Parasite director calls for investigation into movie star’s death

The Oscar-winning director is one of many South Korean artists who have called for more investigations following the deaths of a number of public figures

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Bong Joon-ho, director of Parasite (Gisaengchung), has joined other South Korean artists in calling for an investigation into the death of actor Lee Sun-kyun.

Lee, who played the wealthy father in Bong’s Oscar-winning film, was found unconscious in his car near Waryong Park in central Seoul last month. The actor was 48 years old.

Lee was under investigation for illegal drug use during the government’s ongoing crackdown on narcotics, Yonhap reported.

According to reports, Lee was subjected to three rounds of police interrogation for suspected use of marijuana and other illegal drugs. As Yonhap reported, these alleged incidents have occurred several times since the beginning of last year, including the Saturday before the actor’s death at the home of a waitress who worked at an upscale bar in Seoul’s Gangnam district.

After 19 hours of police interrogation on Saturday night, Lee reportedly requested a polygraph test to determine the truth between him and the waitress.

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According to the Korea Herald, the woman in her 20s claimed that Lee had used drugs at her house more than once. The newspaper also reported that Lee filed a complaint against the waiter, claiming that the woman blackmailed him and extorted 350 million won (about 8 million Turkish liras).

According to a report in The Guardian, the Solidarity Association of Culture Artists, a group of 29 cultural and artistic groups, issued a statement calling on the authorities and the media to prevent similar deaths in the future.

The statement said:

In the face of the tragic death of actor Lee Sun-kyun, we are united in our hearts that this should never happen again. In addition to calling for investigative authorities to investigate to uncover the truth and demanding media outlets to delete articles that do not comply with their media functions, we will call on the authorities to revise the law to protect the human rights of artists.

Several South Korean celebrities have committed suicide in the last few years, including pop stars and actors, including Moonbin, Haesoo and Jonghyun.

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On Friday, January 12, the organization held a press conference with Bong and other filmmakers.


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