The drug crisis in the entertainment industry is spreading rapidly. The reality of drug use in the entertainment industry was shocking as it was revealed that actors such as Lee Sun-kyun and Yoo Ah-in, singers, and composers were using drugs. There are concerns that this will be a negative factor for ‘K Culture’, which is greatly loved around the world due to the success of the group ‘ BTS ‘ , including the movie ‘Parasite’ (2019) and the drama ‘Squid Game’ (2021). It’s getting bigger.
● Lee Sun-kyun and Yoo Ah-in lost 94 billion won in production costs alone
As Lee Sun-kyun is investigated for drug use, the Korean film industry, which has not yet recovered from the blow caused by the pandemic, is feeling even more depressed. The 20 billion won film ‘Escape: PROJECT SILENCE’
starring Lee Sun-kyun, which was scheduled to be released this year, has been postponed indefinitely. ‘escape… ‘ has been focusing on overseas sales since being invited to the Cannes Film Festival in May, but this has also been halted. The movie ‘Land of Happiness’, which had a production cost of about 9 billion won, had also finished filming and was in post-production, but it came to a halt. The drama ‘No Way Out’ was about to start filming, but with Lee Sun-kyun leaving, they are looking for a replacement actor, and the production of ‘ Dr. Brain Season 2’, in which he is the main character, has become uncertain.
Yoo Ah-in, who was previously investigated by the police on suspicion of drug use in March of this year, was also scheduled to release the movies ‘The Victory’ and ‘High Five’ and the Netflix series ‘The Fool of the End’, but all of them were postponed indefinitely. The total production cost of the three works is 65 billion won. The production cost of the film, which starred Lee Sun-kyun and Yoo Ah-in but whose release was postponed, was approximately 94 billion won.
● “It’s like adding insult to injury”… The film industry panics due to a series of bad news.
The film industry is in a state of dismay as sales have hardly recovered since the pandemic and the drug crisis has erupted. According to the Korean Film Council, the overall sales of the film industry in the first half of this year (January to June) were 72.5% of what they were before the pandemic (average for each first half of 2017 to 2019), and the number of audiences was only 57.8%. In particular, even in September, when Chuseok, which is considered a major event in the film industry, took place, the overall sales of the film industry were half of the same period before the pandemic, at 52.9%. All three blockbuster Korean movies released in time for Chuseok this year (‘Dr. Chun’s Exorcism Lab: Secrets of the Snow Scenery’, ‘Cobweb’, and ‘1947 Boston’) also failed to break even.
An official from a production company said, “After the pandemic, investment in Korean films is not recovering as much as before, and I am very worried because of the drug crisis.” He added, “I am afraid that the number of audiences will not recover even at the end of the year.” Another investment/production company official said, “I get nervous even when there are drug-related rumors going around,” and “I feel like I’m throwing a bomb around, praying that (the drug issue) doesn’t explode in our work.”
Foreign media are also paying attention to this situation. The U.S. Variety magazine reported, “Lee Sun-kyun, the star of the Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho’s film ‘Parasite,’ is being investigated by the police on suspicion of drug use. Lee Sun-kyun is a famous actor who also received the짱구카지노 주소 Screen Actors Guild Award for ‘Parasite.’” The American Hollywood Reporter also reported Lee Sun-kyun’s news and pointed out that “drug-related crimes have recently been on the rise in the Korean entertainment industry.” Actors’ deviations also pose a risk to overseas investment in the Korean film and content industry.
However, it is not easy to effectively hold individual actors accountable. Each work has a different contract, and the presence or absence of a penalty clause and the level of compensation also vary. Generally, a penalty clause is included in proportion to the actor’s appearance fee, but it is insignificant compared to tens of billions of won in content investment. An official from an investment and distribution company said, “Because human networking is an important business, it is not easy to engage in a legal battle with the agency of the actor who caused the problem.”
● Idol group, dominoes fall if just one member falls
As composers along with Lee Sun-kyun are also being investigated, the music industry is also paying close attention. In an idol group, one member’s drug use acts as a major limitation on team activities. A representative example is the 2019 case in which B.I, the leader of the YG Entertainment group iKON, left the group after being booked for a drug case. After the departure of leader and producing member B.I, the size of iKON’s fandom and scope of activities were significantly reduced. Nam Tae-hyun, a former member of the group Winner, is currently on trial on charges of using Philopon. Composer and singer Don Spike was sentenced to two years in prison last month for taking methamphetamine and ecstasy.
Pop culture critic Jeong Deok-hyun said, “As the status and influence of K content increased in a short period of time, celebrities should have taken responsibility for it, but in reality, it was not enough.” He added, “In order to prevent trust in K content from being damaged by a few people, celebrities need to take responsibility for themselves.” “We need to properly recognize the influence and strictly manage ourselves,” he said.