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These Korean Actors And Actresses Revived Their Careers After Big Controversies

Several K-drama stars were recently involved in huge scandals. Can they overcome their situations and return to the entertainment scene the way these Korean actors and actresses did?

Several Korean actors/actresses and K-pop idols were embroiled in controversies recently, and these make us wonder, can they recover from these? With the so-called cancel culture especially prevalent in the Korean entertainment scene today, can these celebrities still be given a second chance? 


Depending on the gravity of what they’re accused of and whether they’re actually guilty or not, can they survive the backlash and revive their careers? Can the public, especially the Korean fans, find it in them to be forgiving of these actors’ misconduct (if the accusations indeed prove to be true)? Or, does this mark their abrupt downfall?   


Most recently, actor Kim Seon Ho whose drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha just ended, was the subject of accusations when an anonymous user posted in an online community about their past relationship and how he coerced her to get an abortion with the promise of marriage. After two days of speculations and rumors, he issued an apology for his "inconsiderate behavior" towards his girlfriend, and in the process, confirming that the allegations were true. Even before his statement, some of his endorsement ads have been pulled down, and perhaps more will be forthcoming.


Then there was also Chinese-Canadian artist Kris Wu, who is known as a former member of K-pop boyband EXO, was detained by Beijing police station on suspicion of rape. A 19-year-old college student by the name of Du Meizhu claimed that the 30-year-old star raped her and 30 other girls after getting them drunk. WWD reported that Wu and his team denied the allegations and that they filed a defamation lawsuit against Du. Following this scandal that sparked the #MeToo movement in China, brands cut ties with Wu and Chinese netizens are now canceling him.



In the K-drama scene, actress Seo Ye-ji was just about to embark on a new chapter in her career after her popularity soared with It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. But, months later, her fate suddenly changed for the worse when news of her allegedly being “manipulative” of her ex-boyfriend, actor Kim Jung-hyun, broke; she was also later accused of perpetrating school violence. Soon after these stories made headlines, brands pulled out their support for Seo Ye-ji, and she was also led to drop out of the upcoming drama Island.



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Another actor who suffered major backlash recently was actor Ji Soo, who was starring in the then-ongoing series River Where the Moon Rises, when school bullying and sexual assault allegations were made against him. Ji Soo shared a handwritten apology letter on Instagram, saying in part, “I sincerely apologize to the people who suffered because of me. There is no excuse for my past misconduct. They were things that cannot be forgiven.” Ji Soo was replaced by Na In-woo in the KBS series, and has been confirmed to enlist in the military later this year.



Rising stars like Jo Byung-gyu and Park Hye-soo also had their careers ruined and reputations tainted by school bullying and violence allegations. Jo Byung-gyu was just fresh from the success of the K-drama The Uncanny Counter when he figured in this controversy; the series was confirmed to return for a second season but with what happened, he may now be entirely out of its picture. But his agency, HB Entertainment announced last August 2 that Jo Byung-gyu "completed filming for the independent film Millionaire Killer" and that his appearance had not been paid and that it was a "talent donation." 



Meanwhile, Park Hye-soo, who’s known for the series Introverted Boss, was all set to star in the upcoming drama Dear M, but its release was postponed following the scandal and petitions were made to KBS, calling for her to be removed from the series.  



There have been many other Korean actors who were enjoying fame and stardom in the past, but when they got involved in controversies, it became impossible for them to make a comeback. Remember Park Yoo-chun from Sungkyunkwan Scandal, who faced multiple sexual assault allegations and drug charges? How about Kim Hyun-joong and the domestic violence accusation he faced and even his drunk driving scandal? Or, Welcome to Waikiki star Song Seung-won, who was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol and imprisoned for one year and six months?


(From left) Park Yoo-chun, Kim Hyun-joong, and Song Seung-won
(From left) Park Yoo-chun, Kim Hyun-joong, and Song Seung-won | Photos from KBS2 and JTBC


But there are also those who successfully overcame the controversies that threatened their careers, and remain active and even well-loved in the industry today. Check out the gallery below to see who they are: 



Lead photos from King Kong by StarshipHigh Cut, and IMDb


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