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The Dark Side of the Korean Drama Industry

The dark side of the Korean drama industry is nothing new. Some of the things we’ve seen have been done so many times that we’re accustomed to them. Yet, these methods still exist, and some of them actually work. In the case of Jang Ja-Yeon, it seems that some actors were abusing their roles. While there are countless examples of exploitation of actors, few have ever been prosecuted. But the issue doesn’t end there. The Fair Trade Commission has been supervising the correction of unfair contracts and has been inspecting the entertainment agencies for years. However, because of the conservative nature of Korean society, the entertainment agencies are unlikely to change.

The South Korean TV industry mistreats actors and crew. One group of actors revealed this mistreatment to a journalist and channeled their anger toward the industry. Whether it is an actress being forced to engage in sexual favors or not, the industry’s mistreatment of actors and crew has a long history. The “paint a perfect picture” media is generally not willing to investigate such cases.

Another example is the actress Jang Ja-Yeon. The actress, who gained fame in the sitcom Boys Over Flowers, committed suicide in March 2009. Her suicide note revealed that she was being physically abused by an agent and was listed as the sexual abusers. It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like for the actress to have been forced to go through this ordeal, but it’s true.

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