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First Female President of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra Accused of Sexually Harassing Employees

By Jaime Prisco j.prisco@classicalite.com on Dec 04, 2014 02:27 PM EST

The first female president of South Koreas renowned orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, has been accused of sexual harassment, verbal abuse and unethical hiring decisions.

Hyun-jung Park made history when she became the first female president and CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in February 2013, but allegations swirling around her unethical behavior are threatening her high-standing position and her place in the history books.

Seventeen of the Seoul Philharmonic’s employees testified in a petition that Park constantly abused them, with one male employee claiming that she had too much to drink at a public dinner gathering and grabbed him by the necktie, attempting to touch his genitals. Three female employees said that Park suggested they offer themselves sexually, telling one she would be a good hostess and the other two that they should sit next to important male guests and accommodate their needs.

But these allegations do not end at sexual harassment. Many employees said she would often swear at them, threaten to deduct money from their paychecks and say things such as, “You should sell your organs to make up for corporate losses.” She has also been accused of unethical hiring and promoting decisions, basing career advancement on connections rather than merit.

All of these accusations don’t come as a surprise to some. Many were skeptical when Park was hired for the prestigious position, considering her lacking of qualifications. She received a doctorate degree in sociology from Harvard University, but has no experience in managing a performing arts agency. Most of her professional life was spent working for Samsung in customer service and marketing.

Park was meant to head a press conference yesterday in response to the accusations, but postponed it, saying that “she needs time to prepare.” She plans to take legal action against the employees for defamation.

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TagsFemale, President, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sexual Harassment

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