I know this will sound incredibly shallow and insensitive given Song Hye Kyo’s current situation, but the first observation that appeared in my head when I saw photos from her appearance at today’s media screening of My Palpitating Life is this: man, her stylist and PR people are geniuses.
(Image credits: as tagged)
Simple outfit, no jewelry/accessories, simple make-up (I’ve seen others who will appear with no make-up at all just to look kawawa [pitiful] in front of the camera), no dramatic pity parties. Although she does look shaken up – I mean, who wouldn’t? – she found no need to fish for sympathy with a show of tears. I haven’t seen any translation of her full statement, but the tidbits say that she said she is taking sole responsibility for her actions. I am just glad that she didn’t go full “I will reflect on my mistakes” mode because I really think that statement is pure BS, especially when the person is not guilty of anything. I admire her for standing up for herself by still fulfilling her obligations to promote her movie. Other celebrities would just hibernate and disappear, hoping that things will just go away by itself (although in some instances, it is better for them to hibernate rather than shoot their mouths off and make things worse). I also have to give props to the production company behind MPL for allowing Hye Kyo to use this activity to make a personal statement addressing the issues.
My only concern is that people will fault her for looking so beautiful despite her ordeal. Oh well, haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.
This is the part where I will rant at the sheer ignorance of netizens, both Koreans and non-Koreans alike. I made the mistake of reading both SHK articles from Netizenbuzz, and the ignorance of nearly EVERYONE who commented there just blows my mind. Especially those who are like, “my taxes!!!” WTH, is SHK a government official who stole from your coffers? NO. In fact, she even PAID the under-declared amount + penalties. So YOU already got your so-called taxes, dumbass. What the hell are you still demanding for?
Those who compared her with Kang Ho Dong, saying that at least Ho Dong was not charged with tax evasion: The fact of the matter is, KHD was not charged for tax evasion because his annual tax due is under 500 million won. But he did NOT pay his taxes at all. SHK’s taxes was just under-declared, as in she still paid a certain amount. When she got assessed, she paid her back taxes. Case closed.
Those who say that she should supervise her accountant: It is so easy to say this if you’re an employee whose income taxes were automatically deducted from your salary, so you don’t have to go through the motions of doing your own taxes every year. People like SHK are either (1) too busy to do their taxes; (2) do not know how to do their taxes; or (3) both. That is what accountants are for. Although there, indeed, are cases wherein the client specifically instructs their accountants to do everything to lower their taxes, and there are legal ways to do so. (Breaking news: donating to a legitimate charity is a LEGAL way to lower your taxes.) But there are also accountants who take advantage of their clients’ trust by telling them that everything is taken care of when in fact, it’s not. For example: they tell their client to prepare php100,000 to pay for income tax, when in fact, the accountant only remitted php10,000 and pocketed the rest for themselves. Oftentimes, it takes a few years and an assessment from tax examiners before the client realizes that he’s been had by his accountant.
Why do I know this? Because accounting is my profession, although taxation is not my field of expertise.
I fully trust that SHK’s case is the second one. Some articles are saying that they are accusing SHK of taking advantage of the benefit she got from being awarded an Exemplary Tax Payer in 2008 or 2009 wherein she got a break from tax assessment for two years. Those two years were the years where she was said to have committed tax evasion. Since SHK is not the one who personally does her taxes, why automatically assume that SHK is the one who decided, “oh, let’s take advantage of this benefit and commit tax evasion!” and included undocumented expenses on her tax deductions? Don’t take this the wrong way, but she does not have the proper education to know these technicalities and take advantage of it. If she has any faults, it’s the fact that she was too generous and trusting of the people running her finances.
This one’s really pissing me off: reporters and random citizens are now snooping on her personal property and investments, and even her personal relationships. As if it has anything to do with the issue. As if she’s a government official who stole people’s money to finance her lifestyle. (For the nth time: SHE PAID HER BACK TAXES PLUS MORE! Run after the actual tax evaders who didn’t even pay sh!t!) Song Hye Kyo has been working for more than two decades. Why can’t she enjoy the fruits of her labor without anyone snooping in and becoming suspicious of where and how she got rich? On this part, jealousy reared its ugly head. Oh, you poor bitches who can’t even buy a decent pair of shoes because you’re not pretty enough. Yeah, I went to that direction. They asked for it.
Last one for the road: those K-netz who are like, “I’m not watching that tax evader’s movie!” Well, I bet you’re really not watching it, regardless, so whatever. It’s just so sad because it seems to be a good movie, and it’s also an avenue to create awareness for this disease called progeria. For people to shrug this movie off just because they have to join the Hate-The-Tax-Evader-Song-Hye-Kyo bandwagon is just so tragic.
Stay strong, Hye Kyo. Keep fighting for your rights.
I will update this blog when I get more information about her speech today.
Here’s the link to the English translation of her speech at the MPL media screening today: