Saturday, 10 January 2009

Remember the Foreigners who got Deported for Producing a Comedy that Made Fun of Korea?

A moment in memoriam.

Metropolitician on the same: he describes the Korean police/media's "scandal creation attempts" in a number of similar incidents where foreigners got scapegoated or demonized, sometimes through exaggeration, sometimes through outright fabrication.

Have things gotten better? Talk amongst yourselves.

7 comments:

Jason said...

Hi,

I remember that story but I thought it just faded away with them getting a warning and likely not getting their visas renewed--did they actually get deported?

So much for democracy . . . it's surprising no one was able to get that story into the international press . . .

J

Jason said...

I've been trying to find out if any of those foreign teachers got deported and not having much luck.

One of them, it seems, was still in Korea as of Dec 4th, 2008.

http://tharp42.livejournal.com/237291.html

I wonder about the other foreign teachers in the investigation . . . were any actually given their pink slips and put on a plane?

J

Roboseyo said...

good question... anybody have more information?

steve feldman said...

Hi:
I was a co-writer/producer/director of "Babo-palooza" from December, 2006. Here's what happened. None of us were outright deported. However, those involved who were between jobs and due to start new jobs (3 or 4 of us) were denied new Visas by immigration. (Immigration said they could not issue new Visas to foreigners in the middle of a police investigation). This, of course, ammounted to defacto deportation, so those people had to leave. Strangely, those of us who were RENEWING contracts (i.e., continuing at our same schools)were allowed to renew/extend our Visas, no problem. When the police investigation wrapped up, I and Chris Tharp were hauled before the prosecutor who explained that the issue was NOT the content, only the violation of our Visas by charging money for the show. We wrote a formal letter of apology and that was it--no fine or other punishment. After that, those of us who were denied Visas came back to Korea--and they were STILL denied new Visas, until they went down to Busan immigration, explained that the police investigation was over, and wrote a formal apology. As for myself, last summer (Aug. 2008) I started a new job in Cheonan working for a school sponsored by the Hanhwa Corp. My new Visa was initially denied by immigration in Daejeon, but my high and mighty corporate friends in Hanwha pulled the appropriate strings to get me thought. And that, I believe was the very last gasp of Babo-palooza.

--steve feldman--
feld_dog@yahoo.com

steve feldman said...

One final word: the heat our show brought down pretty much squelched what was a promising theater/performance scene in Busan. People were seriously afraid to play the guitar at an open-mike night, or even to DISCUSS the whole issue on a web forum. Things have begun to recover. Actually, some folks in Daegu have launched a theater troupe recently, and there's talk of things re-booting in Busan, too.

--steve--

Roboseyo said...

wow, steve. Thanks so much for filling us in.

It's a real shame that venue of expression got squelched so completely... take care, eh? Hope things are going well for you these days, and that your time in Korea's going well.

-Roboseyo

Jason said...

Hi Steve,

Didn't see you posted an answer to my question until now.

Thanks for sharing the info and your story.

I wonder when some of these stories will break in the mainstream international English media . . . I suspect that until a critical mass is achieved through blogging that not much attention is going to be given to what goes on over here for expat teachers . . .

Anyways, thanks again,
J