Actor’s politics wins him few fans

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Actor’s politics wins him few fans


Fans of the Korean television drama actor Song Il-kook, 34, are aghast at his recent announcement that he would support his mother’s political work.
By doing so, Mr. Song is not only breaking an unwritten rule that entertainers and politicians should not mix, but he is doing so on the behalf of a rather unpopular politician.
Mr. Song said last Friday that he had decided to support his mother, who is working in a campaign for an independent candidate, but adding that he was doing so “only out of love for my mother.”
But when some of his fans found out that Mr. Song’s mother was backing the former Grand National Party floor leader Hong Sa-duk, who has been at times a controversial figure, the actor’s homepage faced a barrage of criticism.
One of Mr. Hong’s more infamous statements was that participants in candlelight vigils were “jobless people,” who were “bored enough” to take part in demonstrations.
When the government was considering sending troops to Iraq, Mr. Hong said that if the troops went, he would go with them. Korean troops were sent to Arbil, Iraq in 2003; Mr. Hong has not yet joined them.
“That was a promise between me and the former defense minister,” Mr. Hong said in an interview with a Seoul paper. “But he stepped down shortly afterwards, so I couldn’t go.”
Some fans expressed concern that Mr. Song’s reputed ability to play honest characters will be damaged by the move. Mr. Hong’s supporters, however, had different reasons for opposing the alliance.
“We have seen many unfortunate cases when actors recklessly jumped into the political world,” one person wrote on the Web site for Mr. Hong’s campaign. “[Mr. Song] should just concentrate on acting instead.”
Making things worse, Mr. Song’s mother came to the defense of her son ― which did not impress many.
“I asked my son to help me,” Ms. Kim said on a morning talk show. “I am very proud of him.”
Some responded by asking why a grown man took order from his mother. He explained that after his mother had lost in a Grand National Party internal election, she wanted to help Mr. Hong win instead. Mr. Song said he told her that she would have his full support.
“I saw tears in my mother’s eyes, it was the first time I saw her cry,” he said in his statement titled, “My mother’s dream.”

by Lee Min-a
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