Show host and comedian Kim Gu-ra, 41, announced Monday night that he would step down from all television programs to atone for his derogatory remarks about military sex slaves during World War II.
In 2002, Kim, on his Internet radio show “Kim Gu-ra and Hwang Bong-al’s Current Affairs Talk,” made jokes about prostitutes who had protested against a police crackdown to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
Kim Gu-ra. (The Korea Herald)
“We haven’t seen prostitutes sharing a bus ride for a while, like the comfort women and stuff,” he said. “Comfort women” is a euphemism used to refer to women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
The audio file of Kim’s remarks was posted on the online community site of DCinside.com on Monday, and rapidly spread to other popular websites, including Pandora TV and Pullbbang.com, and numerous blogs. In response, the show host apologized formally on Monday night through a press release issued by his agency, Line Entertainment.
“I will reflect on my misdeeds over and over. I will never forget the love and support that my fans have shown so far.”
Taken by surprise at the announcement, producers of TV shows hosted by Kim are weighing different options. “Immortal Songs 2” on KBS 2 temporarily replaced Kim with another show host, Jeon Hyun-mu. “Idol Quiz Show” on JTBC said that the next episode will be aired as planned, beyond which no specific plans have been made. “World Chaining Quiz Show” on MBC said that it will go with a two-MC format instead of the 3-MC format since it cannot think of a substitute for Kim.
Kim debuted as a comedian in 1993 and won the Top Excellence MC Award at the MBC Entertainment Awards in 2010.
By Chung Joo-won (email@example.com