Controversies continue over Blue House

A scene from the trailer for the Netflix musical reality show “Take 1” shows Rain performing. (Netflix)

Nearly six months after Cheong Wa Dae opened to the public on May 1, the use of the former presidential office site remains highly controversial, with the most recent debate centering on a performance by star singer Rain’s filmed on the ground of the Blue House. The Netflix musical reality show “Take 1” aired on October 14.

Responding to criticism over the commercial use of the space, the Cultural Heritage Administration, which has been in charge of Cheong Wa Dae operations since May 23, insisted that the Netflix event be held according to usage guidelines. by Cheong Wa Dae. However, reports released during recent parliamentary inspections have raised a number of questions regarding Netflix’s use of Cheong Wa Dae land.

On Friday, Democratic Party of Korea’s top opposition MK Lee Byeong-hoon posted a comment on his social media saying Netflix filming shouldn’t have been allowed, based on submitted CHA reports. at Lee’s office. The lawmaker claimed that the show clearly violated regulations on the use of Cheong Wa Dae.

Current Cheong Wa Dae regulatory guidelines state that filming for commercial purposes is not permitted.

Rain’s performance took place on June 17, five days after the guidelines took effect. A subsidiary rule states: “The rule applies to filming done after June 20.” Lee claims the clause was intentionally added to allow Netflix filming.

The lawmaker also claimed that the presidential office was directly involved in the filming of the show at Cheong Wa Dae and argued that the event tainted the historical and symbolic significance of Cheong Wa Dae as a whole.

Meanwhile, Jeon Jae-soo, also a top lawmaker from the opposition Democratic Party, on Monday alleged the incident of the presidential office’s direct involvement in handling Blue House events.

According to Jeon, the presidential office had suggested to the Ministry of Culture that Seoul Fashion Week, the country’s largest biannual fashion event, be held at the Blue House.

A few days after the suggestion was made in June, reports submitted to Jeon’s office by the Ministry of Culture indicate that the ministry had spoken with CHA regarding the event. Seoul Fashion Week was held from October 11 to 15 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Another controversy involves a company that remodeled parts of Cheong Wa Dae before it opened to the public. According to the lawmaker, the head of the company who led the recent Seoul Fashion Week is the wife of the head of the company who worked on the renovation of the Blue House. The latter firm is said to have sponsored an exhibition organized by Covana Content, a company run by first lady Kim Keon-hee.

Several filmings at the Blue House that took place after it opened have come under public scrutiny.

In early August, a furniture promotion video showing a couch placed on Cheong Wa Dae’s grounds was taken down after a public outcry over the video’s apparent commercial use.

On August 22, a fashion series for Vogue Korea’s September issue that featured photos of models wearing modernized hanboks and dresses, using buildings in Cheong Wa Dae as a backdrop, drew widespread criticism. and has been removed from the publication’s webpage.

Meanwhile, a Gucci fashion show is set to be held at Gyeongbokgung’s Geunjeongjeon, the main hall of the Joseon Royal Palace, on Nov. 1 after securing CHA approval.

A CHA official who spoke to the Korea Herald on Monday said he had heard nothing of the show’s content or schedule, except for a notice from the PR agency. of the show in Korea indicating that only six contestants are invited to participate in the show from the CHA side. .

In the past, the ACH has said that the lack of communication with event officials after obtaining permission to use the site was a major issue that should be addressed.

By Kim Hae-yeon ([email protected])

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