Dayum, if SBS wanted to win douchebag television station of the year awards, it just vaulted to the lead today. SBS announced via a press release that, after its weekend drama Five Fingers premiered this past weekend to solid starting ratings, lead actress Eunjung will be leaving the drama and her role of Hong Da Mi will be recast. Her character is still in the child actor stage and she was supposed to start filming today. Of course this is due to the recent T-ara scandal (with bullying rumors and a member leaving the group), but what I don’t get is that the scandal is going on its 3rd week and now SBS wants to change actresses? What the fuck? The drama has already started airing! Eunjung is in all the promotional materials! They could have fired her when the scandal broke and then proceeded to recast her. To do so after the drama has started airing is insane. I repeat – insane!!!
A few notable lead actor changes in recent memory – Kim Jae Won had to bow out of Me Too, Flower! after injuring himself in a motorcycle accident, but it was early on in filming and no promo materials had been shot yet; and I remember Kim Min Jung leaving Hero and being replaced by Yoon So Yi, supposedly because of an injury as well but the situation was murky, and promo materials were shot so I still see Hero stuff floating on the web with Kim Min Jung next to Lee Jun Ki as opposed to Yoon So Yi. What’s worse about this situation is that Core Contents Media has just released its own statement claiming that Eunjung did not agree to leave the drama and they learned that she may be replaced by Jin Se Yeon via the same press release SBS sent out. Ooops.
No matter what the reasons were for replacing Eunjung, which is what SBS did, no one will believe for a minute she decided to leave the drama after enduring the scandal for weeks and the drama premiering to good ratings and buzz, it was such a shitty thing to do this way. Supposedly the reason was that sponsors for the drama had been pressuring SBS to replace Eunjung since the scandal has tarnished her bankability, and SBS finally couldn’t handle pressure and finally sacked her. My one experience with Jin Se Yeon was pretty much a total meh, as she was the younger version of Han Ji Hye in The Duo and she was easily the worst of the four teenage actors. Since I don’t follow Bridal Mask, I have no clue if she’s improved any as the leading lady opposite Joo Won in that drama.
This may be an acting improvement, replacing an idol with a young actress, but I can’t even get past how SBS comes off smelling like shit for publicly firing its lead actress and pretending that it didn’t. What’s wrong with firing an actor or actress? Nothing, SBS is the boss and pays the bills, it can fire and hire at will. But to pretend otherwise makes me sneer at their fakeness and hypocrisy. Eunjung looks miserable and tired at the FF press conference last week so maybe this will work out the best for her. She can take some time away from the entertainment limelight and get some likely much needed rest. Good luck to Eunjung, I hope the cast and crew of FF doesn’t suffer for what SBS did, and the network can go pound sand for all I care.