Busan International Film Festival Responds to Recent Workplace Sexual Harassment Incident

Credit: Yonhap News

The Busan International Film Festival has released a statement regarding the sexual harassment and assault incident involving Chairman Huh Moonyung.

BIFF apologized for their previous statement, acknowledging that it didn’t address the incident promptly or fully consider the victim’s position. They expressed their sincere commitment to cooperate with the internal investigation conducted by the Korean Film Council’s Center for Gender Equality in Korean Cinema. Additionally, BIFF stated their intention to implement institutional measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future.

They also provided a response to the victims’ demands.

1. Regarding the objection and investigation request concerning the official press release of the Busan International Film Festival on May 31, 2023:

The chairman’s return will be postponed and his resignation will be put on hold until this personal matter is adequately clarified.

2. Regarding the withdrawal of Chairman Huh Moonyung’s resignation:

His decision will be respected and the handling of his resignation will be conducted accordingly.

3. Strongly objecting to the official statement issued by the BIFF Board of Directors on June 2nd and demanding a sincere apology to the victims:

The victims are respectfully requested to actively cooperate with the investigation process. Furthermore, a sincere apology is extended once again for mentioning that “relieving the individual’s suffering is a matter of human decency” in relation to the former secretariat employee who reported the incident. The film festival will prioritize enhancing preventive education for all staff members to promote greater awareness and sensitivity toward sexual harassment.

4. Official response to the matter and statement from the Secretariat regarding the progress of the investigation:

Upon the completion of the investigation, the findings will be shared through a press release, and an apology will be issued on behalf of the film festival. To ensure a thorough and transparent handling of the incident, an external investigative team known for their objectivity and credibility will be appointed. Organizational reforms are currently being prepared, which include enhancing the existing workplace manual on preventing sexual harassment and assault to cater to the specific needs of the festival. Furthermore, efforts will be made to strengthen education and establish additional measures to effectively address this issue.

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Source: Busan International Film Festival

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