South Korean film industry figures urge probe into handling of late actor Lee Sun-kyun’s drug allegations.

  • Filmmakers, actors, and industry representatives, including Bong Joon-ho, have urged authorities to launch a probe into the handling of drug abuse allegations involving the late actor Lee Sun-kyun.
  • Lee Sun-kyun, acclaimed for his role in “Parasite,” was found dead last month, prompting concerns about the constant leaks and negative coverage surrounding the drug abuse allegations, despite multiple negative drug test results.
  • The group denounced the “sensational” coverage by some media outlets and YouTubers, emphasizing the need for a fact-finding investigation into whether there were any security and privacy violations during the police investigation.
  • Bong Joon-ho, reading a statement signed by over 2,000 artists and 29 industry associations, called for accountability and scrutiny regarding the handling of Lee Sun-kyun’s case.
  • The filmmakers and industry figures raised concerns about the harsh and public nature of criminal investigations involving celebrities, criticizing media coverage and the pressure placed on individuals, which, in Lee’s case, led to attacks on his reputation despite negative drug test results.
  • The group highlighted the impact of unverified information and “yellow journalism,” urging the media to reflect on the ethics of coverage, particularly when dealing with the private lives of public figures.
  • The press conference emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into potential security problems related to the police investigation and called on the media to assess the responsibility and impact of their coverage.
  • Lee Sun-kyun had denied knowingly taking illegal drugs and claimed he was tricked by a bar hostess who later blackmailed him. The media’s handling of the case has reignited criticism of the public and often harsh nature of criminal investigations involving celebrities.
  • The group singled out public broadcaster KBS for using a recording of Lee’s phone call with a bar hostess, questioning the purpose and ethics of such coverage and demanding its removal.

This call for a probe highlights the broader issues surrounding the intersection of the entertainment industry, law enforcement, and media coverage in South Korea, particularly when dealing with sensitive matters involving celebrities.