We discuss the MBC “Shocking Truth” video with the Seoul Global Study Group.


Let me throw in a disclaimer to start out. We talked about in the last show about the big Facebook group protesting the MBC “Shocking Truth” video. Earlier this week, I was contacted by Layne Hartsell, who I had worked with on projects in the past, to do a special roundtable with members of the Seoul Global Study Group.

That was before the incident brought up in the recording happened. The focus really should be on MBC and their actions. There is an accusation of some people calling Mr. Hartsell’s employer to cause trouble. I have personally seen documented proof that one person visited the office of his boss. To me personally, it looks like a personal vendetta a former moderator for this Facebook group has had against Mr. Hartsell and used his position as a moderator to poison the stream. That said, I have not seen verifiable proof yet that the leader of the group called the employer with foul intentions. In the expat community, that is one of the most egregious sins one can commit, since most foreigners’ welcome in Korea is on fragile ground anyway.

In 2006, I had a similar problem when my ex-employer tried to get me kicked out of the country because I complained to the labor board that I didn’t get paid. After three years, I ended up winning the case. But this tactic is one of the lowest tactics one can use in Korea with a foreigner.

You can take what Layne has to say with a grain of salt. I myself insisted on proof before I went ahead. We do talk about MBC in this recording, but all of this has to do with MBC and xenophobia in the big picture. If expats want to work together to get something done, they need to stop this behavior. Tactics like trying to get people fired and deported have been historically used by Koreans and expats and have derailed past efforts to get any significant change accomplished.