updated 04:05 am EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Newspaper states removal due to duplicate article about anti-Samsung film
South Korean newspaper NewDaily Biz has allegedly caved to pressure from electronics manufacturer Samsung over an article about the anti-Samsung film entitled Another Promise. The president of the newspaper, Park Jung-kyu, ordered an article removed that featured information about celebrities funding screenings of the film after complaints surfaced, supposedly from Samsung executives. Texts sent from Park intended for Samsung suggest the electronics company pressed for the article's removal.
South Korean news outlet Pressian obtained the texts from Park meant for Samsung that show how he may have been pressured by the electronics company as he attempted to apologize to executives about the article. When Pressian questioned Park, he stated that the article was removed for being a duplicate and not under any influence from Samsung.
After explaining the troubles he's faced personally since becoming president of the publication, Park wrote that he wanted to work to fix the friction with Samsung. "To fix the trust issue between Samsung Group and NewDaily, I plan to do my best. I spoke with Park Jong-moon, who told me that Samsung was upset about the Another Promise article we published last month. After looking into the details, I have directly ordered to take the post down. The columnist didn't have any ill intent, and the senior managers didn't notice it at all."
In a statement to The Verge, Samsung denied the allegations outright, offering a strongly-worded statement. "We categorically deny any allegation that Samsung tries to exert influence over media coverage, including of this movie. The fact is that the movie has already been widely covered by domestic and global media since before its release in early February. The allegation concerning the article in question is clearly groundless."
Another Promise is a film based on the true story of 23-year old Hwang Yu-mi, and her family's legal battle against Samsung. Hwang passed away in 2007 after being diagnosed with acute leukemia, after being exposed to hazardous chemicals while working at one of Samsung's factories in Suwon. The film was the first Korean movie to produced with funds collected via crowdfunding, bringing in $1.3 million through private parties and small firms.