UPDATE 4: There goes the neighborhood—it’s made the Daily Mail. What I want to know is why the Mail mentioned the Yank accent, but failed to mention the Irish one.
Who knew the Mail was so pro-Hibernian?
Honestly, the video has generated much more of a response in the foreign press than it did in the local press. Of course, that’s changing now—many papers might have passed on the video, but they won’t pass on a big American paper writing about the video.
UPDATE 3: Max Fisher tweets:
The Dong-A Ilbo piece on the WaPo post notes at the very end that a commenter claims the video was staged.
UPDATE 2: John Power at the Korea Herald has posted some of the results of his interactions with the folk who claim to have been “actors” in the video. The Sports Kyungyang picks up on the Korea Herald piece. Check out Gusts of Popular Feeling’s post, too.
UPDATE: In the comment section of Gusts of Popular Feeling, King Baeksu expresses a good deal skepticism regarding the authenticity of the video. He’s also not especially pleased with the decision to run the WaPo post when the video’s nature has yet to be verified. I highly recommend giving his comments a read.
Original Post: At the WaPo, Max Fisher does a pretty good job describing the Internet sensation that was the video of the foreigners harassing a Korean woman.
Jezebel subsequently picked it up.
Like I said, Fisher does an admirable job handling a subject that’s essentially one big minefield. I don’t know how much the video tells us about Korea’s glass ceiling, though—I’m sure you can make linkages, of course, but the problem of gender inequality in Korea probably deserves a fuller discussion. This part creeped me out a bit, too:
One Korea-based American to whom I sent the video explained why it can be especially tragic when Korean women are mistreated by Western men. Some Korean women, frustrated by their country’s restrictive gender culture, can see Western men as a gateway to a world where they’re treated more equally.
Not quite sure why the dashing of Joy Luck Club fantasies is “especially tragic.” Some might argue that it’s probably a good thing in the long run.
But I digress.
One of the comments at the WaPo grabbed my attention, and if anybody’s got more information on this, please, share it—either in the comments or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org):
This is a video made in Bedlam bar in Itaewon in January 2011. All the people were paid actors / actresses. The director is Korean and wanted to get famous for doing some edgy viral videos. This is one of them. He tried to release this over 2 years ago and nothing happened all the websites took it down for its graphic content. I know all this because I am one of the men in this video. I do not condone the actions that I did. But this was a paid acting job no one was hurt. The actress was wearing fake gums to make her teeth look bad and everyone left the shoot smiling and shaking hands.
I have passed on this webpage to the director asking him to come forward. It is up to him if he wants to reveal himself. 2 and a half years ago he wanted this kind of fame I do not know if it will do his current career any good.
Could be true. Could be complete BS. Would be interesting to get verification one way or the other.