What was supposed to be a romantic kiss scene in Korean drama Father Is Strange went horribly wrong because of the circumstance the kiss was portrayed in.
The drama showed Lee Joon’s character sharing a kiss with Jo Sung Min’s character (Byun Mi Young), but what led up to the kiss was all wrong.
In the episode, Mi Young had arrived late to the filming set after missing out on a text message about a change in location. She was berated by the crew for causing a delay, but Lee Joon’s character (Ahn Joong Hee) took the blame.
While Joong Hee was getting his makeup done, the director commented that the lip prints on his face looks fake, and suggested for Mi Young to kiss him. When she refused, he said, ““You’re his manager. Better you than someone else kissing him.”
Joong Hee stepped in to protest, but was told, “Your manager got you here late, and we’re out of time.” Out of guilt, Mi Young agreed to kiss him on the cheeks and chin. The director then told her to do it again, but this time on the lips, still guilt-tripping her while emphasising that they’re two hours behind schedule.
Whether she was supposed to kiss him on the lips or cheeks wasn’t the point – that she was guilt-tripped into kissing him depicts sexual harassment in a work setting.
The scene caused viewers to voice their concern, and hence prompted Korea Communication Standards Commission to launch a review.
Sexual harassment at work is a real issue, so there’s EVERYTHING wrong with romanticising it.