1. Ask Us Anything is also known as Knowing Bros and as Men on a Mission on Netflix; for the purposes of this article, I use the McCune-Reischauer romanization save for the spelling of names. [return to page 1]

2. Pinaz Kazi, “Knowing Brothers receive severe disciplinary action for sexually objectifying women,” International Business Times, Dec. 27, 2016, http://www.ibtimes.sg/knowing-brothers-receive-severe-disciplinary-actions-sexually-objectifying-women-5891.

3. Samuel A. Chambers, The Queer Politics of Television, (New York & London: I.B. Tauris, 2009), 3-10.

4. By “hegemonic masculinity,” I am referring to the dominant hetero masculinity in Korea which propagates misogyny; see Woori Han et al, “Gendering the Authenticity of the Military Experience: Male Audience Responses to the Korean Reality Show Real Men,” Media, Culture & Society, 2017, 39:1, 62-67; the authors base their concept of hegemonic masculinity from Gramsci’s (1973) work on hegemony.

5. Todd A. Henry, “Queer/Korean Studies as Critique: A Provocation,” Korea Journal, 58 (2) 2018, 5-26, 10.

6. See Basil Glynn and Jeongmee Kim, “Life is Beautiful: Gay Representation, Moral Panics, and South Korean Television Drama Beyond Hallyu,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 2017, 34 (4): 333-347.

7. Ibid, 338; this show is also known as Seonam Girls High School Detectives.

8. Erick Laurent, “Sexuality and Human Rights,” Journal of Homosexuality, 48:3-4, 163-225, 206.

9. OutRight Action International, “South Korea: Homosexuality Removed from Classification of ‘Harmful and Obscene’ in Youth Protection Law,” Apr. 22, 2003, https://www.outrightinternational.org/content/south-korea-homosexuality-removed-classification-harmful-and-obscene-youth-protection-law, (accessed Mar. 6, 2018).

10. Chaebol refers to Korean conglomerates. [return to page 2]

11. For more on Korean cable history, see Daeyoung Kim, “The Development of South Korean Cable Television and Issues of Localism, Competition, and Diversity,” (2011), Research Papers. Paper 78, Southern Illinois University of Cabondale OpenSIUC, http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/gs_rp/78; Armit Schejter and Sahangshik Lee, “The Evolution of Cable Regulatory Policies and Their Impact: A Comparison of South Korea and Israel,” Journal of Media Economics, 20:1, 2007, 1-28.

12. Samsung Apps, “Application Screening Result Report.”

13. Ibid.

14. Korea Broadcasting Act, The Korea Communications Commission, chapter 1, article 5, paragraph 5, 6.

15. Ibid, chapter 1, article 6, paragraph 2, 6; chapter 1, article 6, paragraph 5, 6.

16. Ibid, chapter 1, article 5, paragraph 5, 6.

17. Suk-Hee Kim et al, “Long-Term Care Needs of the Elderly in Korea and Elderly Long-Term Care Insurance,” Social Work in Public Health, 25 (2) 2010: 176-184.

18. Hwajeong Yoo, “Living Cohabitation in the Republic of Korea: The Reported Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Heterosexuals,” Ph.D. diss., 2015, The University of York (United Kingdom), https://search.proquest.com/docview/1779252662?accountid=14512 (accessed March 7, 2018).

19. For more on this topic, see Ruin, trans. Max Balhorn, “Mobile Numbers and Gender Transitions: The Resident Registration System, the Nation-State, and Trans/Gender Identities,” ed. Todd A. Henry, Queer Korea, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019),357-375.

20. Paula Hancocks and Lauren Suk, “Dozens arrested as South Korea military conducts ‘gay witch-hunt,’ CNN, June 11, 2017, https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/11/asia/south-korea-lgbt-military/index.html.

21. Hyun-Jung Song, “The Application of the American Experience on the Decriminalization of Homosexuality to South Korea,” Kyungpook National University Law Journal, 53:2, 2016, 31-54.

22. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “The Beast in the Closet: James and the Writing of Homosexual Panic,” The Masculinity Studies Reader, (Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 157-174.

23. Seungsook Moon, Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), 45.

24. John (Song Pae) Cho, “The Three Faces of South Korea’s Male Homosexuality: Pogal, Iban, and Neoliberal Gay,” Queer Korea, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019), 263-294, 265-266.

25. Ibid, 265.

26. Jesook Song, Living On Your Own: Single Women, Rental Housing, and Post-Revolutionary Affect in Contemporary South Korea, (Albany: SUNY Press, 2014), 33.

27. Ibid.

28. Shin-ae Ha, trans. Kyunghee Eo, “The Wartime System and the Symptomacity of Female Same-Sex Love,” Todd A. Henry, ed. Queer Korea, 146-174, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020), 149-150.

29. Todd A. Henry, “Queer Lives as Cautionary Tales: Female Homoeroticism and the Heteropatriarchal Imagination of Authoritarian South Korea,” ed. Queer Korea, 205-259, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020), 210-212.

30. Grace Jung, “Aspirational Paternity and the Female Gaze on Korean reality-variety TV,” Media, Culture & Society, 2020, 42(1): 191-206, 193.

31. Alexander Doty, 1993, Making Things Perfectly Queer: Interpreting Mass Culture, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 16.

32. Jung, 192-193.

33. Annemarie Jagose, 1996, Queer Theory: An Introduction, (New York: NYU Press).

34. Ungsan Kim, 2017, “Queer Korean Cinema, National Others, and Making of Queer Space in Stateless Things (2011), Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema. 9 (1): 61-79, 62.

35. Judith Butler, 1993, “Critically Queer,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 1: 17-32, 19. 

36. Seo, Dong-Jin, 2001, “Mapping the Vicissitudes of Homosexual Identities in South Korea,” trans. Mark Mueller, Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity and Community, edited by Gerard Sullivan and Peter A. Jackson, (New York: Harrington Park Press), 65-80, 66.

37. Jack Babuscio, “Camp and the Gay Sensibility,” Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality, 19-38, ed. David Bergman, (Amherst: University of Massachussetts Press, 1993), 27.

38. Laurent, 205.

39. Ibid, 206.

40. Ibid.

41. Becker, “Guy Love: A Queer Straight Masculinity for a Post-Closet Era?” Queer TV, Theories, Histories, Politics, Ed. Glyn Davis and Gary Needham, (New York: Routledge, 2009), 121-140, 125.

42. Simi John, “Is Super Junior’s Heechul gay? Singer declares his true sexual orientation,” International Business Times, Sept. 6, 2017, https://www.ibtimes.sg/super-juniors-heechul-gay-singer-declares-his-true-sexual-orientation-15915, accessed Dec. 30, 2019.

43. Ra Hyo-jin, “Kimhŭich'ŏri tebwi ch'obut'ŏ iŏjin 'keisŏloŭl haemyŏnghaji anŭn kŏn sŏngsosuja p'aendŭl ttaemuniŏtta,” Huffington Post, April 14, 2020, https://www.huffingtonpost.kr/entry/story_kr_5e953d9bc5b606109f5f0e11, accessed July 20, 2020.

44. Madison Moore, “‘I’m that bitch’: on queerness and the catwalk,” Safundi: Journal of South African and American Studies, 18 (2), 2017: 147-155, 147. 

45. Quinlan Miller, Camp TV, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019), 19.

46. Richard Dyer, Stars, (London: British Film Institute, 1979), 67.

47. Miller, 2.

48. Ibid, 4.

49. Little Petals, “[KB] Every girl role is played by Heechul,” YouTube, Feb. 2, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbyI9JQDOus, accessed Dec. 8, 2020.

50. For more on popular Korean masculinity and their diverse variations, see Sun Jung, Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption, (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011).

51. An exception is Amber Liu of the K-pop girl group f(x) known for her androgynous tomboy look; for more on “aegyo,” see Aljosa Puzar and Yewon Hong, "Korean Cuties: Understanding Performed Winsomeness (Aegyo) in South Korea," The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 19, no. 4 (2018): 333-349.

52. Joanna McIntyre, “Respect and Responsibility? Hetero-Masculine Drag and Australian Football Culture,” Outskirts, 33, 2015: 1-17, 1.

53. “Bromance” is a portmanteau of “brotherhood” and “romance.”

54. Chambers, 21.

55. Becker, 135.

56. Lynn Joyrich, “Queer Television Studies: Currents, Flows, and (Main)streams,” Cinema Journal, 53 (2) 2014: 133-139, 134.

57. Lisa Duggan, “The New Homonormativity: The Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism,” Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics, eds. Russ Castronovo and Dana D. Nelson, 175-194, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), 179. 

58. Becker, “Prime-Time Television in the Gay Nineties: Network Television, Quality Audiences, and Gay Politics.”

59. “Noona” is a formal way of addressing an older sister or an older sister figure. [return to page 3]

60. Miller, 108.

61. Jack Halberstam, Female Masculinity, (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 59.

62. Ibid, 6.

63. Richard Dyer, Stars, (London: British Film Institute, 1979), 63-64.

64. John Fiske, Television Culture, (New York: Routledge, 1987 2011), 90-91.

65. For the protection of the interviewee and per her request, “Ana Park” is a pseudonym.

66. Ana Park, in-person interview by author, Feb. 7, 2018.

67. For more on cronyism politics in Korea, see Joanna Elfving-Hwang, “Aestheticizing Authenticity: Corporate Masculinities in Contemporary South Korean Television Drama….” Asia Pacific Perspectives, 15:1, 2017, 55-72; Judith Irwin, “Doing Business in South Korea: An Overview of Ethical Aspects,” Occasional Paper 2, (London: Institute of Business Ethics, 2010).

68. Ana Park.

69. Cultwo is a popular variety radio program on SBS that’s been on air since 2006 hosted by variety talk show hosts Jung Chan-woo and Kim Tae-gyun.

70. Ana Park.