Cr. - kdramastars
The rape allegations against actor Park Shi Hoo continue to negatively affect his career. Last week, only days after the Seoul Police decided they had gathered enough evidence to prompt prosecution of this case, the actor's name was removed from the list of nominees for the 49th Baeksang Arts Awards.
The Baeksang Arts Awards honors outstanding achievements in the South Korean entertainment industry and is decided by popular vote. Before his name was removed from the list, the actor led the popularity poll for male actors with 47 percent of the votes. He was listed for his work in the film, "I'm a Killer."
The award's official statement said that removing the actor's name was done "in consideration of the movie fans, who said that the nominee list should not include people under social criticism."
It also said that those representing the actor agreed that until all the issues were settled, they would refrain from participating in such activities.
Just as opinion on the case is divided, so were netizen comments on the removal of the actor's name.
"This is a shame," said one netizen in response to the decision. "Whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty?'" Another netizen said that since the case amounted to a blackmail attempt against the actor, it was unfair that his career should suffer so much as a result.
But there were other responses that said the removal of his name made sense. Whether or not he was technically guilty, said one netizen, he should never have behaved in a way that made it so easy for him to be involved in a scandal.
The actor is accused of raping a starlet, known as "A." The two had drinks with friends on the night of Feb. 15, returned to his apartment, and engaged in what Park Shi Hoo referred to as consensual sex. "A" complained later that she had so much to drink that she could not have consented. The police interviewed Park Shi Hoo, A, and various witnesses, conducted lie detector tests, and recently handed the case over to prosecutors. No date rape drugs were found in "A's" system.
Some fans complained to the site that they had already paid to vote for Park Shi Hoo and that their votes should count. So, a day after the actor's name was removed from the list, another official statement was put up on the site stating that, "Due to the change in the nominees list, we are planning to refund the fans that voted for Park Shi Hoo."