News anchorwomen furious over lawmaker's sexist remarks
Wed, Jul 21, 2010
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

South Korean news anchorwomen are furious at the alleged sexist comments made by Rep. Kang Yong-seok of the ruling Grand National Party.

"I'm totally offended. Other news anchorwomen also must have felt really offended. His comments were just nonsense," said an anchorwoman who works for a radio broadcasting company.

"I have never seen or heard of such a case (selling sex in return for job favors) while working as a news anchor," she said on the condition of anonymity.

In a related move, the Korea Announcers' Association, which has about 500 member announcers, issued a statement Tuesday, condemning Kang's alleged sexist remarks.

The association said it will sue Kang and seek compensation. The amount of compensation has not been revealed yet but it will be astronomical, according to a local news report.

Kang is under fire for reportedly making "sexist comments" at a dinner gathering with 20 university students on July 16, a local news report said.

The JoongAng Ilbo reported Tuesday Kang, who represents the Mapo district in Seoul, had dinner with the students after a debate competition where he was a judging committee member.

"When we have a debate competition, judges don't really pay attention to the debate. They are actually interested in how participants' faces look," Kang was quoted by one of the students as saying.

"I'll tell you how to make a debate team. It should be two ugly faces and one pretty one," he said.

In addition, he reportedly made defamatory remarks on female TV announcers when he responded to a question from a female student, who aspires to be an anchorwoman, at the dinner party.

"You will have to give 'everything.' Can you still do it?" Kang was quoted as saying. This remark indicates that would-be announcers should be willing to provide sex to producers or TV executives if they want to be hired.

News anchors or announcers are some of the most coveted jobs among female university students in Korea.

However, he said, graduates from prestigious women's universities "could not do it because of their self-esteem," according to the report.

Meanwhile, Kang held a press conference Tuesday, denying that he made sexist remarks.

He reportedly vowed to take legal actions against the JoongAng Ilbo.

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'Stop the sexist remarks'