Kang Dong Won’s Pro-Japanese Ancestor Past Creates Present Day Scandal

Things escalated quickly for the familial scandal currently embroiling actor Kang Dong Won, made all the worse by actions from his side with regards to this news. Kang Don Won has been of the most elusive and critically acclaimed actors in K-ent, doing exclusively movies for the past decade and cultivating a cool image. This week a scandal erupted involving his family history – his great grandfather was a pro-Japanese Korean and reportedly garnered much wealth and success because of it. This is enough to make jingoistic netizens angry, and for good reason as Korea was governed terribly by the Japanese from the humanistic perspective, but its also being reported that Kang Dong Won and/or his agency YG has been deleting all the news about his family history as Japanese sympathizers and that has turned this negative on his image into a raging scandal.

I think having a family member that did reprehensible things in the past, such as being a pro-Japanese sympathizer in colonial Korea or being a Chinese who aided foreigners during the post-Republic era or having an ancestor being a Nazi, that should not be imputed on the current generation. It should be acknowledged, especially if doing such activities in the past has yielded gains that are still being reaped today, but what makes this scandal with Kang Dong Won have legs is that his side tried to shield it. That is just pointless and makes it all the worse. I like him as an actor and I hope he just apologizes profusely, acknowledge, and use his acting talents to win the public over again.


Kang Dong Won’s Pro-Japanese Ancestor Past Creates Present Day Scandal — 32 Comments

  1. ‘Yes, there’s nothing he can do about his great-grandfather being a pro-Japanese. However, it was wrong how he handled this whole thing. If he had just honestly confessed that his great-grandfather was a pro-Japanese but that he will be helping the descendants of independence fighters and comfort women, then he would’ve been forgiven… Instead he was too busy trying to hide everything and turned all his fans into antis.”

    • His family is living lavishly with the rewards of his granddad dirty work for Japanese. No wonder there is such outcry. Japan still have not admitted to their crimes. Anger will linger on…

      • They apologized several times, which are admission of their crimes, and have paid millions to repay those crimes. I think that at least those must be acknowledge by all.

      • @hohliu – Totally agree!

        @ Mindy – Uh No Japan has never fully acknowledged their mistakes. They might have “apologised” in the late ’90s but eneded up backtracking it *eye roll*. They STILL keep Yasukini Shrine and worshipping their A-class war criminals. The current Japanese Government is full of right wingers that’s trying to rewrite history and they wonder why Koreans and Chinese hate them lol.

    • The claims regarding comfort women and inheriting his wealth from the pro-Japanese relative have been proven false. His family didn’t inherit anything and worked their way up. The whole Dispatch article, translated in its entirety, is available to read. AsianJunkie also did an article refuting some of the most malicious rumours. The blogger who initiated the scandal specifically went after him by posting his family history along with the aforementioned untruths on a movie portal. The movie portal has already issued an apology for defamation. I suggest you read some more and not only netizen comments before you cast your stones. An informed opinion is always better.

      • Yes, there seems to be conflicting “information.” If the people writing incriminating articles can’t tell you if it was his grandfather or great grandfather, that’s a big red flag.

      • Thanks for this @ Blue. If his agency was trying to get rid of untrue, malicious gossip, it paints a different picture.

      • @Blue before you give your “informed opinion” please state the source for that opinion? I had read all the Korean post and even the main papers in Korea, the actions of the granddad is genuine and not made up. Do reveal where is your source so I can read further. Otherwise, you are not supporting your contradicting source from rest of SK main stream media reports.

      • I already told you my sources, do you refuse to google it because they don’t support your version of the story? I would copy paste from the Dispatch investigation and Movie Max’s apology if I could, but the comment section here doesn’t allow copy paste. I don’t know what you read, you never stated any of your sources and started your comment with a netizen quote. Btw this mainstream media you’re talking about almost ruined Jung Joon Young’s career a few months ago by reporting damning info that was proven later without a shadow of the doubt as false. Personally I choose to withhold judgement before swallowing whatever the media throws at us and read both sides of the argument. While you may not have a problem with this, I wouldn’t wanna direct needless hate at someone.

      • And just to be clear, I am not saying his relative was not pro-Japanese, I am saying some of the more outlandish accusations, about the funding of comfort women and the source of his family’s current wealth, as far as I read, seem to be untrue. The guy talked about growing up poor and wearing the same set of clothes to school, unless you think he was lying about that.

    • @blue the report on his grandad is accurate. He was Pro Japanese. Did I list his crimes, I did not as I do not know the extend to his support. As for them being poor, you can choose to believe his interview. But those that knows the family knows how well off they are. So dont even go down that route. Did I even mention I hate him, I did not. Why should I, I dont know this guy to hate him. But the fact as stated, he was not upfront about his family. And tried repeatedly to cover the news. He has since made a offical apology today. Little too late for the SK but better now then never.
      You can leave your weight to yourself. Dont bother throwing it at me. You twist my words to suit yourself. Goodness, just start your own thread to speak on his behalf. Dont bother peaching to me. I live in SK, I dont need a lesson from yourself. Thank you.

      • Did I say his relative wasn’t pro-Japanese? Where? Nor did I say there was no cover-up. There is no point arguing about that because I never tried to refute it.

        Look I know he is rich now, I said so myself, but his family worked for it, they didn’t get passed down any fortune and weren’t always rich. His lavish lifestyle has nothing to do with his great grandfather, like you claimed. Honestly this shows you didn’t even read my comment properly.

        My main point is that he should be criticized for the cover-up, for what he actually did and not for imaginary sins invented by netizens. Why is this so hard to understand? I only wanted to clarify that not everything in the initial report was proven to be true. The interview with the editor-in-chief of the pro-Japanese dictionary clarified a lot of stuff.

        I am bowing out of this conversation, have a good day!

  2. Did he try to shield it? Or his agency? If everyone knows his past and just getting angrt now means it’s agency fault not him.

  3. I don’t really care for him one way or the other. But I think he needs to clarify what is going on with the deleting or what not. If Korean fans don’t want to like him, so be it.

    Although there has to be a lot more people out there benefitting from something like this than just his family.

  4. The way he handle things sucks, he tried to erase the problem and run from it rather than facing it and be honest about it, that’s what turned some of his Korean fans into antis, I really like him so I hope he would do something about this.

  5. The smart thing for him to do now is just be humble, apologetic, admit to being embarrassed or whatever and thus trying to cover up articles about it (if that is even true).

    This actually kind of reminds me a bit of when Ben Afflect convinced the PBS show that looked into people’s geneology to leave out that one of his ancestors had been a slave holder. No one would have cared…and it’s on PBS, so many wouldn’t have even noticed. I don’t know how it got outed, but PBS had to apologize for the censorship which was against their own standards. Later on someone associated with the show said they’d had others on with slave holders in their past, and it didn’t always make the show because other ancestors were more interesting.

    I did read about KDW elsewhere and many people are really being ugly about him being related to the guy, not just the alleged deleting of articles. By being this way, they are basically making the case for why he allegedly tried to hide it.

    • Kang Dong Won is a big movie star and he does not need to do a cheesy Kim Eun Sook’s drama just to get his name back in the game. Once the dust settled and he star in another hit movie, netizens will forgive and forget eventually.

      • Sure he doesn’t need to do a KES drama and also KDW doesn’t do dramas because he’s states how he feels the schedule is taxing. That said knetz are relentless and he’s gonna get flack for years, won’t matter how many good movies he’s done. Just look at Joo Ji Hoon and Park si Hoo.

    • Kim Eun Sook cast Song Hye Kyo in Descendants of the Sun right after her tax scandal blew up and in the teeth of a petition being circulated for SHK to leave the industry.

      I don’t think this will put her off if she really wants to work with Kang Dong Won.

  6. big mistake by his company trying to delete post relat to his grandfa
    his career will be over soon. he should go japan to do movie drama japan will love him. after all his family help them in the korean war.

  7. damn kdw in a scandal. i bet every korean celebrity is walking on a nail in korea, their heart will be pounding putong putong reading news about themselve praying that its not a scandal news every day.
    the same way koreans wants this generation of japan to apologise for the atrocities commited by their forefathers, kdw should call a press and media conference and firstly admit it then apologise on behalf of his great grand father then finally donate to freedom fighters foundations to help destitude descendants of freedom fighters.
    Doing this, he will be forgiven in no time esp.since he is a male living in korea.

  8. They handled this terribly. They should’ve just come out and apologized immedietley and made dontations to charitable organizations benefiting those affected by the regime or something. YG just sucks at handling scandals period.

  9. so he’s having a scandal and netizens are mad at him for what his great grandfather did back in Japanese ruling days in Korea?!! really?!! what does that have to do with him?!! did he himself help Japanese in anyway back then?!! did he harm koreans?!! why not get angry at every japanese person and blame them for what their great grandparents did back then?!! are we realy still going to blame and panish people for their parents and grandparents’ mistakes when they did nothing wrong?!!

    • geez, read the info,
      no one hates him for what his great grandfather did,
      but how he or her PR side that tries to bury the info about this,
      like to make his image intact as nice guy while he just need to acknowledge that person is his great grandfather,
      they even sue the blogger who wrote about his great-grandfather affiliation while it’s a true story,
      would you still gonna defend him for the burying info that he or his pr team did?
      they want his to make statement regarding his ancestry that he already tried to delete, in internet and legal manner

  10. I’m curious how many comments in this thread are coming from Chinese and Koreans. I’m really curious how much ppl from these two countries or any blood-related races hate Japan so much. At least, I’m sure not those who are from Taiwan though.

  11. I can totally understand why anyone would try to make this information go away as it is still a sensitive and inflammatory topic and these days even the slightest hint of any wrongdoing can destroy a career. And it wasn’t anything he did! Is he a wife beater? No! did he personally do anything? No! Everything was done before he was even born, so why should his life and career be ruined? And once the haters start it is unending. Give the guy a break for just not wanting to go thru that hell.

  12. There are few things I hate more than blaming individuals for the sins of their relatives, nationality or race. Every individual is his or her own person and to assign some kind of collective guilt is one of the foulest and lowest forms of evil. Knetizens blaming KDW for the sins of his ancestors are vile, foul and evil and not worthy of any kind attention. Shame on them.

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