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BTS agency chief, 'Parasite' executive producer among 500 most influential entertainment figures chosen by Variety

16:52 December 29, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- Two South Korean entertainment gurus -- Bang Si-hyuk and Lee Mie-kyung, widely known as Miky Lee -- have been named by U.S. magazine Variety as among the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry in 2020.

Big Hit Entertainment said Tuesday that Bang, the 48-year-old CEO of the agency, made it on the list thanks to BTS' record-breaking success on global music charts and bold business strategy. The list was announced on Wednesday (U.S. time).

"Bang is no one-act showman," the magazine wrote. "He's been pushing hard toward diversification, moving into tech with apps like Weverse as well as acquisitions Pledis, Source Music and game firm Superb."

"In the first half of 2020, 40 percent of sales from South Korea's top 100 albums belong to Big Hit artists, and its October IPO notched a valuation of US$840 million," it added.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment on Dec. 29, 2020, shows the agency's CEO Bang Si-hyuk, who created BTS. Bang was put on the Variety500, a list of the top 500 entertainment business leaders, for this year by U.S. media company Variety. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The magazine also named 62-year-old Lee, the vice chairwoman of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, as another influential figure in the scene.

The magazine cited her key role in helping director Bong Joon-ho as an executive producer for "Parasite," the first international film to win the best picture at the Academy Awards. It also noted her contributions to promoting Korean music, movies and culture around the world.

This file photo shows South Korean entertainment giant CJ Group's vice chairwoman Lee Mie-kyung, also known as Miky Lee. (Yonhap)

Bong and Oh Seok-geun, the chairman of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), were also included on the list for the second and third consecutive year, respectively. SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man, the chief producer of popular K-pop acts such as Super M, EXO and NCT, made it on the list for the fourth year in a row.

Variety called Bong "an icon of Korean cinema known for weaving social issues into personal drama" and highlighted the feats the 2019 megahit film "Parasite" achieved at the Oscars with four trophy wins. It also mentioned the "commercial success followed (by) critical laurels" of his earlier films, including "Memories of Murder" and "The Host."

Oh was honored for his role in the recovery of KOFIC, which took a blow from "adhering to a ministerial policy of blacklisting artistic talent" under ousted President Park Geun-hye's administration from 2013-17.

SM Entertainment founder Lee, meanwhile, was described as a "pathfinder for contemporary K-pop management" who "remains powerful and keeps expanding the SM universe."

Other honorees included Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple Inc.'s CEO Tim Cook, Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige, American pop star Taylor Swift and actress Meryl Streep.

Bong Joon-ho, director of the Oscar-winning Korean film "Parasite," poses for a photo during a press conference at a Seoul hotel on Feb. 19, 2020. (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by SM Entertainment, shows its chief producer and founder Lee Soo-man. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This file photo, taken on Oct. 22, 2020, shows Oh Seok-geun, the chairman of the Korean Film Council. (Yonhap)

nyway@yna.co.kr
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