‘Parasite’ director calls for probe into actor Lee Sun-kyun’s death

Bong Joon-ho, the director of the Oscar-winning movie "Parasite," and other members of South Korea's culture and entertainment industry called Friday for an investigation into police's handling of the drug investigation of late actor Lee Sun-kyun. Lee, best known for his role in "Parasite," was found dead in his car in central Seoul on Dec. 27, days after he publicly appeared before the police for the third round of questioning on suspicions of using marijuana and other illegal drugs on multiple occasions. Lee's death raised questions about whether the police compelled him to stand on the press photo line before his questioning sessions and whether Lee deserved some privacy-infringing media reports that followed the investigation. Lee had claimed his innocence over his drug suspicions, and drug tests conducted on him were negative. At a press conference in central Seoul, a group of filmmakers, actors and artists issued a statement urging a probe to get to the bottom of Lee's death. Among those present in the press conference were actor Kim Eui-sung, singer-songwriter Yoon Jong-shin and director Jang Hang-jun. "We urge a thorough investigation to determine whether there was any fault in the police's (information) security in the two months since the first information leak about the investigation into the late actor up to his death," Bong said. The director also brought into question some news reports revealing details about Lee's drug investigation, saying a probe is needed to determine how such secret information was funneled into a news outlet. "We demand clear truth regarding whether it was legally right for the police to release the late actor's police appearance schedules to the press," Bong said, highlighting efforts to prevent "the second or third victim" after Lee. Director Lee Won-tae urged the enactment of legislation to safeguard the human rights of individuals under investigation and to ensure the confidentiality of information related to criminal investigations. "Even if the investigative pro cedure in this case was legally correct, the government and the National Assembly should not remain silent," he said, calling for legislation to guarantee suspects' human rights against people's right to know. The group plans to submit the statement to National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, the National Police Agency and the state-run broadcasting network KBS. Some 2,000 industry people, including those affiliated with 29 associations representing filmmakers, actors, managers and other positions as well, collaborated in crafting the statement. Actor Song Kang-ho, who played the main role in "Parasite," also endorsed the statement. The group plans to continue to work together for the enactment of the "Lee Sun-kyun prevention law," the members said. Source: Yonhap News Agency