Jul 16, 2019 by C. Hong
JS Pictures, the production company for the upcoming drama “Chimera,” has responded to allegations that sexual assault occurred at a company dinner for the drama’s production staff.
“Chimera,” which was previously known as “Chemistry,” is a crime thriller drama starring Park Hae Soo, Claudia Kim, and Lee Hee Joon. It tells the story of how a present-day case is linked back to a series of 1984 murders known as the “Chimera Incident.”
It was recently reported that sexual assault occurred during a company dinner for the drama’s production staff that was held on June 15. The assailant was an assistant director (“A”) and the victim was part of the scriptwriting team (“B”).
Munhwa Ilbo also reported that there had been an incident of harassment between B and another producer (“C”). This began with an official apology for the original sexual assault that A made to B during a filming shoot in the bushes with several directors and senior production staff members present. The location of the “official apology” suggested that the staff did not recognize the seriousness of the issue and were thinking more of the assailant than the victim’s feelings.
In a phone call to Munhwa Ilbo, B stated, “They seemed to think that I wanted an apology when the staff members were gathered after filming ended. I told them that this wasn’t where I wanted to do this. Around that time, a producer (“C”) harassed me. They called me over during a shoot on June 30 and said, ‘Misunderstanding or whatever, just tell us what you want’ and said it was my fault for not avoiding the assault.
They told me, ‘You’ll be too scared to do dramas now, won’t you?'”
On July 16, a source from JS Pictures stated to Star News, “We sent a message to the group chatroom for the production staff of ‘Chimera’ stating that we will make sure that the producer in question takes full responsibility and that they will be dismissed from the production due to the seriousness of the issue. We will also assemble a personnel committee to uncover the whole story and take all measures necessary with regards to dismissals.”
The source continued, “We tried to prepare a situation in which an official apology could take place, but I think that the victim saw that as another form of harassment. We met with the victim to try and find a solution, but because of the way B responded, we decided to put out an official statement.
“Filming had stopped because of script adjustments but the victim announced that they were quitting the production in the group chatroom. We then checked what was going on and dismissed A from the production. When news came out about harassment, we dismissed that producer as well. From our point of view, it was a misunderstanding that occurred while we were trying to arbitrate the situation.”
JS Pictures also released an official apology statement that reads:
This is JS Pictures’ production team for “Chimera.” We would first like to apologize to the victim, who is going through a harder time than anyone else. We regret not giving fast feedback to the staff and cast members who must be in a lot of confusion about the situation as well. More than anything else, we think it is paramount to properly apologize to the victim first.
In meeting with the scriptwriter, we learned that a producer had told them things like, “That’s enough, tell me what you want” and “Why didn’t you avoid [the assault]?” The producer didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation and did not respond appropriately as an arbitrator should. We have no excuse for this. Apart from the personal problem of hurting the victim yet again, we acknowledge this was wrong as a production team and will take responsibility.
We are also deeply ashamed that we learned about this too late from the victim. We will also make sure the producer in question takes responsibility and will do everything we can to deal with the damages inflicted on the victim.
When we learned this new information, we judged the seriousness of the situation and dismissed the producer in question from the production. We also plan to investigate the whole situation through assembling a personnel committee. We realize that we lost the opportunity to mend broken trust, and we apologize that as a production team we could not find better words than, “We’ll work harder.”
In the future, we will be more attentive to detail and concrete facts and take all measures to deal with the situation. We apologize again to the victim, as well as the staff and cast members who have been thrown into confusion over this affair.
Filming on “Chimera” has currently stopped due to the situation. B quit the production on July 13 of their own accord, while A and C were subsequently dismissed from the production by JS Pictures.