Choi Ji Woo Lowers Her Pay; Kwon Sang Woo Works For Free

With the economy downturn, many investors have become more reticent with investing their money in Korean dramas and movies. Earlier, there have been calls for actors and actresses to lower their salary to a more realistic level so that the Korean entertainment industry can still function like normal.

Choi Ji Woo Enjoying A Cuppa

According to research done by the Korean Broadcasting Committee, 60% of the television production fees go towards paying the cast members. This is 30% higher than American productions. The biggest earner was Bae Yong Joon who commanded 200 million won per episode for Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi. Song Seung Hoon gets 70 million won per episode for East of Eden while A-listers like Kwon Sang Woo, Park Shin Yang, Lee Jung Jae gets approximately 50 million won per episode. Although Choi Ji Woo’s pay is significantly lesser than the guys, she’s still the biggest earner among actresses, commanding 48 million won per episode. Song Hae Gyo is second, earning 35 million won per episode.

But with the economy downturn, many have taken measures to make things easier for the production. Choi Ji Woo for example has willingly volunteered to take 30% of her usual pay for her Star’s Lover drama. Kwon Sang Woo have gone one step further, opting to work for free in his movie A Story Sadder Than Sadness. His co-star Lee Bo Young have done the same thing. All of them just hoping that their actions can help the industry to survive this crisis.

27 thoughts on “Choi Ji Woo Lowers Her Pay; Kwon Sang Woo Works For Free

  1. “I’m pretty sure most Americans wouldn’t be willing to give up their salary…”

    Yeah lol… what KSW and his co-star did was a very nice gesture.

  2. They’re not doing it for everyone’s good. Of course they have to think about themselves also. If they won’t lower their pay, they won’t get anything at all and no publicity from new movies and dramas. Actors are just workers like any other workers. When your industry is dragging, you get a pay cut just like everyone else. Simple as that. It’s not an act of God by them.

  3. haha yeah american actors probably wouldnt do that.
    and yeah, what they did is not an act of God by them, but in today’s overly selfish society, what they did sounds very selfless and patriotic

  4. Wow.. Bae Yong Joon’s salary.. o_O

    I wouldn’t be so quick to say these stars are performing some selfless act.. They had to have something in it for themselves to do it.. Oh, and I don’t quite see how doing that is “brave”…? :/

  5. @ Bigbangin’

    Quote: “I wouldn’t be so quick to say these stars are performing some selfless act.. They had to have something in it for themselves to do it.. Oh, and I don’t quite see how doing that is “brave”…?”

    ….. What the. Let me see you try and work for no salary.

    Perhaps they are doing this so they don’t want Netizens to forget them, and continue watching them on screen? And if their fan base continues to watch and support their drama/movie, the economy might JUST pick up a little.

    Furthermore, Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo are both extremely recognised in the industry, not just some C-lister or D-lister. They could have been really haughty and demanded the same amount of pay they usually get but NO they were humble and had VOLUNTEERED to work for little to no pay.

    It is really some self-less act on their part, no one can argue with that.
    I am not a rabid fan of any of the Korean actors or actresses but it really pissed me off to see someone doubting their kind act.

  6. I’m a bit reserved about “working for free” for the movie.

    It’s a whole movie, not just a short CF filming.
    That’s a month or 2 of working without earning anything.
    Stars still need money to pay their bills and I bet their managements would not like loosing money like this.

  7. erm they dun work for free…entirely
    coz they are not paid for their acting but they might get pay in terms of how much the movie makes!
    if the movie is a blockbuster…they get royalties from how well the movie makes.
    if it fails, then well they might not get dat much royalties or completely nothing

  8. i just want to correct some details about the blog entry.
    ksw will receive 15 million won per episode. he will also receive bonus payments for the sales from exporting to Japan and others countries as well. it’s not for free. i think this is a good move after 2 failed projects. bad love and fate.

  9. the title ” a story sadder than sadness” just epitomizes the whole korean drama era. i love it, expect nothing less.

    im amazed by the generousity and im guessing passion for acting that these actors have.

    they’re rich enough, now they’re doing it out of their love for their job.

  10. It makes me feel good that actors are aware of the economic crisis.
    It totally goes to show that actors aren’t self-centered like they are usually rmored to be 😀

  11. American stars should take a listen from Korean stars who actually don’t care about money, sex and drugs.

  12. coolsmurf, yes it for drama.

    for movie, i’m not sure how it works but many actors lately are trying to invest also in the movies that they are doing and not taking a large sum of money. just like in the case of so ji sub. you see these actors that said that they’re willing to put a cap on their professional fee are just talking about their professional fee.

    to tell you the truth it’s ok to place a cap (i just don’t know why some actors are bragging about it when or making a big deal of this. just to make impression that they’re supporting the producers? nah!) but in truth they’re not actually getting paid less on their actual performance fee per episode. most of them after signing the contract especially for top stars they put another contract that will pay out bonuses for export rights.

    i think this actors saying that they’re getting less should also be transparent in saying that they’re getting more from the bargain. they’re actually trying to deceive people that they’re supporting the cause of the producers when just like what i wrote above they’re getting almost the same from what they get in their professional fee.

  13. That’s very considerate of them… after all… they will still earn money from their CFs… staying in dramas and movies for low pay or no pay helps to maintain their prominence in the industry…

    I would expect Kwon Sang Woo to be involved in CFs for baby products or some public awareness campain focusing on family life and other related stuff… soon 😉

  14. Bae Yong Joon + commanded 200 million won

    Somehow I think that’s just so wrong of him cause I don’t think he’s that special and mighty. >_>

  15. Bae Yong Joon + commanded 200 million won

    Somehow I think that’s just so wrong of him cause I don’t think he’s that special and mighty. >_>

    He hasn’t commanded. That money is understated considering that he invested his talent fee and received the royalties instead.
    I believed he received more than that because legend made money and is still making money.

    Who else do you think can attract investors from other country?

    He’s not being special in your eyes doesnt explain much why he is getting more than others. You are one against millions who feels the other way around.

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