Method-2, the Korean mecha, has captured the tech world’s imagination. However, newly revealed footage seems to show the company’s exec Yang Jin-ho allegedly brutally beating employees and even apparently forcing them to kill animals.
Yang was behind Korea Future Technology, a company that’s building a real-life mecha. The venture business brought in Vitaly Bulgarov is a concept artist who used to work at Blizzard on StarCraft, to design its mecha.
Last year, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos appeared on stage at Amazon’s annual robotics conference in Korea Future Technology’s Method-2 mecha. Yang and his robot have been featured extensively in Western media. Here is a clip of him talking to Vice about the project. Kotaku and Gizmodo previously also covered the real-life mecha.
According to The Korea Herald, one of South Korea’s oldest English-language newspapers, a clip recently broadcasted by independent outlet News Tapa allegedly shows Yang slapping an employee, punching him in the head, forcing him to kneel and apologize. The exec, the paper adds, allegedly threatened to kill the employee, who had been accused of making a “nasty comment about the company”.
“Yang had asked another employee to film the whole incident for ‘personal, entertainment purposes,’” an employee was quoted as saying, reports The Korea Herald.
Another News Tapa clip appears to shows Yang forcing employees to shoot a live chicken with a compound bow, mocking them after they missed. The Korea Herald reports that Yang allegedly told other employees to kill the chicken with a Japanese sword.
The Korea Times adds that other allegations include forcing employees to dye their hair red or green and not allowing them to use the restroom.
Korean police have begun an animal abuse and assault probe.
Yang has issued a formal apology, stating that he is stepping down in the wake of these allegations. Besides serving as chairman of Korea Future Technology, he also runs file-sharing company WeDisk.