Eunjung quits Five Fingers in the wake of T-ara’s scandal
So this is big news: With the T-ara scandal still going strong in K-poplandia, idol-actress Eunjung is quitting her new drama Five Fingers, which just premiered 3 days ago. Wow. I knew the brouhaha was causing lots of concern for T-ara’s members’ projects, but never did I think the drama would actually drop her over it.
Backing up a bit, in case the scandal is news to you: T-ara recently kicked out one of its members, Hwayoung, which proved to be quite the controversial move. There were signs of intra-group discord (rather publicly displayed in a few notable Twitter exchanges between the idols), with conflicting stories about the source of strife. Some rumors pinned the blame on Hwayoung for being difficult to work with and unwilling to pull her weight, while yet more rumors speculated that Hwayoung was the target of ostracizing and bullying by the other members.
In any case, nobody came out of the situation smelling like a rose, and all eyes were on certain projects to see whether they’d survive the blot on T-ara’s reputation. Soyeon, for instance, has a supporting role in Haeundae Lovers, which seemed untouched by the scandal. Hyomin also had a drama premiere in the last week, the gumiho comedy The Thousandth Man, which doesn’t seem hugely affected either.
But Eunjung’s role is a leading one, and she’s one of the more prominent actresses in the group, so the scrutiny was bound to be stronger with her, especially with the 30-episode running time. She recently also quit her tenure on the variety show We Got Married, where she was in a faux coupledom with Lee Jang-woo. You could argue that she was probably going to quit that show soon anyway, since their show relationship has been running its course. Still, given the timing, the scandal is likely the primary catalyst for the decision.
Eunjung’s departure from Five Fingers was confirmed by a senior executive at SBS’s drama department. The producers held an emergency meeting on the 21st to discuss the issue, and announced the decision on the 22nd.
CP Kim Young-sub with the broadcast station confirmed that they are in talks to replace Eunjung with another actress. Nothing is decided yet, but the name being floated as a likely candidate is Jin Sae-yeon.
And I’m like, DUDE, she’s in a drama! You may have heard of it? Gaksital? You know, that light, fluffy show that’s so easy on the emotions that it’s totally obvious that the lead actress could hop on over to another station to concurrently film a second light, fluffy drama?
Oh, wait. No, I mean the other thing. The opposite of that.
Gaksital is just about as draining a project you could do, and it’s still got three weeks left to go. Five Fingers is a heavy melodrama, and the character is described as a tragic figure.
Unless… GASP! Does Mok Dan die?
(I’m actually quite fine with that story turn, which could make Gaksital even awesomer and darker. But I don’t expect that to happen — and certainly not before the final episode, if they were even to consider it — so I presume she’d just have to work real hard. I know Joo-won films 1 Night 2 Days on top of the drama, but let’s not take that kind of craziness as an example of ideal working conditions.)
Of course, there’s always the chance they’ll go with a different actress. Eunjung’s appearance in Five Fingers was supposed to begin in Episode 5, and she was to begin filming this Thursday. She was present at the drama’s production press conference on August 16, along with the rest of the principal cast. The drama just premiered over the weekend, and will air Episodes 3 and 4 this Saturday and Sunday.