A woman, nicknamed the “Hot Soup Lady” by Korean netizens had previously been demonised on the internet for allegedly pouring boiling hot miso soup onto the face of a young boy, leaving him badly scalded. The boy’s mother had posted pictures of her badly scolded son on to her “café” (Korean online community blogs), labelling the offending woman a “terrorist” for “attacking” her child.
However, recently released CCTV footage shows the boy apparently running at full speed into the “Hot Soup Lady” who, true to her namesake but from no apparent fault of her own, spills miso soup all his face and her hand.
The mother of the boy, who had previously had the support of the online community and had even planned to sue the “Hot Soup Lady” quickly lost public support with many Korean netizens questioning their own prejudices for initially taking the story at face value.
Video from YouTube:
From Asia Today:
A shocking revelation in the CCTV video of the heavily criticised ‘Hot Soup Lady’
Video of the ‘Hot Soup Lady’ is revealed, but parents of the child remain determined to sue the lady
The investigation into the incident of the ‘Hot Soup Lady’ has seen a new turn as the CCTV video of the incident was revealed. The lady in question had previously been accused of pouring hot soy bean soup onto a child’s face in a food court of a large bookstore in Jong-no, leaving the child scolded. The netizens [who have been criticising her] are now regretting having listened to only one side of the dispute, as had previously been the case with the incident of violence against a pregnant woman in Chaeseondang.
On 28th February, police revealed the closed-circuit video of the situation at the time of the incident. In the video, a child is seen dashing around at a high speed, and then bumping into a woman who is holding a bowl of hot soup. The child then ran away from her. The woman spills the soup, her hand seemingly scalded, and asks the kitchen staff for help. Video taken at another angle shows the child running into his mother’s arms and people gathering around the scene.
The Mother of the boy (named Hur, aged 7) in this incident wrote online on the 20th that her son was heavily scalded on his face and chest from bumping into a woman holding a hot soy bean soup, while he was on his way to get some water at the food court. The boy’s mother was enraged at the woman for fleeing from the scene with no regard for the injury on the boy. Netizens spread this story around online, calling the woman ‘Hot Soup Lady’ and criticising her as ‘a thoughtless, people-scalding terrorist.’
The ‘Hot Soup Lady’ (named Lee) discovered remarks online criticising her behaviour and reported voluntarily to police around 10am on the 27th, arguing that she was unfairly accused and labelled as a criminal behind her back.
She claimed that the boy ran towards her and bumped into her when she turned around with a bowl of miso soup she had just picked up from the kitchen. The soup spilled out of the bowl and scalded her hand, she said. She looked for the boy but he was nowhere to be seen, and left the scene about 5 minutes later after applying ice onto her scalded hand.
She attempted to clarify the false charges on her by holding a press conference on the 28th. ‘The injury was not too bad, so I made do with only a quick treatment there,’ she said. ‘I also thought of demanding an apology from the parents of the boy for letting their son run around recklessly in a public area.’
She denied the accusation that she hurriedly fled from the situation, saying that ‘I heard from the shopkeepers that the boy was also hurt, but he and his parents seemed to have left already, so I also left the scene – I did not run away from it.’
Her explanation that there was no chance to protect herself [at the boy running towards her] seems plausible from the video of the incident. At least it is now evident that, as was was originally accused by online spectators, she did indeed flee from the scene of the incident in order to evade responsibility.
‘I am most regretful of my poor handling of the accident at that time, but I am just an ordinary housewife with little experience outside home,’ she added tearfully. ‘I was suddenly a criminal and a terrorist.’
The boy’s parents demanded on 27th that she apologise, and spoke of their plan to sue her.
Meanwhile, netizens have started to defend the Hot Soup Lady. Some have suggested to call this accident ‘the head-butting boy incident’ rather than the ‘Hot Soup Lady incident,’. On twitter, user ‘southf**’ criticised the excess of finger-pointing articles online, writing that ‘we need a filtering mechanism for posts that provide a one-sided view of accidents, claiming they are victims.’
Another netizen with ID ‘coco**’ expressed her regret at the incident, writing ‘the boy, his parents and the lady would all have been startled and upset. I hope they stop arguing whose fault it is now.’
Comments from instiz:
One should never listen to just one side of the story…
Honestly, why would a lady in her fifties pour soup over a child who is passing by harmlessly…
I didn’t take this incident at face value, because of the Chae Seon Dang [the case whereby a pregnant woman claimed to have been brutally beaten by a worker in a restaurant called 'Chae Seon Dang'] incident.
Comments from mimint:
A witch-hunt with no evidence whatsoever! I hope it, and this incident, both disappear.
Parents should be in charge of their children’s discipline and stop them running around in restaurants… Anyway, they both got scolded… which is sad ㅠㅠ
Comments from Nate:
The original post, allegedly written by the child’s mother, was nearly a work of fiction. She wrote that this ‘Hot Soup Lady’ basically committed an act of terrorism, like some crazy woman randomly pouring soup over an innocent little boy. But in the CCTV video the child dashed into the lady’s hands as if he was doing a 100m sprint and just straight-up head-butted her!
Netizens were fooled every time, by things like the incidence of fabricated ‘mouse bread’ [there was a report of bread containing rat body parts, produced from a famous bakery chain in Korea, which is now believed to have been fabricated.], the ‘Chae Seon Dang violence’ and the clip showing SNU doctors killing their patients – which turned out to have been hugely twisted.
Netizens nowadays aren’t able to actively correct themselves at all. We should find a way to place sanctions on many websites including ‘cafés’ [online community blogs] frequented by pregnant women, like ‘Mumsholic’ and ‘Lemon Terrace’, which exacerbate and reproduce these witch-hunts. These people encourage and connive in these witch-hunts so their page gets more visitors. The law should be changed so that the ‘café’ moderators and bloggers would be penalised. And that boy’s mother, who is planning to sue the victim, though being the perpetrator herself, should be penalised as well.
Surely the boy got a more serious injury, but the accident happened because he was running around wild in the food court which is a public area. I wonder if [the parents] considered how much damage that lady would have suffered, as well as thinking how injured their child is.
Wow, this is why CCTV is so important. In this time we live in without morality, we absolutely need black boxes and CCTVs… What a cold-hearted society…
Can I sue a person if I break my hands while slapping that person on the face?? I wish that the boy’s parents would make rational decisions. They’ve probably gone blind [to logic] over the fate of their child…
It’s lucky that there was CCTV. Just think what would have happened without it… The mother misled public opinion and nearly turned a completely innocent person into a terrorist…