I dread writing these posts, absolutely hate having to even devote time to write about something that should never have happened in the first place. Early this morning South Korea time, famed director Kim Jong Hak was found dead of an apparent suicide. Let that sink in because the first reaction is “what?” followed by “not again!” I don’t know what it is about South Korean culture that pushes its citizens to commit suicide, having the second highest suicide rate in the world after Greenland, a country North of the Arctic circle and its citizens subject to biologically documented season depression. But in South Korea its just the combination of pressure and shame that likely propels people to take the easy way out. And it is the easy way out, living through hard times is the harder thing to do. PD Kim Jong Hak was reportedly having a hard time facing a legal investigation of fraud stemming from his last drama production Faith, which apparently is still dealing with the fall out of having crew members still not paid. As viewers we watch an end product devoid of any understanding of what is basically a broken and corrupt drama filming system. Perhaps one day I will no longer be able to turn a blind eye to the pretty pictures and not acknowledge the pain and suffering of those toiling in the shadows to make it happen. PD Kim was being investigated for not paying his crew from Faith and allegedly embezzling money. He had been subject to a no-travel prohibition since the investigation began. He reportedly left behind a suicide note apologizing to his family, and the studio where he was found dead smelled of gas. The list of famous Korean entertainment folk who have killed themselves is so long I actually cringe to look at it. Recently was the 3rd anniversary of Park Yong Ha‘s death, and soon it will be the 5th anniversary of Choi Jin Shil‘s death while it has been 6 years already since Jung Da Bin killed herself. PD Kim leaves behind one of the most famous resumes in modern Korean drama lore – Eyes of Dawn (widely considered perhaps THE best K-drama of the last 20 years with Choi Jae Sang and Cha Si Ra), Sandglass (critically acclaimed and widely beloved with Go Hyun Jung and Lee Jung Jae), Daemang (launched the career of Jang Hyuk, Lee Yo Won, Son Ye Jin, and Jo Hyun Jae), The Legend (also known as The Story of the First King’s Four Gods), and his last completed drama will now forever be Faith. My condolences to his family and a sincere hope that those who feel hopeless and troubled will seek help first.