Korean Voice Actress Replaced for Wearing a Feminist T-Shirt

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A voice actress in South Korea got replaced for needing neither a hero nor a prince.

Kim Ja-yeon's tweet
Kim Ja-yeon’s tweet

On July 18, voice actress Kim Ja-yeon tweeted a picture of herself in a t-shirt that reads “Girls do not need a prince.” Along with the picture, Kim wrote “I don’t need a hero. I need a friend,” which is a line from Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Kim voice acted the line herself as she was dubbing for Star Butterfly in this animated series.

At the time she tweeted the picture, Kim had been voice acting for an upcoming character in a game from Nexon, one of the major game companies in Korea. When the controversies over Kim’s tweet increasingly caused a ruckus, Nexon announced their decision to replace her.

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Kim Ja-yeon’s voice for the new character of Nexon’s game, Closers, was replaced (IMAGE Naddic Games).

What caused the controversy is not merely what was printed on the t-shirt, but its connection to Korean feminist website, Megalia. Megalia is a website for a group of feminists who react to sexism and misogyny with mirroring of men. On Megalia, it is easy to find posts and comments that appear to be reverse sexist, which makes visitors easily misunderstand Megalia as a radical feminist group when they don’t properly understand the website.

Kim Ja-yeon, in reaction to the increasing controversies over her tweet, wrote that she wasn’t actively associated with Megalia, but stiil, that she “doesn’t have a negative impression about them.”

Nonetheless of her passive involvement, game players of Nexon – dominantly male – requested the replacement of her and Nexon accepted the request.

Such a decision naturally aroused another controversy, questioning if it is fair and just to fire an employee for being a feminist. However, Nexon made it clear that replacement of Kim was not an unfair termination since they’ve already paid Kimfor the role whether or not her voice is to be used for the game.

Still, Nexon’s move to remove the voice of a feminist in their game is apparently not accepted as a righteous action. Many Tweeter users, including a considerable number of cartoonists, are criticizing and boycotting Nexon.

 

By Heewon Kim