I already posted about the recently made public behind-the-scenes conflict between the production of Spy Myung Wol with Han Ye Seol and her agency Sidus HQ here, so I won’t repeat any already stated facts. The latest developments continue to head in one direction – a downward spiral that has now resulted in KBS confirming that it’s airing a SMW special on Monday. Clearly the supposedly completed 40% footage was not enough to scrape up a new episode on Monday, and my gut tells me unless Han Ye Seul immediately shows up on set on Monday August 15th, there won’t be enough footage to air a new episode on Tuesday as well. As of Monday noon Seoul time, Han Ye Seul is still a no-show on the set of SMW, and KBS is holding an emergency meeting to discuss its options.
I was actually thinking of completely dropping my SMW posts (baby recaps and previews) because much as I want to give back to courteous fans of this drama, someone still felt the need to tell me I have bad taste because I had the temerity to love Lie to Me but don’t like SMW. Put aside the faulty logical argument behind that correlation, it’s like coming to my house and enjoying the dinner I cooked, and then slapping me in the face before leaving. Yeah, it doesn’t make me eager to spend my precious free time producing work for people like that. Ergo, this SMW kerfluffle unwittingly answers my dilemma for me. I’m out everyone. Good luck to this drama – cast, crew, and fans.
KBS has elected to use very harsh words for the media, stating that it is weighing all options, including the possibility of taking legal action against it’s leading actress for contract breaches. Uhm, based what I gleaned from all the he said-she said, Han Ye Seul probably has an equally valid counter-claim and possible defense. Wonder when both sides will accept their share of the blame for letting the situation deteriorate to this point.
Based on everything I’ve heard, I do have to point out that the now public and very heated discord between Han Ye Seul and PD Hwang (who she has requested be replaced) is probably the key reason why she’s not on set (as opposed to the being sick – which no one is buying, and Sidus HQ ought to be ashamed for trotting out such a lame and completely transparent excuse).
The drama has been filming nights and days pretty much from the get go. Asking for humane work hours is perfectly fine, and ought to be the case. But the reality is that it’s not (which is why when a star goes A-list at Chungmuro, he or she doesn’t come back to dramas – this is one reason for that). Airing no new episodes this week will probably also impact SMW’s episode count, likely dropping it back down to 16 episodes again.
All I have to say is – in my (few) years of K-drama watching, this is the craziest behind-the-scenes meltdown between production and cast I have personally witnessed. It might be nowhere near the insanity of what goes on behind many drama shoots, but those things never get reported so we’ll never know. But for dirty laundry aired in the media? This is by far the most sensationalized spat I’ve seen (though East of Eden still takes the cake on scope of the on-set conflict for that drama). In situations like this, no one wins, and both sides are only going to emerge with eggs on their faces. And for Han Ye Seul, some damage to her reputation akin to what Lee Da Hae suffered after she quit EoE.
[Credit: Nate news]