The Korea Herald


'More than 70% of women in film biz experience sexual violence, harassment’

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : March 23, 2021 - 18:30

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(Center for Gender Equality in Korean Film) (Center for Gender Equality in Korean Film)

Close to 3 out of 4 women in the movie industry said they have experienced sexual violence or harassment, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Gender Equality in Korean Film.

Findings of the survey aimed at gauging the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence in the Korean film industry were released during an online event held Monday marking the third anniversary of the center that was launched in March 2018 by the Korean Film Council and Women in Film Korea.

The survey of 834 people in the Korean movie industry, which included actors, directors, camera crew and makeup artists among others, was conducted from May to September last year. The survey organizer said it interviewed 41 people in the industry as well.

In the survey, 58.3 percent of the respondents said they have experienced some type of sexual violence or harassment, an increase of 12.2 percentage points from 46.1 percent in 2017.

Among the female workers surveyed, 74.6 percent answered that they had experienced sexual violence or harassment, while 37.9 percent of the male respondents said they have such experiences.

Those working in film directing (68.2 percent) reported the highest percentage of sexual violence and harassment, followed by those in art and props related jobs (61.5 percent) and in the makeup and costume sector (60.0 percent), according to the survey.

More than half of those working in film production (59.1 percent) said they had such encounters, as did those working in film distribution and marketing (57.4 percent), simultaneous recording (52.9 percent) and post-production (52.3 percent).

The survey also asked about the types of harassment or violence they experienced.

The most common was sexual comments about their appearances (28.8 percent), followed by hearing lewd jokes (15 percent).

The reported incidents most often took place during “hoesik,” after-hours dinner and drinking meetings (48.3 percent), followed by those on movie sets or at filming locations (22.7 percent) and business meetings (13.3 percent).

About half of the victims, or 51 percent, said that they did not do anything in response after being harassed and 39.3 percent told their friends and colleagues.

Only 8.7 percent of the victims actually reported the incident to their boss or supervisor.

By Song Seung-hyun (