Amid great success in his recent film, Parasite, having won the Palme d’Or, Director Bong Joon Ho has sparked controversy over a past interview regarding the touching of an actress’s breasts.
During the filming of the movie, Mother, Bong Joon Ho had allegedly ordered Do Joon Yeok (played by Won Bin) to touch his mother’s breasts (played by Kim Hye Ja) without her consent. Netizens subsequently criticized Bong Joon Ho for his lack of awareness.
Kim Hye Ja had revealed this fact at an event hosted by Lotte Culture Works in May. She explained that during the particular scene, Do Joon Yeok (played by Won Bin) suddenly touched her breasts and indicated that it was not part of the script.
In the movie, (there is a scene where) Won Bin tells Jin Goo (played by Jin Tae) that he’s sleeping with mom too. Then I was inside sleeping and suddenly, he touched my breasts. (In the script), he was not supposed to touch my breast but I didn’t say anything assuming there was a reason but he (Director Bong) said he told him to do it.
ㅡ Kim Hye Ja
When the host asked for an explanation, Bong Joon Ho claimed that he doesn’t remember.
I don’t remember very well. It is easy to think that everything is under the control of the director in a movie but many things just happen on set.
ㅡ Bong Joon Ho
The incident began receiving more attention later and netizens criticized Bong Joon Ho for his inappropriateness. While Kim Hye Ja laughed off the situation, netizens argued that he should have received her consent before such actions, which could make her uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, the production company responded by explaining that the incident was a misunderstanding.
At the time, Director Bong explained it to Kim Hye Ja but it was a misunderstanding. It was revealed that it was a misunderstanding but everyone has been put in an awkward situation now that it’s beginning to receive attention.
ㅡ Film production company
Netizens have also been putting a spotlight on an interview Bong Joon Ho did with the film magazine, Cine21, in 2011. In the interview, Bong Joon Ho interpreted his film, Snowpiercer, in an excessively sexual way, which netizens deemed inappropriate.
I really like narrow and long images. So when I thought about filming Snowpiercer, I was so aroused. I was going crazy over the sexual arousal. From the outside, the train is the male’s genitals and from the inside, it is the female’s genitals. The tunnel is the vagina and the train becomes the penis and when it is inside, the inside of the train then becomes the vagina. It speeds through inside the train and so I was so aroused by it.
ㅡ Bong Joon Ho
He also correlated this concept to Kim Hye Jae in the movie, Mother, which also made many netizens uncomfortable.
(In the movie), Kim Hye Ja is also oppressed in sex. I’m sorry to Kim Hye Ja but I filmed it as if the semen is splashed onto the face during ejaculation.
ㅡ Bong Joon Ho