S.Korea seeks law to protect actresses from sexual advances

May 05, 2010

SEOUL (AFP) - – South Korea is to bring in legislation to protect actresses after a survey found 60 percent of them said they had been pressured to have sex to further their careers, an official said Wednesday.

The law will lay down strict rules on the establishment of entertainment agencies, a culture ministry official told AFP, adding unregistered agencies would be shut down.

"The government will enact a law, this year if possible, to protect their rights," he said on condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday the National Human Rights Commission published a survey conducted last year of 111 actresses and 240 aspiring actresses. Some 60 percent reported receiving sexual advances from people who could influence their careers.

Such offers from wealthy businessmen, television programme makers, movie producers and politicians come through colleagues, entertainment agency officials and brokers, the state rights body said.

In answer to specific questions, 22 percent of those interviewed said they were "forced or requested" by their agents to provide sexual favours while more than six percent said they were sexually assaulted.

The survey showed 45 percent were forced to drink with influential figures, while 32 percent said they had experienced unwanted physical contact or sexual harassment.

More than half said they had been offered "sponsorship" -- a secret contract under which they receive financial support from rich men in exchange for having regular sexual relations.

The report included an account from an unnamed actress in her mid-20s, who said she is still suffering from a nightmarish experience with the boss of her agency.

The actress said she was dragged into a hotel after the boss allowed her to buy expensive clothes and accessories. "He told me that I should know more about men if I want to be successful in this community," she said.

The commission said the survey was conducted to raise public awareness following the suicide of an actress last year.

Jang Ja-Yeon killed herself after suggesting she had been forced to have sex with influential figures to promote her career.

Source: Yahoo

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