Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) executive director Huh Moon Young was embroiled in sexual assault allegations.
On May 31st, Ilgan Sports reported in detail the story of A, who claimed to have been sexually assaulted such as sexual harassment and sexual molestation for years by director Huh. A came to the Ilgan Sports building and testified in detail about the damage.
A, who had worked closely with Huh, filed a complaint with the Korean Film Gender Equality Center Deundeun. A claimed that Huh frequently made inappropriate comments and engaged in sexual jokes and gossip during their interactions. A recounted incidents such as Huh asking about using braces while kissing or expressing envy over a director’s personal love life. A also mentioned instances where Huh touched her shoulders and forcefully hugged her. Another person, B, who was present during some of these incidents, expressed regret for not speaking up at the time.
A further disclosed that Huh approached her without wearing a mask during the final preparations of the film festival in September of the year before last, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. A described feeling uncomfortable when Huh asked her to turn around. Huh wanted to see A’s back view as the festival poster was going to include a female model’s back view, implying an intention to objectify women.
C, a colleague of A, advised her to be cautious regarding Huh but acknowledged the difficulty in speaking out due to Huh’s position as the director. A commended the bravery of another staff member who had requested a halt to the director’s harassment. A expressed that her intention was not to seek personal compensation but rather to prevent similar incidents from happening to others, especially female staff members.
In response to the allegations, Huh stated that memories of conversations could vary between individuals. Huh denied making remarks about braces, expressing envy over a director’s love life or making disrespectful comments about this director. Huh admitted feeling bewildered and unable to find words to respond but denied any intentional wrongdoing. Huh clarified that his decision to resign from the film festival was unrelated to A’s allegations and was based on his own belief that he could no longer carry out his duties effectively.