Thursday, November 22, 2012

First Episode of South Korea Park Animated Comedy Causes Outrage

South Korea Park opening scene
A new animated comedy series – South Korea Park – has caused outrage after it depicted a satirical scene showing the main character 'Park', who bears a strong resemblance to right-wing presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, giving birth to a baby wearing sunglasses and with features resembling Ms. Park's father - the popular dictator General President Park Chung-hee - who was assassinated in 1979.

In an attempted media coup, officials from Park's ruling Saenuri Party, which traces it roots back to the Democratic Republican Party - formed in 1963 in an attempt to legitimize her father's military leadership - said the scene was an attempted character assassination and that they are considering legal action. However, the artist who drew it said that the work was a satirical criticism to warn against authoritarianism, which he slanderously claims is a bad thing, stating that "Park's supporters tend to blindly worship her as if she is a goddess... but that's not the way voters in a democratic society should support a politician."

One of Park's lieutenants criticized the artist's statement, saying he had not only failed to understand the very principles on which the party and modern Korea was founded, but that he was trying to suppress debate into the country's future by attempting to portray democracy as somehow being an inherent aspect of South Korean politics and society, rather than just a phase in the country's development. Earlier this year, Park said her father's military coup d'état had been "the inevitable and best possible choice" for the nation, which at the time was beset by liberal protests that made governing the weak democracy difficult.

There is also anger about the birth scene because Ms. Park never married and does not have any children, with some Christians saying it would be impossible for her to be delivering a baby unless she were giving birth to Korea's savior, but as Korea's savior – Park Chung-hee – has already been born, he can not be depicted as being born again.

When the issue of Ms. Park not marrying came up in the election, she said she was "married" to the country, angering some on the left who claimed the country had already divorced her family once and therefore the marriage was no longer in effect, but they have been unable to provide any divorce papers as proof of this.

The left have also been angered though by another character in South Korea Park called 'Ahn', who they say bears a striking resemblance to Ahn Cheol-soo, the presumptuous populist presidential candidate. In the first episode of South Korea Park, Ahn was depicted as saying a lot but never clearly enough to be understood, and although he was promoted as a regular character, he was killed after ten minutes to cries of "Oh my God they killed Ahn!", after which he was eaten by rats, widely seen as a reference to Lee Myung-bak. Ahn's supporters are now demanding he be brought back for the second episode of the show.

South Korea Park is intended to replace the long-running sitcom 'The Blue House', which is expected to end after Japanese actor Tsukiyama Akihiro announced he was unexpectedly stepping down from his starring role earlier next year.

Related Links
South Korea ruling party protests over leader painting
South Korean Sitcom Hit Among N.K. Teens
Presidential candidate says coup "best possible choice"
Female Presidential Candidate Should "Show Some Leg" - Korea Times
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Arrest warrant for drawing rat on G20 promotion poster?
Saenuri Party
Democratic Republican Party

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