#MeToo movement in South Korea spreads to academic sector

By Jennie Oh  |  Feb. 25, 2018 at 12:51 AM
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SEOUL, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The #MeToo movement in South Korea has spread from the cultural to academic sector, as students and alumni come forward with stories of sexual assault or harassment under authoritative figures, JTBC reported.

This comes after veteran actors Jo Jae-hyun and Yun Ho-jin, admitted to sexually harassing women during their decades-long careers.

Both actors cancelled their upcoming production plans after the scandal.

On Sunday, 57-year-old actor and professor of theater Han Myung-gu was spotlighted in online communities, as having groped his students during drinking sessions.

Online communities for Seoul-based universities including Seoul Institute of the Arts and Sejong University saw board posts recounting sexual harassment cases.

"Professors wield too much authority over their students," Shin Jeong-uk, Executive Director of a nationwide union for postgraduate students told Yonhap.

"It is difficult to change or confront the student's supervising professor as they have influence over the student's thesis, and their eligibility for scholarships as well as assistant jobs."

The #MeToo movement sparked in South Korea after a public prosecutor last month went public with allegations that a senior Justice Ministry official had groped her during a funeral.

She says she found herself demoted after her initial complaint.

After the prosecutor's accusation stirred nationwide controversy, the Justice Ministry launched a special probe committee to investigate the allegations.

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