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Champaign Central Chronicle

Behind the Scenes of The Glory

(Trigger Warning: Content below may contain explicit words. Read With Caution.)

Behind the scenes of The Glory

I’m sure we have all heard or watched the popular Netflix K-Drama series The Glory. The main character of the show: Dong-eun was bullied in traumatizing ways. Her bullies: Park Yeonjin, Jeon Jae-Joon, Choi Hye-Jeong, Lee Sa-ra, and Son Myeong-Oh would sear her skin with a hot hair curling iron, scratch her with pins, kick, and beat her up. Dong-Eun would later take her “ultimate revenge” when all of them were adults—making them pay for the things they had done to her. You would think this could never take place in real life. These events also played out in real life and inspired the show. However, things played out a little differently in reality.

Cheon Sungmin, 16 years old, was a victim of bullying, and her case inspired The Glory. It was May of 2006, in North Cheongju Province when it all took place. Sungmin was only in middle school when these events happened. She went to an all-girls’ middle school. On May 2nd, 2006, three girls came up to Sungmin (their names were not revealed for protection purposes.) they bombarded her with strange questions. Cheon didn’t answer, and this enraged the three girls. After this day the bullying started. Like in the drama, they would sear her skin with a hot curling iron, scratch her with pins, kick her, and beat her up. Sungmin’s body was deeply wounded and bruised. This continued for months. 

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Sungmin had finally had enough and couldn’t take it anymore, so she decided to go to the police. Dates were not disclosed. She pleaded with the police officers to help her, screaming in pain. The police finally noticed the bruising and how serious they were, and launched an investigation. They would later find out that she was severely hurt by the burning. 

“I had no time to heal.” Cheon Sungmin said.

It was ferocious since they would use their nails to peel her nails as a “form of punishment.” They also continued to burn her with a curling iron. Two to three days later, police brought in the three girls to investigate this case. The three girls denied the claims Cheon Sungmin aimed towards them, despite the evidence of Sungmin’s scars. Later in the investigation, Sungmin threw in three random classmates’ names, and police were able to figure out that the three girls were the ones who forced her into saying this. 

Unexpectedly, following the investigation, one of the girls stepped forward and confessed to the police. After revealing the details of what they had done to her, Sungmin’s claims were proven true. The girl who confessed would later be charged with assault, arrested, placed under supervision, and monitored by probation police. Note that this does not leave behind a criminal record. The other two girls were punished by “being placed/monitored in the care of their parents.”

Although the bitter days were over, Cheon Sungmin would constantly have nightmares from the incident, she would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Her dad was saddened by the fact that he had ignored his daughter’s life. Sungmin’s dad would later file a complaint to the school administration. Sungmin’s teachers said they were oblivious, and shocked by the bullying. On the other hand, the school administration was trying to clear up their name. Sungmin asked her dad to transfer schools to “escape the memories.” He agreed. 

Now, Cheon Sungmin is a grown adult. She isn’t taking her “ultimate revenge” as it plays out in the drama. Instead, she goes on TV talk shows to tell her story and to inspire others to speak up about bullying.



The Glory


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    Adelaide KotaNov 27, 2023 at 11:24 am

    You know it’s going to be an interesting article when searing skin is mentioned in the first paragraph. Needless to say, this is an amazing article! The fact they made a TV show off such a deep true story, but dramaticized it is very interesting. It’s also terrifying to think this has been happening to people around the world for so long, but it’s wonderful that you, along with the filmmakers in general, are sharing these stories. Thank you for this wonderful article!