TV Chosun boss steps down over kid’s tantrum

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TV Chosun boss steps down over kid’s tantrum

Bang Jung-oh, the president of the cable channel TV Chosun, resigned from his post Thursday after his 10-year-old daughter was accused of verbally abusing her driver and threatening to fire him.

The case was a prime example of gapjil, or the abuse of power by superiors. The latest case involving Bang’s daughter came as a shock to many Koreans already accustomed to gapjil stories, as the culprit was in elementary school.

TV Chosun is the broadcasting arm of conservative daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo, Korea’s largest newspaper by circulation.

“I bow my head in heartfelt apology for the trouble my child has caused,” said Bang, the second son of Bang Sang-hoon, the owner of the Chosun Ilbo, in a statement on Thursday. “Please reprimand me for having raised a child so improperly. I wish to extend my apology once again to the chauffeur for any emotional pain [he endured].”

He then said he would step down to take responsibility for the incident.

Bang’s resignation came a week after broadcaster MBC released video footage in which his young daughter can be heard verbally abusing the driver. The online outlet Media Today published a follow-up story five days later that further detailed the verbal abuse by the 10-year-old.

“I am going to tell my mom for sure today. I will get you fired,” said the daughter to the driver, who is surnamed Kim. “You’re fired. You must be insane. … I said I don’t want to sit down. Why do I have to? This is my car, not yours.”

Another time, the child launched a flurry of abusive remarks toward Kim, saying, “You are crippled. You are crippled without arms, face, legs, ears and mouth.

“Your parents raised you wrong. Your parents taught all of your family members wrong. Because they were too poor, they didn’t even take you to hospital or dental clinic.”

The driver recorded the girl’s verbal insults on several occasions and submitted the recording to the company on Oct. 24. Two days later, he was fired.

One of the most famous gapjil cases that grabbed both the local and international media spotlight was the notorious “nut rage” scandal of 2014.

Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho, ordered a plane to return to its gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York because she was unhappy with the way the cabin crew served her macadamia nuts.

Cho’s younger sister, Hyun-min, also became embroiled in a gapjil scandal after she threw a drink and a glass cup at an advertising executive in a fit of rage during a meeting in March.

A recording of Hyun-min’s verbal attacks on her company subordinates, in which she screamed and yelled at them, fueled public anger against the Cho family and raised concerns about abusive behavior by chaebol family owners.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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