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Cineastes denounce President Moon's culture minister nominee

15:15 March 18, 2019

SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) -- A group of local cinema industry people on Monday urged the Moon Jae-in government to withdraw the nomination of former vice culture minister Park Yang-woo as the new culture minister.

The group, named the "Korean Cineastes Council for Anti-Monopoly," made the request in a news conference, saying Park has campaigned for the interests of conglomerates in sensitive cinema industry issues.

"Culture minister nominee Park has sided with big corporations in opposing a revision of the Motion Pictures Act that bans the combination of movie distribution and theater businesses, prohibits screen monopolies and supports independent and arts movies," said the group.

Members of the Korean Cineastes Council for Anti-Monopoly hold a news conference at the Korea Press Center in Seoul on March 18, 2019, to denounce President Moon Jae-in's culture minister nominee. (Yonhap)

It said Park's experience of serving as an outside director of CJ ENM, an entertainment and mass media company owned by CJ Group, was particularly problematic.

"CJ has been involved in both movie distribution and screening businesses, destroying cultural diversity and distorting the industry's order. It is a serious matter for a former outside director of CJ to become a minister," the group said.

"Park was paid a total of 244 million won (US$216,000) for serving as CJ's outside director from 2014 to 2018. He attended 32 board meetings and always voted yes, never checking the company's activities," it argued.

The group said the cinema industry has been suffering from the tyranny of big corporations but cineastes cannot give up hope for a "fair economy."

It said it will deliver a letter of protest to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and stage a sit-in during the coming week.

Park, a culture policy veteran with 30 years of experience in the field, was tapped as the new head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in a Cabinet reshuffle on Friday.

Park has been leading a government committee in charge of reforming the culture ministry since 2017 and advised President Moon on cultural issues during his presidential campaign.


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