‘Rice House Mister’ Kim Young-hee “Coming into politics, the likes of people plummeted”


[인터뷰] Kim Young-hee, head of the Public Relations Division of the Democratic Party’s Election Countermeasures Committee

Kim Young-hee, a former PD who tried to change society through public entertainment, became the head of the Democratic Party’s public relations department. The mask was taken off only at the moment of taking the picture. By Kim Tae-hyeong, staff reporter [email protected]

People’s livelihoods, it is an important election that will take responsibility for COVID-19…

“Why did you go to a politician who insults you even if you do well or not?” I asked him for an interview because I wanted to ask this question. Rather than asking a question, I think it’s more of a fill. Kim Young-hee, former PD and general vice president of content. Now, he is called the head of the Public Relations and Communication Division of the Democratic Party’s Election Response Committee. When it was reported on the 16th of last month that Yoon Seok-yeol, the presidential candidate for People’s Strength, was pursuing his recruitment, he said, ‘Politicians don’t know PD Kim Young-hee well’. As is known, after joining the broadcasting station in 1986, he received several offers from the political circles. In addition to former President Kim Dae-jung, whom he frequently mentioned, there are several more liberals and conservatives. There were also unexpected figures on the conservative side. “(Conservative side) he made a strong offer at the end of the election when he was a candidate, but he turned it down. Originally, I was not interested in politics, and it is my job for broadcasters like me to contribute to creating a good society with content.” On the 15th, at the 11th floor of the Democratic Party of Korea in Yeouido, Seoul, in the office of the head of public relations and communication division, Kim Young-hee, PD, said, no, communication division head. “That thought has not changed even now,” so why are we facing each other here now? Did he dare to step into politics, even scratching his reputation? At that moment, there was no need to talk about the appetizers about the company’s plans to establish a production company. You can only ask directly from the beginning.

-If you’re not interested in politics, why are you soaking your feet!
“I never dreamed that I would be sitting here at the end of 2021. Well, I can’t put into words why I accepted it, but to summarize, this election felt different from any other. Just looking at the presidential election in light of people’s livelihoods or COVID-19, it adds important meaning. I’ve been trying to create a warm society with content, but now I think that’s not enough. When I was thinking like that, I received an offer, and I was a little shaken by the advice of those around me that it would be okay to help in a place that can influence people’s lives a little more. Now I thought that was something I could do.”

-Aren’t you greedy for power or position?
“haha. Absolutely not. I’ll be back when the March 9 elections are over. If I had greed for political power, I would have jumped into it early. I had so many opportunities. I am the happiest when I create content.”

– I don’t know people’s work, so don’t be too judgmental. I didn’t even know I was going to be the head of communications. You may have to go home and then come back for unavoidable reasons.
“If that moment doesn’t come, I have no intention of doing it. Politics and I are definitely not compatible. The political floor is much more complicated than I thought. When a broadcasting station says that it will be ‘Refrigerator of conscience’, even if the general manager and others oppose it, you can persuade one or two people to push it. You can’t make a mistake in one word or one direction. Still, I think it’s good to think that this job is also creating new content.”

– I always got offers from both liberals and conservatives. Why do you think it is?
“I think I judge it to be politically useful. Maybe the programs I made have a big impact? There are many warm and touching programs like ‘Refrigerator of Conscience’ and ‘Let’s Read a Book’, so I think that such an image will be helpful for politics. Thanks to such a program, I became a friendlier ‘rice shop uncle’. It may not have been a burden on both sides of not talking about politics on the show.”

– Besides, this time at the same time. Candidate Seok-Yeol Yoon reached out his hand first, and candidate Jae-Myung Lee held his hand. I couldn’t convince him just because he knew that he had waited an hour and made up his mind after having a drink. Any other reason?
“I didn’t answer right away at the first drink. I was just thinking about it. And right away, he came back actively about two or three times. I was shaken the third time we met. I felt that they desperately wanted me. Why it’s important is that it allows me to make the most of my abilities, even a little bit. Candidate Jae-myung Lee also came to the site and talked about various things, and I kept getting the feeling that this is a place that really wants me. How many times in life can a person meet someone who desperately needs him? I don’t know if I can help, but I feel like I want to help.”

<Exclamation Point>  PD Kim Young-hee (center) at the time of filming.  Provide cultural broadcasting

PD Kim Young-hee (center) at the time of shooting. Provide cultural broadcasting

I will show you a new election promotion

Some of you may be puzzled after reading this far. I met the head of the Public Relations Department of the Democratic Party, and there was not a single word in support of Candidate Lee Jae-myung. In today’s interview, such an answer cannot be heard. This interview is not about Kim Young-hee, the head of the Democratic Party’s Public Relations Division, but about Kim Young-hee, “You stupid PD who has eroded the reputation he has built up by stepping into politics that he has no interest in.” I do not know how it is in the political arena, but the transformation of PD Kim Young-hee as the head of communication in broadcasting is a matter of considerable interest. He first tried public entertainment in Korea, such as ‘Let’s Praise’ and ‘Refrigerator of Conscience’. He is the first PD to put subtitles on a variety show. He led the heyday of entertainment with new attempts. In 2015, he became the first Korean producer to establish an outsourced production company in China. With the nickname ‘Rice House Mister’, it was a familiar image to viewers, but the moment he stepped into politics, all of a sudden, the comment window full of good comments overflowed with malicious comments.

– The moment I took over as the head of the communication division, my favorability dropped. I was surprised that most of the comments on articles containing interviews with Sisa Radio were malicious comments. It’s 180 degrees different from the comments in the interview I did while introducing ‘Kim Young-hee’s public interest entertainment’ in ‘Saturday Myungjak Replay’ in in February.
“In the past, the favorability was 80%, now it feels like less than 50%. I think it shows how the people view politics. Just stepping into politics is not a good thing. I came in with a promise. Just like you didn’t feel proud when you were praised for making a good program while being a producer, you shouldn’t be discouraged. You have to be good.”

-At the presentation on the 2nd, I mentioned ‘secret camera’ as an example to show the soft side of candidate Lee Jae-myung. It’s 2021, but it’s a 1991 variety show… . Lots of confusing comments here.
“haha. How do you do that in this day and age? . Oh then, most of you must have thought it was the old ‘Lee Kyung-gyu’s hidden camera’. There was a misunderstanding because we had to talk a lot in a short time. I was talking about the current observation camera. It’s like a hidden camera back then. It wasn’t that Lee Jae-myung was cheating, it was saying that the observation camera method could also be tried.

-How about the promotion of Kim Young-hee’s election? Expectations are high.
“Coming here, I realized why all the campaign promotions were the same. I came up with a method that had not been seen in political publicity until now. I made a video that is difficult to try in an important election such as the presidential election. Considering the Corona situation, we plan to introduce items that can be done non-face-to-face in earnest. It starts next week (based on the interview day). I will show you that this kind of campaign promotion is possible.”

– It’s not a broadcasting station, but I think it’s creating a new trend in election promotion.
“So it feels like I’m back in the days when I was working in the field. I feel like I’m still alive. With the idea of ​​making good content, I brought out the ideas I had to make it into a broadcast, one by one, and I was surprised to see that it was applied perfectly to the election content. Christmas-related events, New Year’s events, and New Year’s messages are mostly just one of hundreds of ideas I had in mind while making the program. Oh, it’s fun to think that you can be creative as a PD here too.”

The favorability dropped to less than half just because he stepped into the political arena.  He said,

The favorability dropped to less than half just because he stepped into the political arena. He said, “I was prepared,” and “I want to change the election publicity culture.” By Kim Tae-hyung

Just bring out the hidden side, never wrap it

He said he felt the change in the media environment while devising a way to promote the election. “It is said that the younger generation is in an era where they do not watch TV. However, even in the last presidential election, there seems to have been a reaction when going to an entertainment program, but seeing from the inside, both candidates went to terrestrial entertainment this time, but there was no significant impact. Now I really feel that it is an era where we need to focus on things like YouTube.” So, we put a special effort into opening the hearts of the 2030 generations. In order to communicate with the younger generation, we started with a different approach. “In the past, when communicating with young people, it was mostly about selecting talented people and talking frankly. Now, the emphasis is on getting closer by breaking down walls, by bumping into bodies, exercising with the younger generation, uploading videos to S&S, and playing games like Netflix dramas.”

– You are losing within the margin of error in the presidential candidate approval rating survey. (Based on the day of the interview), do you think Kim Young-hee’s promotional strategies will play a role in increasing the approval rating?
“It’s a small difference, but that too is losing. But in January, the difference will be stark. In this election, both sides are in 2030, but moderate votes are important, but the mind is not driven by a policy or strategy. It’s my job to move those hearts. Promotional strategies are very helpful. I will get you moving.”

-If a candidate is elected, even the achievements of the communication manager will be recognized, but if he fails, it may be difficult to raise his reputation as a PD again.
“Whether we win or lose, we want to hear from people who have changed the paradigm of public relations in the political world. If elected, it would be better because it would be recognized that this method worked. I think it would be good not only to promote the election, but also to change the political landscape. Don’t just try to dig out the bad things about each other, that candidate likes that, but I like this one better, and talk about it.”

-There is a big difference between public interest entertainment and political promotion. If you are given the task of erasing the shortcomings of the two candidates and pretending that they do not exist or that there are advantages that do not exist, can you keep your conscience as a PD who wanted to create a clean society through public entertainment?
“You can’t do that, and you can’t. Because the eyes of the people and viewers are accurate. For example, when the disabled people, the first protagonists of ‘Refrigerator of Conscience’, kept the Jeong Ji Line, it was because they kept it every day. I’m not going to wrap up candidate Lee Jae-myung. I’d never even make an image. I’m just trying to bring out the hidden points of candidate Lee Jae-myung. He has a rough side, but his cleverness is highlighted, but he is very human and gentle, but that kind of personality doesn’t show up very well. I thought it would be nice to know more about that. The moment you create something that doesn’t exist, the side effects are even greater.” Now, I can say that, although not to the extent that Kim Young-hee’s life is closely related to politics. This is what he said during an interview with ‘Saturday Myungjak Replay’ earlier this year. “In a way, Kim Dae-jung, then president of the Pyeongmin Party, was the first contributor to the creation of the ‘Conscious Refrigerator’.” As Kim Young-hee, Head of Communication Division, said in a radio interview, the popularity of then President Kim Dae-jung increased sharply as a broadcast interviewed by unexpected visits to his home from . That was the “first appearance of a politician”. It is said that it was the first time that President Kim Dae-jung’s smile appeared on TV. The following year was the presidential election, and after that, requests from politicians poured in. “You can say no to coming directly to me, but it was very stressful because I came in through a superior line and received requests from various places. I couldn’t do it with Lee Kyung-gyu, so I stopped, and the item I found was ‘Refrigerator of Conscience’. Hahaha.” He has warmed people’s hearts with public entertainment such as keeping Jeong Ji-sun, helping to revitalize corneal donation, feeding students breakfast, making bikers wear helmets, and changing the migrant worker law. He risked being baptized and entered the presidential campaign. What kind of change will his decision to “be here right now” bring about?
Reporter Nam Ji-eun [email protected]


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