Celebrity News
Song Ji-hyo in and out of hospital, requests schedule cutbacks
by | September 18, 2011 | 70 Comments

Sigh. When will the parade of IV drips and killer schedules stop in dramaland? Actress Song Ji-hyo has been in and out of hospitals twice in the last two days, because of complications arising from an allergic reaction to her IV. (Because apparently, actors using IVs to handle their drama schedules is considered okie dokie and par for the course, as we’ve sadly seen before.)

She managed to get through the rest of her shoots for the week on her current MBC drama Kye Baek, but had to pull out of Running Man shoots due to exhaustion, landing her right back in the hospital. Now her reps are saying that they plan to officially request schedule cutbacks from the Kye Baek production team.

I’m just hazarding a guess, but the reason they’d go through official channels is because they’ve tried to ask nicely and failed. Hence, IVs and hospitals. For instance, she returned to set on the 17th after her first trip to the hospital, to be met with another two days of all-night shoots, lasting till the 19th. She was then supposed to go straight into shooting Running Man, but ended up back in the hospital instead. Because who on earth WOULDN’T collapse on that schedule?

It’s sadly all too common an occurrence for actors to collapse from being overworked on drama sets, but on the heels of Han Ye-seul and her breakdown from exhaustion, it seems to point to increasingly problematic on-set working conditions that continue to go ignored. Live shoot dramas constantly suffer casualties from accidents, natural disasters, and unhealthy working conditions, while actors who don’t rush out of the hospital to go back to all-night shoots are considered lazy or irresponsible. It’s becoming ridiculous.

What’s it gonna take for a real wake-up call, dramaland? Something worse? Because if anything else happens to our beloved Miss Mung, we’re gonna have words. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, and for some much-needed changes ’round these parts.

Via Sports Chosun, Star News, Mk.co.kr


70 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Kandii

    Why does she have to juggle both a drama & a variety show at the same time??

    I hope she’ll recover soon but it’s not wise pushing oneself taking on too many big tasks all at once

    • 1.1 Kangling

      I would be so uber sad if she have to quit running man. It will be sop devastated to the whole cast losing the ace blank jiho and poor Gary. oh Gary!

      • 1.1.1 Ani

        Oh I know right? It’s bad enough we had to lose Genius Boy Joong-ki. And then Lizzy? Now Ji-hyo? Please say it ain’t so.

        • I said the tooth!

          I was waiting for him to come back I thought he will come back after done shooting his other drama. Just yesterday I found out that it was for good. I’m sad.


          Lizzy wasn’t ever a main mc in running man she was only a guest that showed up many times and you can check about that on other websites.

  2. kiotzo

    this system is CRAZY, sadly i won’t be surprised if one of this days i read that certain actor died because of fatigue or something similar to what happen to miss mong (allergic reaction to the IV) and it’s sad that even tho she knew about the allergy she still did it TT_TT

    TT___TT unnie rest well tell gary oppa to take care of you ^^

    • 2.1 asianromance

      It’s so sad that it really will take someone to die for production companies to wake up and stop the insanity! I don’t think the live shoot system is necessarily bad, but they really need to work it out so that there is enough buffer time between the shoot and the airing date and so that everyone involved don’t need to subsist on IV drips. It sucks how the industry thinks it is normal for people to suffer like this.

      It’s really hard for actors to complain because right around the corner are 10 other actors who will suck up the abuse and rush out of the hospital before he/she’s ready.

      Poor Song Ji Hyo! I hope she gets well soon!

      • 2.1.1 sobohomom

        I really have my doubts about what’s in the IV’s. It reminds me of the studio heyday in the US where even child actors, like Judy Garland, were given amphetamines to keep going.

  3. Ani

    Nooooooooo! Mung Ji-hyo! Ace Ji-hyo! Get well soon. Take it easy and be safe please.

  4. j

    :(( This is so sad. Hope she gets plenty of rest .
    Gosh this live shooting system need to be changed 🙁

  5. garcia_marina

    she looks like the queen who had some sizzling sex scenes with Jo In-sung in the movie A Frozen Flower…

    • 5.1 Cynthia

      She is.

    • 5.2 abc123

      well, because it is her. I haven’t watched the movie, but I know she was in that

  6. Cynthia

    It was reported that she had gotten 4 hours of sleep over 3 days of shooting, (plus she’s still doing Running Man) – and they wanted to “pep” her up for her drama scenes. The real kicker is that apparently she’s been known to have bad reactions to the meds used in the IV solutions (always thought it was just saline) and they gave it to her anyway! She can only tolerate a specialized Eastern treatment for ill health – that fact was certainly ignored.

    This is just amazing. All those folks who poo-pooed HYS and her defiance over this kind of stress should take a long, hard look at what’s going on.
    SJH is a girl in tip-top physical condition (evidenced by her participation in RM – girl can out-run and out-stay the boys) and this drama/stress has brought her to the emergency room, twice.
    This is lunatic stuff.

    • 6.1 snow

      i know, right? i’d like to think that the han ye-seul case gave actors more courage to actually speak up about the poor working conditions – really, how beneficial is it for drama productions to have their actors keeling over from stress and overwork? work ethics involving IV drips and hospital visits shouldn’t be lauded.

    • 6.2 elizabeth

      yep, the korean system shd change. but unfortunately unlike HK where it is a monopoly and can shoot in advance, the koreans have chosen to max out actors and shoot on the fly.

      I am not sure how long this system can last without affecting the quality of the dramas. so many shows already have wierd endings.

      I think the actors shd set up an union to negotiate for better working conditions. somebody shd head it up since in korea its all about seniority by age.

      poor Ji Hyo. I was thinking very harshly about HYS, but yes you are right, if SJH in good physcial condition cant handled it, what about the rest of the average health girls (which are aplenty).

  7. Ace

    Aaw. What would it take for them to change things?

  8. Shiku

    I wish for her a speedy recovery and hopefully her schedule gets cut back.

    With that said I don’t think it is good to film both a drama and a variety show at the same time. I don’t know why korean actors/actresses try to do multiple projects at the same time when they know k-drama land has poor working conditions. This inmho adds to stress. She should consider taking a leave of absence from running man or have her role in Gye Baek reduced. I would prefer the former but I am biased.

    What is the PD doing? Shouldn’t he maintain a good working environment where scripts are received on time, the actors n crew can work without succumbing to exhaustion. Whose bright idea was it to give her an IV when she has been shown to be allergic to? Why did she even agree to receive knowing her allergic reactions to it?

    • 8.1 girlfriday

      It’s not a given that drama should outweigh variety. Technically, Running Man has better ratings than Kye Baek, was a prior commitment, and the whole country has come to love her because of her stint on Running Man.

      There are drama productions that let stars safely do both without landing in the hospital, though they’re rare, sadly.

      • 8.1.1 Arhazivory

        Like Seung Gi who did Brilliant Legacy and MGIAG while still shooting 1N2D. *sighs*

        Why can’t they be like Japan and Taiwan? Its a lot less pressure on the actors.

      • 8.1.2 Shiku

        Like I said am biased, (although am planning to watch running man as I read the recaps) but show-wise it seems easier to me for her to miss a few eps of RM as it is an ensemble show than it is for GB to replace her as the drama made her an integral part of it.

    • 8.2 lambayyx

      they do variety with dramas because the popularity and exposure they gain from it are significant. from what i’ve seen, jihyo doesn’t seem super popular in the drama or movie industry, she needs the exposure she gets from running man. it’s like when family outing made park yejin and chunhee famous, but then they dropped out to focus on their acting career and stopped receiving offers.

      as for the iv allergy thing, apparently she was really weak and she needed it right away, so she took the drip regardless.

      • 8.2.1 bd

        Park Yejin and Chunhee have been getting a steady load of work since their time on FO, esp. Park).

      • 8.2.2 Shiku

        Even if she needed it right away, being physically weak + allergic reaction to the IV is a recipe for disaster.

  9. Strawberrycube

    Poor Song Ji Hyo! And this is something why HYS had to make an official apology?! I feel sorry for both actress.

  10. 10 ginnie

    It is just sad to read this…because it is a feeling of helplessness.

    I read that Han Ye Seul was called to testify at the national assembly. Perhaps there is some hope to remedy the situation but it is just taking a long time.
    Here’s the article on soompi: http://www.soompi.com/news/han-ye-seul-to-testify-on-current-drama-working-conditions

    If veterans and actors can unite themselves to protest against the system – I think “Something” will happen and improve. But if even veteran actors are accepting and calls this “Commitment to our viewers” =.= it gives pressure to the younger actors in the industry. People like Bae Yong Jun / Choi Ji Woo – the folks that started the korean wave..or others with at least decades in this industry – why not say something?

    • 10.1 anais

      Didn’t Choi Ji Woo already come out and take a stance against Han Ye Seul?

      I’m curious to know more about the National Assembly hearing. If they really intend to invite only two entertainers, I’ll have a hard time taking it seriously. They really ought to interview a whole slew of people from a variety of capacities within the entertainment industry. I’d think they ought to hear from at least 5-10 actors (different age range, gender, type of drama, film), several producers, script writers, cameramen, and other crew.

      They need to unionize. Though that ain’t gonna happen in South Korea where being called a Red still seems a stigma.

      • 10.1.1 Cynthia

        Choi Ji-woo made a carefully worded statement to the effect that once you sign onto a drama, that you accept in essence, the hardships you’re about to go through and just suck it up.

        So, the status quo continues, at least from her camp..

  11. 11 chasen8888

    This may seem harsh, but I wonder if someone famous has to die in order for them to take action with this brutal scheduling and working conditions. Granted we all love their shows but they are human and get ill and exhausted just like the rest of us.

    Something must be done to fix this. Money and promotion be damned its people lives here we are dealing with.

    I am sad that she and the rest has to go through this. Its getting from bad to worse.

    • 11.1 Kiara

      It doesnt help when she is doing 2 projects at the same time :(. Maybe they also need to choose wisely.

  12. 12 chance

    Ima seriously cut a bitch if anything else happens to Miss Mong.

  13. 13 Y

    Song Ji-hyo! 🙁 Hope she’s okay now. She’s been looking so tired on RM.

  14. 14 cirhep

    …but i dont understand…ive never understood these reports…who are the ones that choose these grueling schedules in the first place? its the actors and their agencies. none of the production teams or stations are forcing them to do anything. theyre the ones who film multiple shows at once, who try to get onto as many variety shows as they can, film for cf’s and go to various functions and all this at the same time…they want to be popular and get a crap ton of money and theyre the ones who put their body through so much crap but then they’re bewildered when they inevitably crash and all of a sudden its the entertainment industry’s fault. it’s their own faults, they can value their health and maybe have a less grueling schedule (and as a result have less popularity/money) or they can continue to choose projects that put them in extreme stress and then crash and land in the hospital and then blame the production teams when the teams are just trying to do their jobs. really theyre such hypocrites

    • 14.1 foraredrose

      Umm even actors who are doing only one project at a time are suffering from these working conditions… I don’t see how you can pick a lighter schedule than that if you want to be acting..

      • 14.1.1 Kiara

        I think nothing is going to change unless the actors do something about it.

  15. 15 foraredrose

    I hope she gets better soon and also is able to get a manageable schedule that will let her have time to rest. <3

    I really don't get the whole "yeah it's tough, but everyone does it, so if you don't then you're a slacker" mentality.. I think that in addition to members in the industry, the viewers/fans also need to take a role in making a change..

  16. 16 diorama

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this terrible system will stop anytime soon, simply because it’s the most money-efficient. Producers and executives want to be able to change scripts last-minute to bring ratings as high as possible. It’s why they won’t start shoots earlier – because they have to commit to something which they can’t manipulate for the ratings.

    Plus in these days where ratings are really low (hello? 18% is a hit?), they’ll push for whatever they get. They’re much more powerful than actors, sadly.

  17. 17 Rayda

    My husband is Korean. (I’m Japanese)
    When my father-in-law passed away, the funeral lasted 3 days straight with practically no time to sleep the whole time. The women had to keep putting food out for the guests, wash dishes, wail in front of the coffin for 3 days straight, even during the night. I thought I would die from exhaustion. But afterwards I heard I had it easy. Apparently some funerals last 5 days or a week.
    I rally can’t understand why a culture would make a grieving family kill themselves with exhaustion but I guess pushing oneself to the limit is a part of Korean culture and society not just the drama industry. Which makes me think that reforming the way dramas are made won’t be easy.

    • 17.1 asiagirl

      im not korean but in my country,we have to stay more than 3 day waiting for family member gathering for funeral,so i guess not only korean have that kind of culture but other race in asia i guess..wash dish and everything that normal for family member,but if our neighbour who didnt have any relation with,pass away we need to do same thing to them..its quite tired sometime but what can we do,because that was our culture..but i guess drama industry is not just about culture,consider about money & time..sorry out of topic..have a nice day!

  18. 18 crazedlu

    someone can go ahead and tell me i don’t know enough about the korean audience to say this, but it’s because of the home audience that productions feel they need to somehow cater to them hand and foot. who cares what crazy netizens are griping about, as if their opinions are commandments or something.

    it’s not only the audience though.

    if productions, directors and writers alike, would only have confidence in their work, they’d be able to shoot an entire drama, air it, and make millions of people fall in love with their work with ease.

    what do i know..

  19. 19 Jude

    Aw no, Miss Mong!!! Geez, somebody should do something about the crazy killer schedule.

  20. 20 octoberholt

    YAAAHH! PDs have u forgotten the word “REST”? Actors are human too… U can’t have the ratings nor the money u want without their superb talents at their best…

    Miss Mong, just take a rest. Health is more important than anything else… We’ll wait for you…

  21. 21 lsky

    Can someone explain to a newcomer what IV exactly is?

    • 21.1 itsme

      just GOOGLE.

      btw, i hope nothing serious happen to our Ji Hyo. Love her.

    • 21.2 anais

      Google IV drip.

      IV gets you a number of different hits, many of which aren’t related.

    • 21.3 ...

      It’s the water infused with rainbows and unicorns guaranteed to cure any sickness no matter how grave. Ask every actor/idol who falls sick and they’ll tell you IV is the best cure

      /gets bricked

  22. 22 Noelle

    Okay, quick question(s). What kind of rights do actors have? Making dramas just seems so grueling for no reason. They really don’t have to push so hard to the point where the actors are collapsing or having breakdowns. I honestly can’t understand. They should really just change the drama producing setup. The actors should demand it. Do they have a guild? Anyways, something needs to be done before someone really gets hurt or worse, dies.

  23. 23 wonbinlover

    IV basically stands for intravenous so in regards to this situation its basically a solution that is pumped into the veins to help with her fatigue or dehydration. It basically contains electrolyte/vitamins that may help with those conditions.
    I hope she feels better and gets to relieve her schedule. I will never understand the Korean way of working your workers to exhaustion like this and I think the entertainers need to complain more about these working conditions.

  24. 24 Thanespune

    I’m guessing it is equally difficult for the staff, I’m referring to the camera-men, editors, directors, the ones in charge with the lights etc. Haven’t there ever been complains from their part?
    I don’t agree to these conditions, however, actors do have free will to chose when to end and when to start a project and they are aware of what their contract states so, like in the case of the main actress in Spy Myung-wol, I’m not sure there’s so much that they can do to improve these conditions.

    • 24.1 ✐ iZzie ✐

      “I’m guessing it is equally difficult for the staff, I’m referring to the camera-men, editors, directors, the ones in charge with the lights etc. Haven’t there ever been complains from their part?”

      There must be, but most likely unheard. The actors who have bigger voice often choose to whisper about these conditions, what more for production crew who have more competition and when replaced, do not even make noise? Unless they unite, which has been said over and over in this thread, is unlikely. I feel bad for both actors and production crew. If this issue is deeply rooted in their culture then it’s gonna be a very long and difficult fight.

  25. 25 mademoiselle

    I hope Korea would adapt the system used in the US. Doing filming earlier than airing it. One problem of a main cast affects the whole production. Seriously, they don’t have plans of changing the way they shoot dramas?

  26. 26 elizabeth

    actually with the popularity of dramabeans’blog, can I suggest Javabeans and Girlfriday to send a letter of petition to the Ministry of Culture to pressure dramaland to improve on the system?

  27. 27 oi

    at first I was mad with the production companies for these crazy work schedules. Then after the Han Ye Seul case I wondered why is the South Korean government not doing anything. No labor law in South Korea?

    I read that the writer of Secret Garden said she will not do preproduction.

    Production companies won’t produce unless they are sure it will be broadcasted.

    How come America and I assume other countries, can produce successfull drama’s without killing their actors softly?

    Does it have to take one or two to drop dead on the set and a major lawsuit for Korean dramaland to change?

    Or a massive boycot by the viewers?

    • 27.1 anais

      American entertainment industry is heavily unionized. However, here in Los Angeles, the recession hit especially hard because it followed on the heels of at least one strike. A writer’s strike, and a threatened actors’ strike.

      That ain’t gonna happen in South Korea. You’ll have some generations of viewers screaming Reds (as in Communists) and put the kibosh on any attempts to unionize, very, very quickly.

  28. 28 dls

    Song Ji Hyo, please be healthy…. and get well soon.
    It seems in almost every drama, they overwork, no rest, no sleep for artists and staffs. Since everyone seriously suffers, it is important to revise the system there.
    I don’t want to see another HYS breakdown case.

  29. 29 laya

    My poor lady Soya 🙁 Noooo! What is this, let her rest!

  30. 30 djinni

    disturbing news. i love watching dramas but not at the expense of the actors health.

  31. 31 Applehaven

    Even though SNSD is my fav. group but knowing that SJH not able to make it to today RM recording really damp my interest on this eps. Hope that she get well soon! RM will not be the same without Ace Jihyo / Ms Mong!

  32. 32 dramafever

    And loads of people called HYS a drama queen for speaking out on these crazy schedules. Geez..

    I mean come on, live drama filming take up relatively longer hours and is therefore more stressful because you gotta work the hours to fill the next episode and so these guys are practically working everyday on little to none rest(especially if you’re one of the leads which both HYS and SJH are). I ever fainted on a 2 hours sleep limit so let alone these people who don’t even get any rest!

    Dude, the industry needs to wake up and realize that they are definitely doing something wrong here. This is human abuse man! Get your ass together!!

  33. 33 lakorn

    Is there a link between suicides and the harsh working conditions of these actresses? I heard a while back that a young actress killed herself because she was forced to sleep with the bosses and have plastic surgery. In any case, the producers should treat the actors better.

  34. 34 goethe

    Take this as a joke more than an insult.

    But how funny is it that it takes 6 members of a girls group to fill the tiny shoes of Song Ji Hyo?

    In all seriousness the Korean entertainment industry needs to change. This is simply reckless and very dangerous on an individual and collective level.

    Unfortunately I have to agree with one of the previous posters in stating that it will take something so severe like an actor literally dying on set due to exhaustion for anyone to really expect a change to how they currently films dramas or variety shows.

    We’ve had countless car accidents, physical and mental abuse by the industry to keep up with a lackluster system (i.e., last minute changes to scripts, live shoots, etc.).

    I still believe if they were to cut back to a single episode per week like in various other countries issues like this would be reduced significantly the health and well being of their talent would be increased 10x. Unfortunately this is a pipe dream and will never happen unless someone/something changes sooner rather than later.

  35. 35 Ralu

    I feel bad for Ace hi hyo………….she works so much lately, she diserves a well long pause, at least from one of her projects. i know she needs to become popular in order to receive good proposition as an actress, but she should deffinitely not submit her body and her mind to such bad conditions………

  36. 36 x0mi07

    Our beloved Ms. Mung… Song Ji-Hyo~~~~ =(

    I won’t comment on the working conditions of actors and actresses or the overall craziness of dramaland because everyone is already on it. I just hope they let her finish Gye Baek with schedule cut-backs.

    Also, I think she can also do the every-other-week thing for Running Man… at least while Gye Baek is still filming. Ji Hyo was absent on the show once already or something. I think they can give her that so that she can keep up her strength. I don’t want her body condition to get worse.

    As much as I love Running Man, I’d prefer it if Ji Hyo gets the rest she needs. A couple of episodes without her would do her loads of good.

    I wish her all the best. And thank you so much for the update GF!

  37. 37 Birdie

    It is very hard to go against a system where ratings and profit are important. They want to be able to manipulate ratings.That is why pre-produced dramas such as Birdie Buddy, What’s Up, the Musical have a hard time finding a slot. I was hoping the Musical will get good ratings to prove that pre-produced dramas can do well, but MU got a lousy slot-10pm Fridays. Who would watch dramas on Fridays nights? People tend to go out, and if you happen to be home , you watch variety shows- programs that you do not have to follow every week.

    The production crew including the cast should demand for better working conditions and we, viewers should be vocal in supporting them.

  38. 38 Tenshii

    is it the reason why some drama actors prefer doing movies than dramas?

  39. 39 Mia

    no ACE Ji-hyo get better soon! get healthy soon! i can’t wait to see you back in Running Man! <3
    hope everything works for you! FIGHTING!

  40. 40 ruthie

    its gonna be frustrating and sad if jihyo would end up giving up running becaUSE of the busy schedule of the dramas…ill be totally devastated if she’s not on RM because there will be no more Monday couple. so for Jihyo more rest and beauty sleep for her. i admire her for playing the ACE of RM and doing tons of all nighter from the drama. hope she stays healthy and well.

  41. 41 Abbie

    This is really getting ridiculous! I agree with you Girlfriday! Something has to change for these poor actors who are constantly in and out of the hospital. I hate to think of what could happen if an actor or actress gets in too bad a shape. I hope Song Ji-hyo gets better soon, even though I’m not familiar with her work. Still, Song Ji-hyo, Fighting!

  42. 42 edward

    Can die…

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