South Korean Filmmakers Sign Petition Against 'Civilian Massacre' in Gaza
"Oldboy" director Park Chan-wook and "The Berlin Film" director Ryoo Seung-yong are among 100 public figures supporting the petition.
The Gaza conflict isn't just dividing industry folks in Hollywood and Europe. In South Korea, the hot-button issue has led to 100 public figures, including well-known film directors, signing a petition and delivering it to the Israeli embassy in Seoul, according to local media reports
South Korean directors Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker, Joint Security Area) and Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File, The Unjust) were among the 100, along with academics, legal experts and religious figures. They all signed the petition created by Nanum Munhwa, a South Korean nonprofit organization that supports peace in the Middle East region.
Copies of the petition were also sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul.
The strongly worded document refers to Israel's actions in Gaza as a "civilian massacre" and calls on Israel to "stop immediately." Elsewhere in the petition, the actions of Israel are described as a "war crime."
The petition calls on the South Korean government, as well as the U.S. and European countries, to stop aiding Israel and halt all arms sales to the country. South Korea sold $22 million worth of arms to Israel in 2008, according to the Korea Herald.
The Israel-Gaza conflict has been a controversial issue in Hollywood, and the debate became more heated after prominent Spanish entertainment industry figures, including Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and director Pedro Almovodar, sent an open letter that denounced the Israeli "genocide" in Gaza.
Veteran actor Jon Voight was moved to respond in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter that described Cruz and Bardem's views as "ignorant." And Relativity Media boss Ryan Kavanaugh said the letter made his blood boil.