Actress Is Cast as a Controversial TeacherActress Is Cast as a Controversial Teacher
Kim Hye-soo, 31, a popular actress and television talk show host, has been offered a part-time teaching position at the newly established department of visual arts at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. Once the appointment is official, Ms. Kim will begin teaching screen acting classes this fall.
The university's offer has not come without criticism. Many college students have expressed objections to the sexy actress teaching at the oldest Confucian-based university in Korea.
"I don't care about the the current pros and cons being tossed around among the public," Ms. Kim said. "I just made a decision to go for it no matter what, and I'll hold fast to what I want."
She began her career in the entertainment industry as a television commercial model in 1985. She has since become a sought-after actress, recognized for her intelligence as well as her beauty.
Ms. Kim has appeared in a variety of television dramas and films, including the movies "Dr. Bong" (1995), "Mr. Condom" (1997) and "I'm Your Man" (1998).
She also gained popularity as the host of her own entertainment talk show, "Kim Hye-soo Plus You," and is currently appearing in the MBC television drama "The Golden Age."
Along the way, she graduated from Dongguk University in Seoul with a major in theater and film in the early 1990s and is now a journalism graduate school student at Sungkyunkwan University. She plans to complete her master's degree this year.
Although Ms. Kim has received the necessary recommendations from the visual arts department to gain a teaching position, she must first undergo an appointment selection procedure in July to begin teaching.
"If we think she can help students on their technique and give them a practical education, we'll give her positive consideration," said Bae Jae-hyun, a university personnel official.
However, many students at the university disagree with Mr. Bae's opinion, fearing that the actress may deteriorate the general image students have of a teacher.
Lee Eun-kyung, a 22-year-old student, said, "I don't think she's qualified for the position, because she doesn't have enough theoretical knowledge to teach at our school. I'm afraid that her appointment may mislead people, especially young students, into disregarding the role of the teacher and losing respect for the position."
On the other hand, some students support the decision to hire Ms. Kim, insisting that teaching has nothing to do with one's age or level of degree attained, but is a matter of ability.
The actress remains undeterred by the controversy. "The drama that I'm working on is scheduled to end sometime in July. By that time, everything will be made clear as to whether I'll be selected to teach or not," she said.
by Kim Jae-seon