrollment certificate, alleging that he forged a Stanford University enrollment certificate. On Sept 17, they filed another suit against Tablo for allegedly fabricating electronic data regarding the courses he took at Stanford.

A court ruling on the petition is expected to be made on Sept. 30.
A member of “World Where the Common Sense is the Truth,” an online Naver community,
holds a statement seeking a court injunction to put on hold MBC’s airing of “Tablo Goes to
Stanford,” which is scheduled to be aired Oct. 1. (World Where the Common Sense is the Truth)

Tablo, a member of Korean hip-hop group Epik High, has been widely known in Korea as a Stanford graduate and his book, “Pieces of You,” became one of the best-selling novels on the back of his educational background ― bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature and creative writing at Stanford.

But in May online communities started to raise suspicion about Tablo’s Stanford education.

They also claim that Tablo tried to avoid mandatory military service by holding dual citizenship of Korea and Canada. If a Korean attains a foreign national citizenship before 20, the person has to choose either Korean citizenship or foreign citizenship before reaching that age.

The Stanford Daily, a student-run newspaper, on Monday quoted Stanford Registrar Tom Black as saying that verifying a person’s degree from the University is not an unusual practice but he has never seen a case this severe.

“The internet rumor was that my entire Stanford experience and all of my credentials are fraudulent,” Tablo was quoted by the daily in an e-mail interview as saying.

“Over time, this allegation spawned many others ― that my entire family is a fraud, that I’ve stolen and lived someone else’s identity, et cetera ― and has escalated to the point where my entire existence is being questioned. Some of the allegations are even based on fabrications of what I’ve said or done. It’s all very confusing.”

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)

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