Hong Seok-cheon (born February 3, 1971) is a South Korean actor, television personality, restaurateur and member of the Democratic Labor Party. He caused considerable controversy in his home country when he came out as gay in 2000, and remains the most prominent openly gay celebrity in Korea. In 2018, he revealed to be third cousins with Taeyong of NCT.
|Alma mater||Hanyang University – Theater and Film (1989)|
|Occupation||Actor, television personality, restaurateur|
|Revised Romanization||Hong Seok-cheon|
Hong Seok-cheon was born in Cheongyang County in South Chungcheong Province. He began his entertainment career as a male model, and made his screen debut in 1994 as a reporter for Live TV Information Center. In 1995, he won the bronze prize at the KBS Comedian Festival (for college students). Due to his versatility and comic timing, Hong went on to a prolific career on South Korean television, appearing in children's programs and variety shows, as well as sitcoms and dramas.
In 2000, Hong was asked a question regarding his sexuality on a variety show, and he chose to answer honestly that he was gay. Though the show's producers initially edited out the exchange, a journalist got wind of the story and pressed Hong to confirm his admission. After Hong revealed his homosexuality, he was fired from his network television programs and advertisements amidst public uproar, and no longer landed any major acting roles. He faced massive stigma after becoming the country's first openly gay celebrity, and later said he experienced shunning, verbal abuse and discrimination that he rarely stepped out of his social circle. He then wrote his memoir My Heart Still Throbs for Forgotten Love, in which he recounted his failed romance with a Dutch man named Tony.
Forced out of the entertainment business, Hong wanted to leave the country to study in New York, but he said he decided stay in Korea to prove to his detractors that he could be a success. He started his first restaurant Our Place in 2002, two years after he came out. He now owns and runs nine high-end restaurants in Itaewon, home to a large expat community in Seoul. Hong's restaurants are all characterized by the prefix "My," namely: My Hong, My Chi chi*s, My Thai, My Thai China, My X, My Chelsea, My Noodle, and My Suji.
In 2004, he joined the Democratic Labor Party and was selected by Time magazine as the year's Asian Hero. Hong also continued appearing regularly on talk shows, notably Yeo Yoo Man Man, on which he guested with his parents and discussed his life since coming out. Acting-wise, Hong starred in the thriller Puzzle (2006) and the stage play A Midsummer Night's Dream (2009). He also founded the internet shopping mall Ne2Nom in 2007, and became a professor at Korea National University of Arts (teaching Broadcast Content Production in 2010 and Fashion Arts in 2011).
After his sister's divorce, Hong adopted her two children and changed their last names to his. In 2008, he hosted his own talk show Coming Out, which featured gay issues. Despite Korean society's continuing conservatism, Hong overcame initial public disapproval and gradually gained more mainstream acceptance, especially among the younger generation, in part because of his activism in fighting for LGBT rights. From bit parts and cameos, he now emcees shows on cable television and has a sizeable following on social media.
In 2015, Hong announced that he plans to run for district head of the Yongsan District Office in the 2018 local elections. Having lived in Yongsan District for ten years, he said he aims to promote cultural spaces for young artists and small businesses, while providing welfare for sexual minorities. If elected, he will become the first openly gay person to become a government official in Korea. In 2016, he participated in the program Law Of The Jungle.
|1994||Live TV Information Center||KBS1||Reporter|
|Sisa Touch! Comedy File||KBS2|
|Field Experience of Life||KBS2|
|2000||Ppo Ppo Ppo (Kiss Kiss Kiss)||MBC|
|TV Star Festival||MBC|
|2001||Challenge, Ajumma Goes||MBS||Host|
|2009||We Got Married||MBC|
|Immutable Law of Loving Bad Boys – Season 7||O'live TV|
|2011-2012||Rebirth Variety: Havana||OBS|
|2012||Queen of Beauty – Season 2||KBS Drama|
|Talk Show Shocking||Channel A|
|Chef's Midnight Snacks||O'live TV||Host|
|Millionaire Game: My Turn||tvN|
|I Live Alone||MBC||Guest|
|Witch Hunt||JTBC||Cast member|
|2014||Shopper Man||KBS W||Host|
|Cook King Korea||SBS||Host|
|Roommate – Season 2||SBS||Guest|
|Flying Fox in New York||JTBC|
|2015||Saturday Night Live Korea – Season 6||tvN||Cast member|
|King of Mask Singer||MBC||Contestant, |
|Please Take Care of My Refrigerator||JTBC||Cast member|
|A Meal's Dignity||KBS Joy|
|2016||Vocal War: God's Voice||SBS||Panelist; pilot episode, episodes 1-2, 9-10|
|Battle Trip||KBS2||Contestant with Bong Man-dae; episodes 5-6|
|Law of the Jungle: New Caledonia||SBS||Cast member|
|2017||Battle Trip||KBS2||Contestant with Yoon Park; episodes 54-55|
|2018||4 Wheeled Restaurant||tvN||Cast member|
|1996||Three Guys and Three Girls||Hong Seok-cheon||MBC|
|2001||Why Can't We Stop Them||SBS|
|2003||Perfect Love||Hong Seung-jo||SBS|
|2005||Sad Love Story||Charlie||MBC|
|18 vs. 29||KBS2|
|2008||Life Special Investigation Team||MBC|
|Aeja's Older Sister, Minja||Heo Goo-hyung||SBS|
|The Secret of Coocoo Island||Professor of Korean
language and literature
|2009||Can't Stop Now||MBC|
|The Accidental Couple||Movie director (cameo)||KBS2|
|Swallow the Sun||Jimmy||SBS|
|Assorted Gems||Director Hong||MBC|
|Joseon Mystery Detective
|2011||Baby Faced Beauty||KBS2|
|Bravo, My Love!||Julien (cameo)||MBC|
|Saving Mrs. Go Bong-shil||Seok-cheon||TV Chosun|
|2012||Dummy Mommy||Hairdresser (cameo)||SBS|
|Vampire Prosecutor – Season 2||Gabriel Jang (guest, episode 6)||OCN|
|2013||Blue Tower||Platoon first lieutenant Hong||tvN|
|Sincerity Moves Heaven||(cameo)||KBS1|
|Reply 1994||ROTC cadet (cameo, episode 2)||tvN|
|Everybody, Kimchi!||Wedding dress shop owner (cameo)||MBC|
|My Secret Hotel||Chef Andre Hong||tvN|
|2015||The Man in the Mask||Pi Sung-ho||KBS2|
|The Time We Were Not in Love||Airplane passenger
(cameo, episode 1)
|Yumi's Room||O'live TV|
|2016||My Horrible Boss||photographer (cameo)||JTBC|
|2017||Saimdang, Memoir of Colors||SBS|
|Lovely Horribly||Kang Hyun-seok||KBS2|
|2019||My Absolute Boyfriend||SBS|
|2020||Touch||Kim Dong-min||Channel A|
|Itaewon Class||Himself (Cameo, episodes 2, 4, 9 & 16)||JTBC|
|1997||Do the Right Thing||Henchman|
|No. 3||Adulterous man|
|Man with Flowers||Lee Joo-il|
|1998||Rub Love||Stop Bar bartender|
|Tie a Yellow Ribbon||Dong-gyu|
|1999||Ghost in Love||Subway passenger|
|A Tearful Story||(cameo)|
|2003||Dying or Live||Charlie Choi|
|2005||The Art of Seduction||DJ|
|2006||Good Luck||Skinhead Hong|
|2008||The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan||Tailor shop owner (cameo)|
|2009||Sky and Sea||Hair designer (cameo)|
|2011||Dream the Good Dream (short film)||Russian mafia Kalashnikov|
|2012||Runway Cop||Show director|
|2014||Fashion King||MC Seok-cheon (cameo)|
|2015||Love Forecast||My Thai China restaurant owner (cameo)|
|Mongolian Princess||Movie actor (cameo)|
|Love Clinic||Psychiatrist (cameo)|
|1994||Save the Last Dance for Me|
|1995||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Francis Flute||2009|
|1999||A Chorus Line|
|2010||The Rocky Horror Show||Narrator|
|2013-2014||Nunsense A-Men||Sister Mary Leo|
|2000||My Heart Still Throbs for Forgotten Love||J-pub||ISBN 9788983755315|
|2008||Design Your Own Restaurant||M-Books||ISBN 9788996048459|
- Cho, Joohee (May 27, 2009). "Breaking the Gay Taboo in South Korea". ABC News. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- "Hong Suk-chun talks about coming out of the closet". The Korea Herald. February 4, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- Glionna, John M. (March 5, 2012). "South Korean actor throws open closet door". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- "Hong Suk Chun finally reveals the SM idol he's related to is NCT's Taeyong | allkpop.com". allkpop. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- Lee, Seung-heon (April 12, 2001). "Hong Seok-Cheon of "coming-out" returns to TV". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Pearson, James; Rashid, Raphael (November 2, 2012). "Gay Korea comes out". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Chun, Su-jin (June 1, 2001). "Defying the Stigma of a Gender Change". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kim, Tong-hyung (February 5, 2013). "Hong shares painful experience as first openly gay celebrity". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Han, Hyon-woo (December 26, 2000). "Hong Seok-cheon Comes Out Some More with Mini-bio". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kim, Young-jin (February 14, 2013). "Itaewon: Going Gangnam Style?". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Businesses Hiring Hunks to Woo Customers". The Chosun Ilbo. September 12, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Celebrity reveals restaurant sales figures". The Korea Times. July 1, 2015. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Time Magazine Selects Korean Actor Hong Seok-cheon as Asian Hero". The Chosun Ilbo. September 24, 2004. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Chung, Ah-young (June 9, 2009). "Star Actors Team Up in Shakespeare Play". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Park, Sun-young (June 5, 2009). "Reunion for Midsummer Night revival". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kim, Jae-heun (August 11, 2015). "Hong shares secret of success with students". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Han, Sang-hee (April 13, 2008). "Actor Hong Suk-Chun to Host Coming Out". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Lee, Sung-eun (September 30, 2014). "Star restaurateur launches ramen line". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Gay TV star chases political career". The Korea Times. March 20, 2015. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kim, Jae-heun (February 23, 2015). "Hong Seok-cheon turns his eye to politics". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Park, Jin Young. "홍석천, '정글의 법칙' 합류..뉴칼레도니아 간다". 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- Chun, Su-jin (January 9, 2014). "Breaking taboos gets green light on Witch Hunt". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kwon, Ji-youn (May 19, 2015). "Mask King finds hidden singing talent". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Ko, Dong-hwan (July 1, 2015). "Revealing true self behind mask". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Kwon, Ji-youn (March 10, 2015). "Growing appetite for Cook TV". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Han, Sang-hee (November 17, 2009). "Cable TV OCN to Present Joseon's Sherlock Holmes". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Hong Suk-chun and Krystal in the Making of "The Player"". Hancinema. Xports News. June 17, 2018.
- "[Oh!쎈 컷] '절대그이' 여진구·민아·홍종현, 첫 대본 리딩부터 환상 케미". Osen (in Korean). July 10, 2018.