Some have also taken issue with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, with an online petition filed on the web site of the Presidential Office demanding that he attend Mr Jo’s funeral.
Jo Min-Ki’s suicide triggers backlash against #MeToo
The suicide of a leading South Korean actor, Jo Min-Ki, accused of sexual assault has triggered a backlash against the nation’s growing #MeToo movement, with critics charging that it has devolved into a witch hunt that promotes prejudice against men.
Jo Min-ki was found hanged in his apartment building in Seoul on Friday afternoon. Mr Jo, 52, was best known for his roles in a number of television series, including “Love and Ambition”, but had been fired in February from his position as a drama professor at Cheongju University after eight women came forward to allege that he had raped and sexually assaulted them.
Mr Jo was supposed to turn himself in to police for questioning on Monday morning but he left a six-page suicide note in which he apologized to his family and students. The police have declined to release the full contents of the note.
An Instagram post by Yoo Ah-in last Friday, showed images of people being burned at the stake in medieval Europe, provoking a storm of online criticism from supporters of the #MeToo campaign.
The Korea Herald has reported that the Facebook page of one of the women who accused Mr Jo of sexual assault has also been inundated “with malicious comments”, with posters insisting she was responsible for the actor’s death and that she should have filed a legal complaint rather than making her allegations via social media sites.
Mr Moon has been an outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement, calling on the police and government agencies to investigate any allegation of abuse.
“You should have been more careful before participating in the #MeToo movement”, the petition states. “Because of your words, the life of Jo Min-ki has been lost.
They added, “You should attend Mr Jo’s funeral. He is also a citizen of South Korea”.
Mr Jo is one of the highest-profile figures accused of wrongdoing as the campaign continues to ripple through South Korean society.
Ahn Hee-jung, the former governor of South Chungcheong Province and tipped as a future presidential candidate, surrendered himself to prosecutors in Seoul on Friday to answer allegations that he raped two members of his staff.
Min Byung-doo, a politician of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, announced over the weekend that he would be stepping down after a woman claimed he had forcibly kissed here after a dinner event in 2010.
About #MeToo movement:
South Korea’s #MeToo campaign had took off in January. This started when Seo Ji-hyeon, a prosecutor, accused a senior official from the Ministry of Justice of groping her at a funeral when he was drunk. Ever since, it swept up numerous public figures, including Ko Un, a poet who has been tipped for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Kim Ki-duk, an award-winning film director.