Actress Kim Ji-soo (Women In the Sun) finds herself in some hot water and on the receiving end of a wave of negative public sentiment after she was charged for a hit and run this week. As a result, some question whether she will remain with the upcoming KBS sageuk drama she is currently filming, King Geunchogo, which stars Kam Woo-sung as the king.
The traffic accident occurred on October 5 at around 9 pm in the Cheongdam-dong neighborhood of Seoul’s Kangnam district. According to Kangnam police, Kim was allegedly driving drunk when she collided with a taxi at an intersection and fled the scene. She was booked without detention on October 6.
Witnesses have stated that she drank five glasses of champagne on the evening of her accident, but the numbers indicating her blood-alcohol content aren’t out yet. Still, it’s a particularly sensitive issue with the public, and people’s condemnation is harsh. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that this is Kim’s second such offense; she was caught for drunk driving in 2000.
According to a senior representative at KBS’s drama department, as of now they are not talking about dropping Kim from the drama. Kim is the lead actress in Geunchogo, playing a Baekje princess who is the romantic interest for Kam Woo-sung’s king. KBS does employ a “three strikes” policy with cases of scandal (whether that involves overly sexual content, offensive comments, drunk driving, etc), but they state that they are not thinking that far at present.
Even so, this places producers in a sticky situation, as dramas typically want to distance themselves as much as possible when stars get caught up in bad behavior. (Examples: Choi Chul-ho quit/was dropped from Dong Yi earlier this year after he was caught on camera hitting a woman. A supporting actor on Baker King, Park Yong-jin, was charged with drunk driving and assaulting an officer, and while he wasn’t technically fired, the drama stated that he was done with his role anyway. And when Kwon Sang-woo was in his hit and run, there was a lot of talk over whether he’d be dropped from Daemul. He wasn’t, but I have read in some reports of the drama’s premiere this week that lingering distaste for the incident is affecting viewers’ reception to his character.)
King Geunchogo is a weekend drama set for a November 6 premiere on KBS.