12 June 2012

Yu-Na Kim suing professor for libel

By Lim Hyun-dong
Kwon Sang-soo, journalist for the Korea Joongang Daily, reported that Korean Kim Yu-na filed a libel suit against Professor Hwang Sang-min of Yonsei University, who described her practice teaching assignments from Korea University as mere performances.

“The practice teaching was nothing but a show performed by a celebrity,” Hwang said during Kim Mi-hwa’s CBS radio program on May 22. “No one can deny that she is a very busy person. I don’t think Yu-na has attended lectures faithfully in last four years and also for the practice teaching. It is very unfair for normal students who must study hard and participate in the practice eaching to earn their degrees because celebrities like Yu-na earn their degrees very easily by showing their face for a few hours at special events.”

Kim is studying for a teacher’s degree in physical education at Korea University. “We decided to sue the professor because he made up a false story that made the public doubt Yu-na’s academic achievement,” Koo Dong-hoe, the CEO of All That Sports, said.

“I used Yu-na’s practice teaching case as an example to criticize the current education system at Korean colleges,” Hwang said. “Colleges and universities attract sports stars and celebrities by offering special admission and use them to improve their reputation. I can’t believe that she filed a lawsuit because celebrities like her must be able to handle social issues that are relevant to them unless she plans on censoring every single remark made about her.

I think that the controversy over special admissions to colleges for celebrities or sports stars is an international problem. As an university student in what can be considered one of the best colleges in my country, I can tell you how frustrating it is for normal students who must study hard and attend every lesson to see different kind of celebrities cutting in front of us in the queue for an exam and getting good grades even if they do poorly, when the only thing we'll get for a test done poorly would be a kick in the butt.

Evidently, this isn't a personal comment on Kim’s academic achievements, only a stressed student during her exams session giving vent to her frustration and tiredness.

Anyway, Kim’s management company said it would withdraw the suit if the professor apologizes.


  1. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/03/16/2010031600869.html hmmm. I remember something of her not being a particularly high academic achiever... Oh well, I 'm sure they (Korean denizens and sports administrators) will let the plagiarism that is popular to Korea and Moon Dae Sung fly.

  2. Thank you for the article and for commenting!
    Well, I understand that it is difficult to be a top athlet and a good student. But what I do not admit is favouritism: an athlet works hard to be the best and to be judjed fairly; it is the same for a student. I understand athlets can submit training plans to make up for attendance and replace tests with written assignments, but they should be judjed as evryone else.
    This isn't only a Korean problem, it is a problem of every university dealing with famous people.

  3. He is not her professor.

  4. You're right, he's professor at the Yonsei University. I've corrected the title.