With SBS's drama, "Life Is Beautiful", showing a gay couple as part of the story plot, mothers worried about the futures of their children, created a union and released a newspaper ad on September 29th through Chosun Journal. The ad stated, "If my son becomes gay and dies from AIDs after watching 'Life Is Beautiful', SBS must take responsibility!" The union that released the ad stated, "'Life Is Beautiful' has glamorized the culture of gays against what is realistically, healthy and proper for the citizens of Korea."
The ad became highly controversial immediately after its release, and more so after tweets by popular gay TV star, Hong Seok Cheon. On the afternoon of the 29th, he tweeted,
"'Take responsibility for my son becoming gay because of the drama?' What a funny ad, but also quite disappointing. Soon they will be putting out an ad saying don't hang out with Hong Seok Cheon if you don't want to be gay. This was the exact reason I was fired from 'BboBboBbo' 10 years ago when I first came out. All of those calls made to the broadcast company asking to take me off the show. If such logic was true, all of those children that were on a part of the show with me should be gay by now, but they aren't."He went on to write,
"The gay couple that is shown on 'Life Is Beautiful' is so beautifully and realistically drawn. If there really is a son out there that becomes gay after watching the drama, it is not because he became gay but because he actually was gay and finally earned enough confidence to come out. It could be the drama that gave him that strength to come out to his parents and ask for understanding. How unfortunate for the children that live under the parents that put out such a trashy advertisement. Aids is not a disease specific to gays. How is it that I found out that I was gay 25 years before I saw the drama 'Life Is Beautiful?' What kind of dramas did the gays in the 50s, 60s, and 70s watch in order to become gay? Being gay is not a contagious disease, you fools."Hong concluded his series of tweets by stating,
"The people that put out this ad not only demolished the human rights of gays but of Aids patients as well. This is such an amazing country, allowing such ads to be put out. This ad being released is a more severe problem than the fact that gays are shown on a public broadcast drama. Anything can be released as long as money is involved, I suppose."He received much support for his tweets and stated again on the 30th,
"I thank everyone that has sent me support mail. Compared to the hate mail I received 10 years ago, there is so much support that has made me cry and feel endlessly thankful. I feel as if my loneliness and sorrow during the past 10 years has finally been delivered. I've now earned the confidence to live on even harder for the next 10 years. I'll become a Hong Seok Cheon that satisfies everyone not only as a businessman but as an actor as well. Thank you."Hong was one of the first celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry to come out 10 years ago and is now the father of two adopted children. Source + Photos: Newsen, EDaily