In its September 2015 issue, MAXIM Korea’s cover depicted the images of a naked woman’s feet dangling out of a car boot, with the slogan “This is what a real bad man is like. How do you like me now?”.
The photoshoot goes on to show the images, most likely of the female victim in the boot, looking up at the assailant, then being dragged in a plastic body bag.
Korean women and the international media engaged in a fierce backlash against the magazine, who, following a drawn-out media battle, issued an apology. At one point, the Korean editor-in-chief posted a Facebook message saying “Jeez, if I wanted to glamourise sexual violence, we’d have cast So Ji-seop [instead of Kim Byeong-ook”, only to delete it after it caused further controversy.
Only after an AVAAZ petition went viral and a spokesperson for MAXIM US issued a statement condemning their Korean affiliate did MAXIM Korea finally retract is defensive position.
The Korean editor-in-chief promised to retrieve all copies of the issue as well as to send all funds earned thereby to a Feminist organisation (As of December 25th, MAXIM has not made a donation and has declined to comment on the subject) .