EBS's popular penguin character, Pengsoo, has been asked to attend the parliamentary audit of his company.
Earlier, The National Assembly's Science, Technology, Information, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee said it would summon Pengsoo as a reference at the parliamentary audit of the broadcast station EBS that is to be held on the 15th of next month. Pengsoo has gained much popularity since last year and the committee plans to check whether the distribution of the profits is properly being carried out and also whether the actor behind the penguin suit is guaranteed vacation time. It is reported that Pengsoo can attend the audit in character if the person behind the mask chooses to do so.
However, it remains uncertain whether Pengsoo will be able to appear at the parliamentary auditing session or even give a proper answer even if he attends. Of course, witnesses who are called to the audit are not required to attend the parliamentary audit. However, it's also difficult for EBS from preventing Pengsoo from appearing at the session. EBS or the Korea Educational Broadcasting System is a channel similar to PBS in the United States and CBBC in the UK.
EBS still has not made an official statement. However, an official revealed cautiously that "There hasn't been an official request for Pengsoo to make an appearance, and also there isn't anything confirmed about his attendance status either so it is difficult for us to make a statement at this moment."
Previously, Pengsoo visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade before, however, it is difficult for the character of Pengsoo to be talking in his usual playful, rude/joking manner at the parliamentary audit session. However, if the suited actor were to answer with a serious deliberate attitude, that would break the character of Pengsoo. Also, if he maintains his playful character, the parliament session would degenerate into an amusing event.
As the controversy increases and many netizens have taken an interest in the matter, Hwang Bo Seung Hee, the representative who requested Pengsoo as a witness stated on her social media account that Pengsoo is not required to attend if he does not wish too.
Regarding Pengsoo's summon, she explained, "We wanted to check the fairness of the profit structure and see if Pengsoo as well as the other actors playing other characters are properly paid for the improvement of EBS's working environment. We want to verify if Pengsoo and the other character actors receive reasonable treatment as they have contributed to the company."
Pengsoo reportedly generated nearly 9 million USD in revenue for EBS in terms of product licensing and advertising so far in 2020.