Kang Dong-Won Apologizes For Pro-Japanese Roots | Film News
Kang Dong-won issued a personal apology today for the controversy surrounding his pro-Japanese family history.
The actor is the great-grandson of Lee Jong-man, who was part of a group of pro-Japanese Koreans during the time of Japanese occupation in Korea and allegedly supported the crimes against comfort women.
His pro-Japanese roots first came to light after an interview with Chosun Ilbo back in 2007, where he had spoken highly of his great-grandfather: “My great-grandfather is amazing. His name is Lee Jong-man. He was the CEO of Daedong Industrial Company”.
The interview had quickly become a hot topic online, with disapproval falling on the actor for speaking so proudly about his pro-Japanese great-grandfather. Despite the backlash, some people defended the actor under the possibility that he might not have been aware of his family history. An official statement was not issued and the controversy died down.
The issue resurfaced on Korea’s Independence Movement Day last week after Korean movie portal site, Max Movie, included Kang Dong-won in an article listing celebrities with family members that had roots in the Chinilpa, as the group of pro-Japanese were called back in the day.
It probably wouldn’t have blown up again as it did, had the actor’s current agency YG Entertainment not tried to cover up the issue instead of addressing it properly. After severe backlash, the company issued an official apology.
“On February 27, movie media portal site Max Movie revealed information on the actors’ personal background in which we went ahead and requested that the information be removed from the message boards upon review. Also, we took immediate action following the incident in order to block further leakages into other media outlets, portals and blogs,” admitted YG Entertainment.
“It appears a complaint was filed through a netizen who happened to share the article, which heightened the issue even more. We apologize once again to fans for the inconvenience and will do all that we can to take responsibility for such actions”.
In light of the controversy, Kang Dong-won has cancelled his scheduled commentary recording for his upcoming movie, Vanishing Time. He spoke of the statement for the first time since the scandal exploded with his apology earlier today. You can read the translation at Allkpop here.
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