A third man claiming to have been involved in a video appearing to show a Korean woman being harassed by a group of Western men has said the footage was staged.
The video, which has caused outrage online worldwide in recent days, appears to show a number of men sexually harassing and insulting an intoxicated Korean woman. The men are shown cursing at the woman, filming her chest and legs and forcing her own finger up her nose and into her mouth.
A Korean film studies graduate told The Korea Herald on Wednesday, however, that he was one of the makers of the video and that it was “totally fictional.” On Tuesday, two other men, who identified themselves as the Western men in the clip, had separately claimed that the video had been edited and was part of a series of short films shot in January 2011.
One of the alleged actors said that the video was supposed to depict the harsh way society treated people with physical imperfections. In the video, the men are seen ridiculing the woman over the condition of her teeth.
He also provided a screenshot from a Facebook conversation with the film studies graduate, claiming that he was the director. In the conversation, the film graduate said he had uploaded the video several years ago but that it had been taken down and he was unsure how it had resurfaced.
While the Korean, who has participated in film competitions here, declined to confirm to The Korea Herald that he was the director, he said that he had played a major part in making the film. He said he and the rest of the crew, whom he did not wish to identify, had intended for the film to be seen as “a work of art.”
He also said that he was very concerned about the reaction of Internet users to the film and felt sorry for the foreign actors involved, stressing that the current video was very different from the intention of the original. He added that he was not in possession of the complete footage.
The video has been featured in major Korean media and foreign outlets including the Washington Post and the Daily Mail.
While some Internet users attacked the apparent behavior of the men involved, others criticized the woman for being drunk, “obsessed with white guys” or “embarrassing” her country.
By John Power and Yoon Hyeon-jeong