Should Ji Soo have taken financial responsibility for the damages suffered by River Where The Moon Rises?

We weigh in if actors accused of bullying and assault should be liable to pay for the damage they cause to the TV show? Read on to find our take on this matter.
Na In Woo replaced Ji Soo as General On Dal in River Where The Moon Rises Should Ji Soo have taken financial responsibility for the damages suffered by River Where The Moon Rises?
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The past couple of months have been a rough ride for K-drama productions, Korean broadcast networks and actors. Numerous actors and idol turned actors have been embroiled in multiple controversies related to school violence, bullying and assault. Netizens have taken to their respective social media accounts to demand that these actors be replaced or the show should be cancelled. Korean broadcast networks, studios and actors have been having sleepless nights, trying to make last-minute changes and replacements and just praying internally, that there shouldn't be another controversy now!

The biggest controversy that took place this year, was that of actor Ji Soo. Ji Soo was accused of assault and bullying by his former high-school classmates. 'Ji Soo Gate' caused such a massive outrage amongst netizens and fans, that the actor promptly stepped down from his role as General On Dal. He posted an apology and enlisted for the military in October this year. The production studio and broadcast network swiftly replaced him with actor Na In Woo, who recently gained popularity with his portrayal as Kim Byeong In in Mr Queen. The production studio and KBS even edited out Ji Soo's scenes from the bank of episodes and released new promotional content featuring Kim So Hyun and Na In Woo. 

Audiences warmed up to Na In Woo and the show has maintained decent ratings. This is some respite for the team who had to face such a harrowing time, due to one actor's controversy. According to an inside source of the much-talked about drama, River Where The Moon Rises, the actors were switched when the filming was done with Ji Soo as the lead actor till episode 18, which meant 95% of the entire drama was completed. The source also claimed that they don’t yet know how many cast members have re-filmed how many episodes and that even they don't know the exact numbers for now. 

The production team confirmed that the losses they have suffered is incalculable and cast members like Lee Ji Hoon, Choi Yu Hwa Wang Bit Na, and Ki Eun Se said no to pay for their re-filming, in order to minimise the huge financial loss. According to Sports Today, each episode of River Where The Moon Rises is estimated at around USD 885,000 (KRW 1.00 billion). Whereas the entire production costs around USD 17.7 million (KRW 20.0 billion).

Additionally, the production team also confirmed that they are planning to reshoot the first six episodes of the show with actor Na In Woo, despite the incalculable damages that occurred due to actor Ji Soo's controversy. This calls for an additional cost, totalling up to God knows, how many Won! A colleague of mine jokingly quipped that the actor should pay for the damage from his own pockets to minimize the financial damage. This got me thinking - Is this the right approach? The answer to this is Yes, it indeed is.

Yes, I do agree that Ji Soo should flesh out some monetary damage from his own pocket to salvage the show he was once part of. Please make a note, this isn't a personal attack on Ji Soo, but actors in general who cause controversy and leave the entire team in limbo. Not just that, their respective agencies should pay the broadcast network and production studio, at least a portion of the financial damage they have caused to them. A mere apology and walking out of the show is the easy way out and serves nothing, in my opinion. 

Some situations are the exact opposite of this, case in point, Joseon Exorcist. Joseon Exorcist was cancelled after two episodes due to distortion of facts and depicting respected historical figures in poor light. The network, director and the cast of the show rendered an unconditional apology to the audiences. In such a scenario, actors must be compensated duly by the makers of the show, for wasting their precious time and energy. 

With this, I also believe that actor management labels must do some kind of background check on their respective actors before signing them, the way it is done for K-pop idols. It is invasive and kind of offensive, but beneficial in the long run.  Some issues may be in an actor's past, and everyone has a past, but as long as it doesn't affect others, it is fine. If it affects others, the actor or actress must pay for the consequences too. 

ALSO READ: Damages caused due to reshoot of River Where The Moon Rises are “incalculable”

What are your thoughts on the issue? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.