Kim Ah Joong reveals difficulties faced by actresses in South Korean film industry

Kim Ah-joong sat down for an interview to talk about her drama 'Live Up to Your Name' and her career.

Kim Ah Joong
Actress Kim Ah-joong.

At a time when scandals of male celebrities in Hollywood and elsewhere are being exposed by women who claim they were wronged against, actress, model and singer Kim Ah-joong has opened up about the problems faced by female actresses in a cinema industry that is largely male-centric.

As noted by website Allkpop, Kim Ah-joong sat down for an interview to talk about her recent tvN drama 'Live Up to Your Name' that came to an end on October 1, as well as her career. It is here that she gave her own perspective on the problems faced by women in an entertainment industry that many might feel is biased towards men.

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She began by saying, "I strongly feel that actresses and females in film are unable to overcome the barriers of a male-centered industry if we do not band together and put in the effort, such as launching a Women's Film Festival. We face a situation where females have to work incredibly hard to even at least be considered on the same level as males." It is to be noted that Kim Ah-joong is currently serving as the promotional spokesperson for the National Women's Film Festival.

The actress who is best known for her role in the critically acclaimed 2006 romantic comedy film '200 Pounds Beauty,' continued, "Many people working on the Women's Film Festival committee said, 'Because of Ah Joong-sshi, our film festival has a prettier image.' There was this unspoken prejudice that a Women's Film Festival would be full of simply headstrong, active women. I was happy to hear that I was able to work against those prejudices a little. There are many women who are conscious of their surroundings, have a voice to speak up their minds, and are also attractive in their own sense."

Recently, numerous allegations of sexual abuse and indecent proposals were levelled against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. Actresses like Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, among others, have revealed incidents from their earlier days in Hollywood when Weinstein made sexual advances towards them. Ben Affleck also recently got embroiled in a number of groping scandals from his past. On the other hand, Patty Jenkins' 'Wonder Woman' has started a dialogue about gender equality in the entertainment industry.

Talking about such a phenomenon, Kim Ah-joong said, "It's not a problem just in Korea alone. The reality is that there is rarely a place for an actress in productions, particularly films. Most films being produced these days have a multi-casting style, with male actors boasting big-name values in the center."

"There is a movie called 'The Table' (starring 4 actresses as the main leads) that premiered recently, and it was a small-scale production but received good reviews. I would like for movies like these to be appropriately treated with the foresight that they will bring in at least 2,000,000 viewers in theaters, and I would also like for the public to be able to approach these films more easily and often. When that happens, I believe that it will open up more opportunities for not only actresses, but also actors to not waste their talents and showcase them more."

This article was first published on October 14, 2017