South Korea admits to blacklist
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