South Korea ad­mits to black­list

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

SEOUL: South Korea’s cul­ture min­istry apol­o­gised yes­ter­day for a black­list of artists which ex­cluded them from gov­ern­ment sup­port, ad­mit­ting there was a sys­tem­atic ef­fort to side­line crit­ics of scan­dal-plagued Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye.

The apol­ogy was the clear­est ad­mis­sion yet of the black­list of cul­tural and me­dia fig­ures crit­i­cal of the im­peached leader that has led to the ar­rests of her for­mer chief of staff and the cul­ture min­is­ter at the week­end for abuse of power.

“It is dis­tress­ing and shame­ful that the min­istry, which should have been the bul­wark for free­dom of artis­tic ex­pres­sion and cre­ativ­ity, has caused ques­tions of fair­ness in as­sist­ing cul­ture and arts with a list of artists to be ex­cluded from pub­lic sup­port,” Vice Cul­ture Min­is­ter Song Soo-keun said.

The black­list con­tains the names of thou­sands of ac­tors, writ­ers, film di­rec­tors and oth­ers. It in­cludes ac­claimed film di­rec­tors like Cannes award win­ner Park Chan-wook, Venice Film Fes­ti­val top prize win­ner Kim Ki-duk and ac­tors Moon So-ri and Song Gang-ho. – Reuters

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