Drama Casting & News
Filming shuts down on My Daughter Seo-young (pay your actors!)
by | December 18, 2012 | 81 Comments

javabeans: Damn the union shut down weekend high-flyer My Daughter Seo-young too, for not paying up. (By the way, my mom reaaaally wants me to watch that. Apparently it’s good, as far as weekend family dramas go? And yet, there’s the whole “weekend family drama” thing to keep me at arm’s length.)

girlfriday: First The Great Seer, now them? Are they not paying actors either?

javabeans: Yup. Different broadcaster (KBS this time), same situation. On December 3, the union had originally given the production until December 10 to pay up back wages, or face nullified contracts. Guess that didn’t happen, because on the 18th they forced a shutdown of a shoot at a Cheonho-dong wedding hall. Saddest fake wedding ever.

girlfriday: I hope it gets them somewhere. At least shutting down a drama during live shoots sends a clear message. It’s the one real bit of leverage they have.

javabeans: Especially one that’s doing such high ratings, hitting 30%. Lights a fire under KBS’s ass, that’s for sure. Cannot lose cash cow now! Although it’s really too bad the entertainment unions are so weak as a whole.

girlfriday: It’s kind of amazing that a system with so much output can still be so slapdash. How often do we hear about dramas not paying?

javabeans: It’s totally the outside producer system that’s the weak link. You can technically be a prodco with one employee and one drama now, so if you get shafted by a financier or have no income, you have no money for actor fees. Damn yakuza investors.

girlfriday: I know right? Somebody somewhere is losing a hand.

javabeans: Sounds like they tried to be lenient this time, saying that they negotiated because they knew the production company was facing difficulties. But since the production company reneged on their promise and there are “many serious problems” involved, the union chair said, “We cannot proceed with filming on My Daughter Seo-young, which does not honor collective agreements. We are prepared to force a missed broadcast if problems are not solved and acting wages not paid by the time promised.” Can’t really argue with that.

girlfriday: Yeah, people who don’t pay their workers don’t really have a leg to stand on.

javabeans: One less thing to break when you can’t pay up.

girlfriday: *quickly returns that sweater I “borrowed” before I lose an eye*

Via Star News, Mk.co.kr

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81 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Byul

    I can’t believe the outrageousness of this. No, idiots, actors WON’T work for you unless you pay them. Get a clue!

    • 1.1 Domino

      Key investor pulls the trigger!!

      • 1.1.1 Typeless

        YAY go unions!

  2. Mystisith

    An analogy comes to my mind: Home builders sending unfinished houses to clients who didn’t verify their solvency.
    I completely get than producing a drama costs a lot. And of course success is not guaranteed: You can have 2, 3 bad years. How is it possible to be credible with only 1 employee and a phone number?

    • 2.1 kilmenyanne

      Wear skunk like Anthony!

      • 2.1.1 almea

        LOL! This cracked me up. :D

    • 2.2 Domino

      Keyeast is partly behind!! Lee Bo-Young’s firm i.e. Bae Yoon Jung!!

      • 2.2.1 sandy

        she moved out ages ago

  3. kakashi

    hm. not good. what’s going on recently? hope this doesn’t become the norm!! why would anybody think it’s ok not to pay somebody for their work?!

    • 3.1 Shiku

      It has been happening for years now. People still haven’t being paid from shows like Legend which was aired in 2007 and Bad guy aired in 2009, just to name a few.

    • 3.2 Llamaesque

      There’s a longer article about this issue at the Vault. It’s hard to believe an industry that seems so modern and productive would actually scheme to avoid paying their employees, but that really seems to be the case. :b

    • 3.3 Domino

      Lee Bo-Young and Bae Yoon Jung offended someone i.e the key investor, that’s the music they are facing now!!

  4. tazanya

    i feel bad for the actors, but also for the staff, the actors have their unions but the crew will only get paid after the actors wonder if there will be enough for that if they are having such problems with the actors salaries.

    jeez what are they doing with their money and can they stop with this outside production business.

    reminds me of all the mom and pop idol companies cropping up. just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    • 4.1 anais

      Yes, actors are one thing. They can use their fame and clout to generate favorable publicity. However, the staff? Presumably they’re the last to be paid, if ever, on troubled productions.

    • 4.2 Domino

      Don’t feel bad. Lee Bo-Young deserves the consequent!! Serve her right!!

  5. okdubu

    this is sad :(

    • 5.1 Domino

      Sad? Lee Bo-Young asked for it!! 30% rating is the time to pull the trigger!! Bravo!!

  6. bishbash

    Oh man. Does anyone realise it also mean both Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young have no income as of now?!

    I want my Ho Jung-Sang Woo fix >.<

    • 6.1 Annie

      Ji Sung’s movie is doing really well… no worries!

    • 6.2 anais

      They have their CFs presumably. Those are the cash cows.

      • 6.2.1 yoonah

        Yeah I’m more worried about the supporting actors and extras who aren’t getting paid either.

        It’s not just about the stars, folks.

        • 6.2.1.1 Dav

          This + 1000. I mean, it’s sad if leads don’t get paid, and I understand that real stardom is not all glam and glitz, but for every lead, there’s a hundred background folks trying to make ends meet. Leads almost certainly have the clout to be “taken care of” by their management companies, or borrow money from the bank, or put off their creditors.

          Think about the massive numbers of people behind scenes for even something like 1N2D: food cart ajummas and lighting techs, junior writers and assistant PDs, drivers and cameramen and mechanics and people who whip out chalking machines at the drop of a hat.

          All those people are the ones I worry about.

        • 6.2.1.2 bishbash

          But those unions, they cover the crew too? I doubt it.

          TV business in SK is a harsh world *sigh*

    • 6.3 bluemoon

      Plus, they are a couple too. It is toobad that they both are facing similar situations at the same time.

    • 6.4 shepo

      me too,,i cant believe they stop our HoJong-SangWoo marriage…MiKyeong-SangWoo shipper must be happy right now..

      • 6.4.1 addylovesbwood

        What?? there are Mikyeong-sangwoo shippers?? lool i admit i did fall for them at first but had to keep reminding myself that they most likely won’t end up together. thanks to the Drama Family portrait

  7. Stardust

    I just started watching King of Dramas, and I must say, that gave me a whole new take on the ‘actual’ going ons ‘behind the scenes’ of a korean drama industry…Sure I probably have to take it with a pinch of salt but still…. *makes a face* man…. M.O.N.E.Y

    Only recently The Great Seer ( with not so great ratings ) also faced similar issues.. Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young both not getting paid for the holidays… what are the odds…

    • 7.1 Kiara

      Ji Sung’s movie is doing well in the box-oofice. Hope he is getting his pay there.

    • 7.2 Shiku

      I’m sure the stars will get their pay eventually as they have their big management companies to fight for them. The real worry is for the no-name actors, extras, staff who work for hours on end with no pay. Most probably do not even have managers and they get paid peanuts (if they actually see the money).

  8. egg

    I guess I’m wondering if it’s the norm for actors or even production/crew to not get paid indefinitely even after a drama has finished? Are we just hearing about these instances in which the unions have decided to protest, i.e shut down production while a drama is airing because the unions have decided it can’t get that far?

    • 8.1 lordj

      not only dramas, variety shows get their share of this… tsk tsk tsk…
      Even Yoo Jae Suk experienced this, he was not paid for the 1st 20 episodes of running man which resulted him to bring it to court.

    • 8.2 Domino

      Korean Union can be bought!! Don’t believe what you read!! A lot has gone behind the scene!!

  9. canxi

    What is up with the cash flow in Dramaland? It’s magically dwindling or something. What we really need is a Dramaland Scooby Gang. Take that yakuza!

    Or…ya know…just pay your actors .__.

    • 9.1 Shiku

      Corruption and there is a problem with the funding system. Mr. X’s website goes into much detail why things are messed up. His website is ‘vaultofdoom.wordpress’

    • 9.2 Domino

      Don’t mess with money man!! Money speaks!! Nose dives for Keyeast share price before Christmas!!

  10. 10 Robin

    Damn! All this bad production karma is like free publicity for King of Dramas! If they can’t pick up some extra ratings buzz as a result there is something seriously wrong with the universe.

    • 10.1 Mystisith

      That’s the only way left to curb the ratings of KOD. After claiming the awesomeness of this show everywhere, I’m getting tired and desperate.

    • 10.2 Carole McDonnell

      I’m thinking if folks have nothing to watch, they can still watch KoD.

    • 10.3 Kiki

      Damn…are we always going to get a reference of KOD every time something like this happens? It’s not that I don’t love this drama. I am seeing this almost everywhere in this website when a problem arises in the drama industry. It’s getting on my sleeves for some reason.

      • 10.3.1 Mystisith

        Ha! The wheels turn. I had to “endure” the Gaksitaaalll! spazzing for months when I couldn’t care less. KOD is a gem of a drama, unfairly treated by the SK audience: We are just restoring the balance here.

        • 10.3.1.1 myweithisway

          This.

        • 10.3.1.2 noona

          WORD

        • 10.3.1.3 Arawn

          I second that, too.

        • 10.3.1.4 donnapie

          Preach it sister.

  11. 11 dtp_jnr

    Apparently some of the actors of the drama don’t really approve of what the union did to them…..Unlike The Great Seer in which it was the actors themselves that were involved in the strike, in this case it was actually the union that came to strike on the set while the drama’s actors were supposed to be filming……

    According to what i read, one of the actors said, although they understand the unions point but the union themselves did not put the actors of the drama who cleared up their schedule to come film their drama into consideration before coming to hold a strike demonstration on their set…..

  12. 12 SH

    I’m sure big stars are doing fine. It’s usually actors and actresses who appear in a few episodes here and there that don’t get paid. And they live paycheck to paycheck.

    Sure production companies are to blame, but broadcasters should share some criticisms too. They earn a lot of money from ads, etc…At least pay these studios a little bit more per episode. Share the wealth!

  13. 13 Annie

    Couldn’t have happened to a more craptastic production… I’ve never seen a drama with so many utterly unlikeable characters!

  14. 14 jane

    Seems to me the Korean Entertainment industry as a whole needs to do better in terms of spreading their profits, you cant be that greedy and the Unions must do better in establishing laws to keep that from happening again.

  15. 15 person

    this drama is really good!! I saw the first 6 episodes but stopped b/c the subbing process was so slow. Now I wait for this drama to end, so i can watch it. its enticing.
    but this really sucks, professionalism ppl, KBS is a majoy drama broadcaster, how can forget to pay the actors? o_e

    • 15.1 whitewire

      Now that’s why SBC’s such a lucky station. :-)
      And World Productions, for that matter.

    • 15.2 anotherperson

      “this drama is really good!! I saw the first 6 episodes but stopped b/c the subbing process was so slow.”

      Based on the first 6 episodes, I thought this drama was gonna be much better than it turned out to be. Maybe you’ll still like it when you pick it up again, but my feeling is that it lost most of its cuteness and now feels like a melo from years gone by. (Actually, I dropped it a few weeks ago so I can’t really say what it’s like now but the worn-out trajectory seemed pretty obvious.)

  16. 16 Enz

    I don’t understand why all the weekend dramas seem to generate such high ratings coz this one isn’t very good at all. Started well but the storylines are a bit annoying now.

    • 16.1 addylovesbwood

      I totally disagree!! I love MDSY!! I’m in it for the leads and the mom! her character is the most hilarious cuz she’s just so dense.

  17. 17 Quiet Thought

    “Primitive” is a word that comes to mind. Basic business model for any company: you do not sign a contract with a vendor unless the vendor shows proof it can deliver the goods. That means you see enough of its finances to know if it has enough cash and credit in hand to make a production run. Network manage failure at a level so basic someone should be fired immediately.

    Even on the low-end side of Hollywood and Indiy films, this sort of thing is only supposed to happen to cheap D-movie productions by the likes of Ed Wood. With the Hallyu Wave, these dramas and movies are an international face for Korea, and the industry execs are embarrassing the country. That’s the job of politicians.

    • 17.1 thefunofit

      Hear, hear.

    • 17.2 Orion

      “… the industry execs are embarrassing the country. That’s the job of politicians.”

      That. :P

      I have to agree though. For all their technology and business, making Korea very much a “modern” country, their society is still in the dark.

      It seems their businesses are run very amateurishly as well. You simply don’t run one of the most globally popular industries like that. I think the fact that people will watch anyway and the greediness has just made them sloppy. They feel that, no matter what they do, people will still follow. Sadly, they’re right. How many people from Korean audiences protest in any way? I mean substantial way, not just make a “It’s a shame” comment and then go buy the DVDs and merchandise. How many from abroad?

      Such people are spoiled. Unless harsh measures are taken, they won’t stop. I think having actors walking out of big money cows is the only way. Big names with big influence can cause a stir for these people. I hope they keep doing it. Not just for them. As others have said, big actors can survive. They’re also fighting for less famous actors and crew, though.

  18. 18 asianromance

    Would be nice if KBS can spread some of the wealth from advertising since the drama is garnering such ratings?

    The drama must have had some evidence of money in the coffers for wages before it got picked up, but where did all that money disappeared to? Yakuza money that was rescinded because the heir of the rich investor, who has suddenly died, decided to not invest in it anymore?

  19. 19 ck1Oz

    I know it’s a stupid question but seriously, how in the world does an industry carry on for yes with no pay on time, live shooting, filming inspite of being injured, long hours and overnight shoots.

    • 19.1 Mystisith

      2 profiles: Those who know and do that by passion. And those who think than Dramaland is the Promised Land or some kind of lotto ticket.

      • 19.1.1 Quiet Thought

        It also helps to have a Chaebol-worshipping ruling elite where workers are, culturally if not legally, considered chattel to be used for whatever can be gotten out of them by their masters. It’s what the corporate conservatives are trying to institute in the United States and Walmart is instituting . . . well, pretty much in every country where Walmart operates.

        • 19.1.1.1 Mystisith

          I agree: Economic indoctrination has replaced the political one. Work, consume and shut up.

  20. 20 Alert

    All I can think of: What would Anthony do?

    King of Drama, how you’ve spoiled me.

    • 20.1 whitewire

      Anthony will not allow it to be up until this point. Within 48 hours, every mess is done. :-)

  21. 21 joe

    Must be having money problems.
    Must be having money problems.
    Must be having money problems.

    A bail-out is needed.
    A bail-out is needed.
    A bail-out is needed.

    To keep it a float.
    To keep it a float.
    To keep it a float.

  22. 22 whoa

    does that apple represent sa-kwa/apology for her father?
    the father figure is the only one i can sympathize in this series

    • 22.1 shepo

      now if you mention it like that,,maybe it’s true..

      but you know,,the first thing that crossed my mind when ii saw the poster,,maybe they want to make it like Desperate Housewives,,you know,,the apple in the opening,,because i think those housewives and SeoYoung share one similarity : they have at least one secret to hide..

      (for me beside the father,,i also sympathize with HoJong’s dad,,dunno why)

      • 22.1.1 bishbash

        I only sympathize with Ho Jung’s Dad. Poor ahjusshi.

    • 22.2 bishbash

      But she’s “offering” it to Woo Jae. Hmm.

  23. 23 Koirv

    KING OF DRAMAS will eternally be a reference for these things.

    Anthony Kim will be an eternal legend even after the airing of this drama. Darn YAKUZA investors! Hahaha!

    • 23.1 coby

      indeed! Just seeing the headline I know I will be seeing Anthony’s name!

    • 23.2 dapinaymrs

      My thoughts are the same! Anthony Kim and those darn yakuza investors! :D

  24. 24 Arhazivory

    Oi vey. One drama after another and one really cannot help the KOD references that pop up.

  25. 25 befuddled

    Wow. I’ve been in some disbelief after learning about the live-shooting system some months ago, but never imagined that there would also be this aspect of the industry where it would be common for actors and staff not to get their pay from dramas done years ago. I think the union should keep pushing it- if there are any other dramas where people aren’t getting paid, shut them down.

  26. 26 Syrena

    What a disgrace moreso that we’re talking of Korea here not an under developed third world country.

    So much adverts on progress and KPop and KDrama land capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide.

    This is sad news and my heart goes to the casts and crew who have devoted their time, effort and own money during production.

    Perhaps the government should intervene.

  27. 27 Fab

    If I were to run for president I’d definitely focus on this issue! WTH! It’s apparently becoming the norm not to pay your actors, don’t they have accountants to foresee a money problem?? I hope the actors and staff have a solid contract!

  28. 28 blkasian

    It saddens me to read about the non payment to the excellent drama actors. For those of us who are uneducated on how the payment process works for the drama stars reading this comes as a shock. I just assumed the payment processed worked the same as the process associated with the dramas produced in the USA. Is it just that the producers here have more capital to work with ? I hope this issue gets resolved soon because I love the Korean Dramas.

  29. 29 namcha

    I really feel bad for the cast and crew especially for those extras who probably get a pittance anyway. The big stars have promos/movies they can do. Maybe the government needs to step in..

  30. 30 addylovesbwood

    This is upsetting. I’m halfway thru the drama and this happens!!?? I don’t know who they think they are not to pay my Lee Sang Yoon! lool

    poor Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young

  31. 31 dapinaymrs

    I’m glad a friend recommend that I watch The King of Dramas because now I realize the things they show in the drama really do happen.

    I hope the Korean entertainment union can gain a lot of strength and experience with these walk-outs. Actors and production staff are earners too. It’s just infuriating that they work hard for those up to rake in millions and yet they aren’t properly compensated for what they’re doing.

  32. 32 Ciara

    This is ridiculous! They are TRULY stupid if they think that actors are going to sit back and act without getting paid. Acting is their job! It’s how they pay the bills. I truly hope this matter gets resolved.

    You can’t just not pay people and think it’s okay. If they are taking the time to give their best by acting and supporting a drama that they believe in, you should be willing to pay the money.

  33. 33 KimKas

    That’s shocking news, I’m actually watching My Daughter Seo Young (mid-way through episode 48 actually) and KBS STILL hasn’t paid the actors ? That’s got to be a joke, I have to agree that this does not sound very professional at all, putting the country in shame is supposed to be Bollywood’s job (they’re quite good at that too), not the Korean drama industry.

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