Despite being a series meant to spread awareness of the issues of school violence and bullying in Korea, it was quite a surprise when the very people behind The Glory happened to have their own cases of school bullying, not as the victims, but as perpetrators.
Ahn Gil Ho
The Glory quickly rose to fame soon after it’s release of part one, however just after the release of part two, news about the series’ director, Ahn Gil Ho came to light.
According to a post on an online community by an unidentified netizen, Ahn Gil Ho committed acts of school bullying violence during his time in the Philippines in 1996. The alleged bullying started with Ahn Gil Ho’s ex-girlfriend, a younger middle school student that he dated during his senior year of high school. He had heard that his girlfriend had been getting teased by her fellow students, and took matters into his own hands.
On an official interview with Dailian, the netizen recalls Ahn Gil Ho and around ten other people pulling out a knife on him during an interrogation that lasted around two hours.
I found out that he was (the director of the drama) through a group chatroom with my former classmates from the Philippines. I don’t want to make an issue out of the fact that (Ahn Gil Ho) is doing well for himself. However, I can’t forgive him for having the audacity to direct a drama dealing with school bullying like The Glory.
His former girlfriend also came forward to explain the teasing was not as bad as it was made out to be to warrant such a reaction, but that he was often teased by being called “Angilo”, a nickname meant to reference his short legs, as it was a popular subject at the time to discuss short or long legs.
The incident received mixed reactions from netizens, including those unsure of who’s side to take — if Ahn Gil Ho was merely trying to defend his girlfriend, if he had gone too far, or if it was the fault of the netizens.
While he initially denied the allegations, he released an official apology on March 12 admitting to taking part in school bullying violence.
Ahn Gil Ho is not the only one involved in a bullying scandal, actress Kim Hieora who plays Lee Sa Ra, one of the lead character’s bullies, in The Glory, faced school bullying violence allegations on September 6.
The actress attended Sangji Girls Middle School, where she had been part of an infamous group called Big Sanji, members of the school known for school bullying violence.
The group was said to partake in extorting other students into running errands, giving money, and stealing for older members of the group. However, Kim Hieora had denied any accusations of this. She eventually admits to being part of Big Sanji, and apologized in person, and through a phone call, to the alleged victims, with the exception of one who had refused to accept her apology.
Fellow The Glory actress, Cha Joo Young, made a brief statement regarding the controversies.
(The actors) were checked (if we had a history of bullying) before (filming) began.
— Cha Joo Young
She also faced another controversy where she and another actress, Lee A Jin, were said to sexually harass another actress on an Instagram livestream.
The Glory Effect
Thai actor Ohm Pawat came forward to admit to school bullying accusations, and many believe this was inspired after the release of The Glory.
Many netizens have come forward to share their experiences with Ohm Pawat, expressing that he had done things such as bullying an autistic student, threw soda on a fellow student, and frequently mocked his female classmates.
He released an apology on January 8.
— Ohmpawat (@ohmpawatt) January 8, 2023
Many found the apology as dismissive and watered down to “just being a boy.” and received many mixed reactions.
However, many also believe that The Glory had shed light to many unseen bullying issues, even those of celebrities, and especially those behind the scenes of the very drama.