Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Naked News Korea's one of topless nine news anchors wants audience to focus on the news

Yeah, right. Of course, Ms. Lee Se-yeon! (Whatever did she think when she said (or is it a plea?), "Please focus on the news rather than the breasts."

You can view the rest of the nine topless news anchor ladies here. (Courtesy of China Daily, "South Korea broadcaster presents 'Naked News'")

Lee Se-yeon is one of nine presenters of Naked News Korea, the channel where anchors appear topless for an adult news program. Lee (23) had a "normal" career working for a company before joining Naked News and started the interview with the Chosun Ilbo by saying, "Please focus on the news rather than the breasts."

"I worked in a manufacturing company for five years, and I got bored with the routine. I wanted to break out of that cycle and find a new challenge."

Asked if it was a difficult decision to expose her body to the public, Lee said, "People often say I'm bold. I'm confident about how I look and what I am. Also, I'm used to it now after three months of training after I got through the audition." She disagrees that viewers will be more interested in her body than the news. "I don't think that will necessarily be the case. Honestly, there are many other sources of real pornography. They might look at my body and breasts when watching the program, but I'm sure their ears will be listening to the news," she said.

Lee said the company plans to maintain the current level of nudity and go no further since it reflects the cultural norms in Korea. Therefore, it is highly contextual to the changes in people's thoughts and trend. "If there is a consensus among people on more nudity, the contents can go along with such changes," she said.

What if her future boyfriend is against her appearing on Naked News? "Why would he be against it? I don't think I will be attracted to such a person," she said.

From The Chosun Ilbo, "Topless Presenter Wants to Focus on the News".

Update on 31/07: bad news for the fans of the show. Just after 1 month since Naked News Korea started, it is reported today to have been stopped. Money reason was quoted to be the reason.

Fret not, you might still be able to take a look at the news anchors (no, they are not NAKED, you pervert) at this YouTube clips, "Naked News Korea", "Korean Naked News 1", "Korean Naked News 2", "Korean Naked News 3", and "Korean Naked News 4".

After all of the circus hoopla and controversy surrounding the launch of the Korean version of the Naked News franchise, its existence now hangs by a pithy thread as production came to a screeching halt since Thursday -- just one month after its inception. The problem? Money.

Nine of the anchors have yet to be compensated for their work during the month the service has been up while customer service has ceased its operation leaving 260,000 paid subscribers for the month of July, hanging, according to local reports.

The problem began when management of the Naked News Korea branch requested its anchors contracted to present news only in semi-nude form (i.e. in lingerie and bikini tops) to strip down completely for its pay-for-play adults-only version.

This prompted five of its anchors to hand in their resignations while the rest of its personalities stayed on.

This shift in content direction had come after management felt the noose around its neck tightened by the Korea Communication Commission.

After its launch, the nation's media watchdog had been steadfastly applying pressure for the company to scrap its "teen version," as they felt it was too suggestive and inappropriate for teenaged viewers.

The website has been re-airing previously recorded shows since a week ago with no clear resolution on the horizon.

The sports daily Ilgan Sports conducted an interview on Wednesday with one of the program's anchors who asked to remain anonymous and revealed she had been unable to get a hold of management in order to clarify their grievances over unpaid wages.

"We've been told to be patient and to wait but we have yet to be informed of anything. There is no one we can contact who can clear this up. No one's returning our calls and we've just been informed the company's head John Chau have flown out of the country," she was quoted as saying.

"We feel like we've been conned and cajoled into doing this. Even through opposition from family members of our participation in this program we all felt we were pioneers taking part in something new. We've reported this to the Ministry of Labor so we just have to wait and see what happens."

From The Korea Herald, "'Naked News' hangs by a thread".

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