‘Parasite’ director criticizes police and South Korean media for handling star’s death

“Parasite” Director Bong Joon-ho and South Korean stars call for investigation into actor Lee Sun-kyun’s death

On Friday, Oscar-winning filmmaker Bong Joon-ho and other South Korean stars urged for an investigation into the conduct of police and media in the days leading to actor Lee Sun-kyun’s death. Lee, best known for his role in Bong’s 2019 film “Parasite,” was found dead in a car in Seoul last month after a two-month police investigation over suspected drug use.

The police were accused of leaking confidential details of their probe, leading to frenzied mainstream media coverage and damaging social media content on YouTube and other platforms. Bong and others called for a thorough investigation to determine if there were any lapses in police security and unauthorized disclosures originating from officers involved in Lee’s drug investigation.

The South Korean entertainment industry, including film festivals, actors’ unions, and the local screenwriters’ guild, signed a statement read by Bong urging for a thorough investigation and better protection for artists and entertainers. They also called out South Korea’s national broadcaster KBS for their coverage of the case and urged all media outlets, including KBS, to remove any content that does not align with the purpose of responsible reporting.

Criticism of police and media treatment of Lee has erupted online since his death, and the joint statement called for better and more responsible reporting in the future. Lee had tested negative for drugs twice during police investigations and in a lab test in November. Despite the police chief stating that the entire investigation process was carried out in accordance with legal procedures, criticism of the police and media treatment of the late star has continued to grow.

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