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HomeEntertainment‘Squid Game’ actor gets eight-month suspended sentence for sexual misconduct

‘Squid Game’ actor gets eight-month suspended sentence for sexual misconduct


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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has been convicted of sexual misconduct in Seoul, South Korea, according to a local court statement released on Friday.

The 79-year-old actor, who won a Golden Globe Award in 2022 for his role in the Netflix series, was charged with assaulting a woman in 2017. The court sentenced O to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to attend 40 hours of classes on sexual violence.

Judge Jeong Yeon-ju emphasised the consistency and credibility of the victim’s testimony, stating that her account appeared genuine and reflective of personal experience.

O was indicted in 2022 on charges of sexually assaulting a woman during two separate incidents in 2017, one on a walking path and the other in front of the victim’s residence while he was staying in a rural area for a theatre performance.

South Korean media noted O’s bowed demeanour during the hearing, followed by his quiet exit from the courthouse with intentions to appeal. After the trial, reports emerged of his exclusion from casting considerations. His association with the controversy led to the removal of his role from an upcoming South Korean film.

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“Now we can say that the sexual violence in the theatre is not an old custom but sexual violence. The accused must stop trying to make his assault go away, apologise to the victim and accept his mistake,” Womenlink, a prominent feminist organisation.

Squid Game gained immense popularity on Netflix for its portrayal of a dystopian world where marginalised individuals are compelled to participate in deadly versions of traditional children’s games. Within just four weeks of its 2021 release, the series garnered a staggering 111 million viewers worldwide.

The success of Squid Game further solidified South Korea’s global cultural impact, following the international acclaim received by entities like K-pop sensation BTS and the Oscar-winning film Parasite. Notably, several figures in South Korea’s film industry, including late filmmaker Kim Ki-duk and actor Cho Jae-hyun, have also faced sexual assault allegations.

O started acting in 1963 with a theater group called The Square. He was part of the National Theater Company of Korea from 1987 to 2010, working alongside actors like Jang Min-ho, whom he sees as his mentor.

Over his career, he acted in plays like A Confession for a Black Prostitute, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Merchant of Venice, among others. O claims he performed in more than 200 productions by 2013.


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