Over the past decades, the Korean entertainment business has grown more cautious of casting and/or premiering K-Dramas and K-Movies featuring troubled stars. As audiences in both Korea and around the world respond with fierce backlash to the celebrities’ controversies, it has become standard practice to postpone or even cancel premieres if and when a cast member is embroiled in scandals.
Actor Lee Sun Kyun | SpoTVNews
That being said, when Korean news outlets revealed on October 20 that Parasite actor Lee Sun Kyun is under investigation for illegal marijuana use, it was assumed that the actor’s upcoming works, like the K-Drama No Way Out and the K-Movie The Land of Happiness, would be affected by the scandal.
What does it mean for Lee’s co-stars, though?
Koreans have come to realize the scandal is going to affect another popular supporting actor: Yoo Jae Myung.
Actor Yoo Jae Myung | Harpers Bazaar Korea
Yoo starred in both No Way Out and The Land of Happiness with Lee. With just three episodes filmed, No Way Out might get a revamp—though, depending on the costs and other considerations, it also faces potential for getting cancelled altogether.
The Land of Happiness has completed filming in January 2022. Based on standard practices for situations such as this, its premiere is likely to be postponed indefinitely.
Yoo (left) with Lee (right) and actor Jo Jung Suk (center) at “The Land of Happiness” press conference | iMBC
In addition to the two works being jeopardized by Lee’s scandal, Yoo also risk losing two other works. In the K-Movie Firefighter, Yoo starred with actor Kwak Do Won—who, in September 2022, was charged with drunk driving.
Actor Kwak Do Won | Sports Kyunghyang
Kwak was also accused of verbal abuse; And so, the premiere of Firefighter has been indefinitely postponed.
In the K-Movie Season of You and Me, Yoo starred with actor Kim Dong Hee—who, in February 2021, was accused of school bullying.
Actor Kim Dong Hee | npio Entertainment
A year after his initial denial, Kim “admitted” to the accusations pitched against him. As Kim’s role in Season of You and Me is a leading one, and so irreplaceable, the premiere has been indefinitely postponed.
Koreans feel for Yoo, with four works at the risk of getting cancelled. Pointing out how “frustrating” it must be for Yoo himself, Koreans discussed the importance of “not doing illegal things.”
| theqoo “Yoo is so good at acting, though… This is such a bummer for him. Sigh.” “This is a lot. I hope none of the troublemaking actors get cast ever again. It’s never the troublemakers who suffer. It’s the co-workers who have to deal with the messes left behind.” “He had to pick the worst of the worst co-stars to work with…” “And it’s not like he can be selective about who he works with. He’s not the biggest name in the business to do so. I mean, even the big name stars don’t get to interfere with how the other roles get cast. So it wouldn’t have been possible for him to avoid this.” “Ugh. This is so frustrating.” “I feel so bad for him… T-T” “I hope ‘No Way Out’ gets re-made with a new cast. It looks like a great series. And… I think production teams will have to be even more strict about potential risks like these when casting. The contracts will have to list out the consequences.” “Oh man.” “WTF.” “Wow, these actors f*cked Yoo over big time.” Thanks to his troublemaking co-stars, the actor is about to lose at least four of his works.