Park Mak Rye, well-known in both Korea and outside Korea for being the coolest grandma online as Korea_Grandma on YouTube, used to have an incredible fandom of 1.36M subscribers. In light of the recent news of her granddaughter’s wedding, however, Park lost over 30K subscribers overnight: Here’s what happened.
Park’s granddaughter, who goes by YuraPD, produces the Korea_Grandma channel and is equally loved by the channel subscribers for being Park’s biggest supporter. YuraPD started running the channel to document her memories with Park who started traveling to prevent dementia which had impacted her older sisters. Park and YuraPD have become huge advocates of “living life” and empowering women to pursue their dreams regardless of age.
So when, in late June, the Korean fashion designer Son Hui Rak revealed on Instagram that he had proposed to YuraPD during their trip to New York, Park’s subscribers congratulated the couple at first.
In a picture likely captured right after the proposal, YuraPD looked pleasantly surprised and happy.
Made Yura cry in New York this time.💍 I’m off to the world of the married. 🚀
— Son Hui Rak
The support, however, was short-lived. The subscribers soon uncovered some problematic merchandise previously sold by Son’s brand, LEATA. Even the South Korean news covered the production of LEATA’s shirts featuring a “pedophilic illustration” of a child’s face surrounded by penises.
In celebration of LEATA’s 5th anniversary, the brand has collaborated with five artists on the FUCKING SUMMER shirt which is now available! The shirt is based on the movie ‘500 Days of Summer’ and is interpreting the phrase ‘FUCKING SUMMER’ as a season of fucking. A season of 5-on-1 orgy. The illustration has been done hentai style to make it more exciting, but given how uncomfortable people might get, I worry it won’t sell well.
In addition to having made the “disgusting shirt,” Son Hui Rak also got slammed for having been “nasty toward women.” Son’s now-deleted Instagram posts from the past have all resurfaced and, as the screenshots of Son’s inappropriate posts and comments circulate, Park’s eagle-eyed subscribers called out “the abominable nature” he showed toward women.
Park’s subscribers began unsubscribing, commenting that they cannot continue to support the work of YuraPD after having found out about her fiancé.
The channel immediately lost 10K subscribers and, overnight, the number eventually dropped to 1.33M.
Though the subscribers have been courteous in their farewells to Park Mak Rye, the message was clear: It was YuraPD’s engagement that triggered the huge subscription cancellations.
- “It’s too bad I have to say goodbye like this when I really like and support you, grandma. Please stay happy and I wish you the greatest things in life! Take good care of yourself in this heat. I love you, grandma!”
- “Grandma, I hope you continue to live an incredible and happy life! I still support you and you’re still my role model. But I’m also an ally to my fellow women, so unfortunately, I’ll have to unsubscribe. Please take good care!”
- “I’m grateful that I got to share heartwarming memories with you, grandma. I wish you well… I visited your family’s restaurant once and I even bought all of your merchandised goods. But the news I came across today makes it difficult for me to [keep subscribing]. Thanks for everything.”
Following the strong reactions from the subscribers, YuraPD took to Discord and defended her husband-to-be. Though she admitted to having known Son Hui Rak’s past and insisted that she has no intention of defending his actions, YuraPD claimed “all that is in the past” and that he’s a different man who “knows better” now.
… To be honest, after the proposal and the news of my engagement, a lot of you have looked up my boyfriend. And his previous work from eight years ago, as well as other old Instagram posts and comments, have been deemed problematic right now (I’m not trying to defend him for this). The circulating screenshots show the posts he shared which include female nudity. Most of those were from magazines, though. And as for the girl group member’s picture, I believe that he shared it at the time thinking he’s being witty. We both know a lot better now, though. He knows he should not be producing such works, posting such pictures, and/or thinking such comments. All that is in the past and I met him after that point in his life. I’ve been in a relationship with him knowing that this portion of his past isn’t what defines him as a whole…
Despite YuraPD’s statement, Park’s current and former subscribers remain disappointed.
- “So she’s the type of person who can overlook the past and call it ‘witty.’ I see.”
- “Even a decade ago, none of that would have been considered witty. This is disappointing.”
- “I’m sorry, but at any point in Korea, hentai and sexual harassment did NOT fly.”
- “She reminds me of Nancy Lang who kept standing up for her good-for-nothing husband.”
- “Yura… Sexual harassment is not witty. This breaks my heart. But if you love him, you love him.”
- “Grandma, no…”
- “WITTY? I can’t even- You could’ve said he was behind of the times and didn’t know any better.”
- “Birds of a feather flock together, they say.”
- “Wow… This is shocking. And she is a part of her husband-to-be. That’s what marriage is.”
- “I mean, she’s marrying him. She isn’t much different from who he is.”
- “I unsubscribed… I love the grandma but the channel doesn’t belong to the grandma alone. So…”
- “This is a shocker.”
- “WHY WOULD YOU EVEN-“
- “You can’t excuse sexual harassment and sexualization. There’s nothing witty about it.”
Neither Park Mak Rye nor Son Hui Rak has responded to the series of events surrounding the news of YuraPD’s engagement to the controversial fashion designer.