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.
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.