The Corea Entertainment Management Association disclosed Wednesday a list of companies responsible for 32 dramas and films, which have failed to pay actors, along with the names of the productions, production heads and directors who made the dramas.
It said actors of the agencies will not participate in films made by the companies in question.
The collective action follows a chronic overdue payment problem in the film and drama production industry.
“We concluded that we need to take action. From now on, our actors will not appear in soap operas and movies filmed by the named production companies,” the association said in a statement.
According to a survey conducted on actors at the member agencies, the performers are owed 1.5 billion won in overdue payment for dramas and 700 million won for movies.
The association said both the productions and broadcasting companies that outsourced the dramas have not made any effort to solve the problem.
“Heads of production companies failed to pay performance fees and kept making dramas after setting up another production company or change their names. Then the overdue payment problem gets bigger. Broadcasting companies know this, but they keep outsourcing, saying the payment issue is between producers and actors, and not their business,” Kim Gil-ho, director of the association, said.
He said actors belonging to the association are top stars, such as Song Hye-kyo. “Top actresses such as Song have still not been paid for appearing in the KBS drama ‘Worlds Within.’ The production companies pay half of the fee first and then keep delaying paying the rest, claiming they didn’t make enough money,” Kim said.
“How come we, who have contributed to the hallyu boom, are caught in this underdeveloped system? We need a fundamental solution,” the director said.
Aside from “Worlds Within,” the list of soap operas includes “President” and “Jungle Fish 2” aired on KBS; “Queen of Reversal,” “Pasta” and “Iljimae Returns” on MBC; and “Bad Boy” and “Swallow the Sun” on SBS.
Movies include “Girl Friends,” “Rough Cut,” “The Housemaid” and “Hwanghae.”
A similar protest took place last September after an entertainers’ union alleged production companies had failed to pay a total of 4.3 billion won in fees to its members. The unionists stopped appearing in soap operas for days and only scrapped their collective action after broadcasters promised to devise measures to prevent payment delays.
By Kim Rahn