Actor and restauranter Hong Seok Cheon was a guest on the newest episode of Showterview With Jessi. While interviews with Jessi are always filled with laughs, she delves into serious conversations too. Her ability to make guests feel comfortable allows them to be honest and vulnerable on even subjects that are usually considered taboo in South Korea.
Hong Seok Cheon shared his experience of coming out as gay when he was 30 years old. In 2000, this resulted in a lot of controversy in Korea. For three years, he was banned from broadcasts. When he was finally able to make a comeback, the public didn’t welcome him. Some even protested his casting in SBS’s drama, Perfect Love.
Upon hearing this story, Jessi expressed her abhorrence for the bigotry he was the victim of. Although she would have been just 12 years old at the time, she said that she would have been outspoken in her support for him.
Jessi was outraged, knowing of the mistreatment he endured. She explained why she felt so passionately about this. She thought of her friends and even fans who may have suffered through a similar situation.
I have lots of friends who’re gay and friends who’re lesbians and I have lots of fans who’re gay. Support them no matter what! It would’ve been heartbreaking back in the day.
Jessi, who is from New York, couldn’t have known or helped Hong Seok Cheon at the time he came out. Now, living in Korea, she openly expresses her support for her LGBT+ friends, including him. She even offered him to visit and be a guest in her house!
While some may feel intimidated to approach sensitive topics, Jessi recognizes the importance of it. There can’t be any change or progress without conversation.
I enjoy having these types of conversations. There’s still so many people who have a hard time coming out even in this day. I feel bad. I just want to support them.
Watch the full interview below.