Bong Joon-ho Was Once Blacklisted in South Korea for His ‘Liberal’ Films

Bong Joon-ho Was Once Blacklisted in South Korea for His ‘Liberal’ Films

February 27, 2020
Bong Joon-ho, the Academy Award-winning director of “Parasite,” was reportedly blacklisted by the South Korean government four years ago for being too liberal.
Bong, along with his two other “Parasite” collaborators, actor Song Kang-ho and producer Miky Lee, were included on the list of 9,000 artists the South Korean government blacklisted in 2016, according to an op-ed by Korea expert S. Nathan Park in The Washington Post via Insider.
The blacklist, created by then-South Korean President Lee Myung-bak who was succeeded by Park Geun-hye, was expanded and aimed to cut the funding of left-leaning artists for their projects.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

Bong landed on the blacklist as his work typically focuses on themes such as inequality, the military-industrial complex and the failure to address global warming.
Regardless of the budget restriction, Bong continued his work and used his prominence to fund his films, including “Snowpiercer” and “Okja”, he told AFP via Straits Times in 2017.
“If the blacklist continued, there was a good chance that ‘Parasite’ would never have been made,” Park wrote in the op-ed.
Song and Lee did not have the same luck as Bong. Song had problems finding work after he was cast in “The Attorney”, a biopic about former liberal South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun. Lee, on the other hand, produced that film and was subsequently forced to resign from his company over the movie as well as other films the South Korean government deemed too liberal.
The reveal of the 2016 blacklist was reportedly one factor that led to Park’s impeachment and subsequent removal from office later that year.
Feature Image via Dick Thomas Johnson (CC BY 2.0)
      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke is a Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.