Rain, Lee Na Young, Ku Hye Sun among actors & actresses yet to be compensated by companies for their work

Kim Woo Bin, Ku Hye Sun, Kim Min Jun, Jung Yoo Mi, Gong Seung Yeon, Lee Na Young, Rain, and Lee Jung Jin have all recently reported being stiffed out of significant sums of money by companies (1/2/3/4).

Kim Woo Bin had signed a contract with the advertising agency in March of 2013, but they have not handed over the money amounting to 66 million won (approximately $60,900) to the model.

Ku Hye Sun is owed a total of 260 million won (approximately $240,100) from the production company of a drama she had appeared in back in 2011.

Kim Min Jung previously starred in the drama, which aired in 2009, and it was revealed that she was owed a total of 105 million won (approximately $98,700).

On January 16, sources inside Jung Yoo Mi’s agency disclosed, “She has not received 80 million won (approximately $75,200) worth of payments for her appearance in ‘Master: God of Noodles.’ We have no way of knowing exactly when she will be paid.”

Representatives for Gong Seung Yeon’s agency reported a similar issue. They confirmed on January 16 that the actress had not received full payment for her appearance, explaining, “While she did receive part [of her fee] from KBS, she has not received payment from the production company.”

On January 16, Lee Na Young revealed that she had not been paid 360 million won (approximately $338,400) for her appearance in the drama, which aired in 2010.

Her co-star Rain has also not received full payment for his appearance.

Actor Lee Jung Jin is owed 35 million won (approximately $32,900) in appearance fees as well.

Lest you think it’s limited to just those eight (or just the famous), KEMA‘s statement on these reports of non-payment makes it seem like this is not uncommon.

The actors and their agencies have notified the Korean Entertainment Management Association of their situation, and the organization is currently looking into their cases. A source from the organization stated, “We have received complaints of outstanding payments from drama appearances since 2014. We are making an effort to create a list of production companies who have taken part in such behavior, and plan to take the lead in boycotting them in the industry. Although we have taken strong measures against them, as we are not an organization with judicial power, there are still many problems. However, we plan to continuously make efforts as we can at least create a blacklist of production companies, their CEOs, directors, and reveal their names to the public.”

Rain or Lee Na Young missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars gets the headlines and must be infuriating for them, but they can deal with it cause they’re rich as hell. However, it sounds to me like the bit actors and actresses are also victims of this, and they are far more vulnerable if they’re not getting their paychecks.


Whenever the hardships of the staff in Korean entertainment comes to light, it’s understandable that a lot of the blame gets put on the celebrities since they are the faces to the public and are usually wealthy. However, stuff like this is why I’ve always maintained that the blame should be shifted to the companies behind the industry. It’s not that the money the talent are being paid is the problem for the staff, it’s that companies are greedy as fuck and just don’t want to pay the staff what they deserve. If they take away money from the talent, the companies are not going to be giving it to the staff out of the kindness of their hearts, they’re just gonna maintain the status quo and pocket it. The problem for workers, including actors and actresses, is still the companies themselves, and stories like this expose exactly that.


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