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Kim Hye-ja apologizes for creating controversy about Bong Joon-ho

June 07,2019
Director Bong Joon-ho and actor Kim Hye-ja have been caught up in a controversy after an interview of the two held after a special anniversary screening of the 2009 film “Mother” on May 9 made its way online. In the interview, Kim mentions that there was a scene in the film where her breasts were touched without her consent.

Yet on Wednesday, Kim and the film’s production company, Barunson Entertainment, said that the comment was a misunderstanding that arose due to a series of “false reports.”

In a phone interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Wednesday evening, Kim expressed how tormented she felt after the situation got out of hand.

“I said it just to add a little entertainment to the story, I’m so sorry to both Won Bin and Bong.” Kim emphasized that she was notified about the scene beforehand and that she and Bong were already planning to do another film together.

In the interview held after the screening of “Mother,” Kim talked about her experience on the set of the film.

“There is a scene where Won Bin tells Jin Goo ‘I sleep with my mom,’” Kim said. “Then when he sleeps alongside me that night, he suddenly touches my breast.” The actor said she was startled because there was no mention of the touching in the script, and the director did not tell her about it as well.

“I thought, ‘There must have been a reason,’ and when I asked about it later, Won Bin told me that Bong told him to do it.”

In a statement, Barunson Entertainment said, “After checking with Kim, the actor said that her memory took a wrong turn.”

The company further explained that Kim was in fact told about the scene beforehand, when director said, “Do-jun [played by Won Bin] might lay a hand on his mother’s breast,” and she replied that “Why not, an underdeveloped son can touch his mother’s breast while he sleeps.”

According to the statement, Bong did not correct Kim on the spot out of fear he might embarrass her.

After Bong won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, a number of controversial interview clips and comments that Bong had said to the press have been circulating on social media.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]


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