CJ E&M recently confirmed that one of their producers contracted COVID-19 while in vacation in New York, and as a result they have shut down operations, or at least that’s what they claim.
One of our employees have been confirmed to have contracted Coronavirus. We are closing down the entire building to prevent the spread of infection, and we are taking emergency precautions.
That producer works on the show ‘Food Bless You‘, is currently hospitalized, and is also being sued by the city of Paju for essentially being negligent.
According to Paju, the female producer, Ms. A (31) visited Boston in the States from March 6 to 18, but rather than self-isolating at her home in Seoul, she chose to stay at a relative’s building in Paju, only to be diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 28. It’s been revealed that Ms. A began going to work as a junior producer of Food Bless You the very next day on March 19. After getting their first new case in almost 20 days, Paju strongly criticized Ms. A and Food Bless You for her careless behavior, “As if traveling abroad during this time wasn’t enough, Ms. A didn’t self-isolate herself upon her return, and rather went to work, and that was irresponsible behavior of both Ms. A and the broadcasting company.” According to the report documenting her whereabouts, Ms. A took various buses and taxis to work and even visited multiple cafes, restaurants, and convenience stores located in Seoul.
The show is now on a two-week hiatus, and I’m not sure exactly what the city is gonna sue her for but they said they are taking legal action.
Given all that, one might think CJ E&M would actually have everybody stop working just to be safe so they don’t further endanger public health, as they claim they would in their PR statement. But not so, according to their own employees.
“The company told employees to work from home unless there are unavoidable circumstances. But all of the PD’s who are preparing or currently working on broadcasts are considered to be in that unavoidable circumstances. It’s just a statement for show. It’s a situation where everyone is anxious and has no choice but to go in to work.” – Anonymous CJ ENM employee
Thing is, turns out they consider “unavoidable circumstances” to be basically everybody.
The sentiment is echoed by numerous others on the app Blind, where workers from various companies can post anonymously about their jobs after they verify their employment there.
“I really doubted what I was seeing when I saw the message from the HR team. Shouldn’t we not be going [to work] in the first place… At least during the possible incubation period.” – dXXXXX9
“I didn’t pray for anything but really, I also doubted what I was seeing after seeing the text message from the HR team, but what’s worse is they even want the Team Leaders to go to work on Monday.” – XXXXX1
“There was an announcement made, but there wasn’t even a temperature check. They are just using a thermal video camera to check, and those who are coming from the cargo area or the stairs aren’t getting checked at all.” – DJXXX8
I can’t say I’m surprised given that it’s CJ E&M, as even their recent history with the ‘Drinking Solo’ PD and the subsequent reported labor law violations, or just from their status as a conglomerate, would be worthy of cynicism. But it’s just a nice reminder in these times that companies don’t give a single fuck if people live or die as long as it doesn’t impact their bottom line.