K-ent Discusses SBS Toggling the Name Placement Between Leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seob in Various Promo Materials for Sageuk Red Sky

In entertainment products it’s a HUGE deal where one’s name is listed in the cast list. I’ve heard it built into the contract and stars throwing hissy fits over it. For K-dramas it’s usually a non issue as even the stars know where the pecking order is thanks to veteran seniority and general politeness. That’s why it’s weird to see a news article discussing the internal name placement for SBS sageuk romance Red Sky (Hong Chun Gi or Lovers of the Red Sky) with two young leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seob. Apparently SBS has been switching their names around in various promos, when normally it’s set so there is no name switching between the male and female lead in placement. And when it comes to a drama or movie where the title is the name of one of the main characters, that actor or actress gets placed first, case in point My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim, Queen Seondeok, et. al. Netizens are unanimously one sided in that Kim Yoo Jung deserves top billing both for her longer duration in the industry (seniority), her character being the name of the drama, and that she’s better at acting. I have to agree and find SBS just way weird and shady on this matter, it should be done the usual industry way and that means she gets top billing.


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K-ent Discusses SBS Toggling the Name Placement Between Leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seob in Various Promo Materials for Sageuk Red Sky — 58 Comments

  1. Pingback: K-ent Discusses SBS Toggling the Name Placement Between Leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seob in Various Promo Materials for Sageuk Red Sky - Kpopnchill - All About K-pop News

  2. in backstreet rookie, the korean title is 평의점 샛별이 its kim yoojung character name but ji chang wook name is placed first on everything. i wonder why that wasnt an issue with the knetz before. if this news is just sbs way of promoting the drama, this isnt it.

    • It’s a very different case I guess.
      Because Knetz know that JCW is way more older than KYJ by age and he is also considered already as hallyu star as he has a lot of fans internationally. When he started acting, KYJ is still a child actor.

  3. Well even during the first introduction promo by the CEO Studio S or whoever he was it was a one line comment on the FL and a whole para on the ML. Remember him saying that AHS is the one to look out for so who knows maybe they changed the plot to make it focused on the ML. All the agencies involved and SBS have been making shady comments about this topic but it was always surprising that AHS was the one cast first but it is not a surprise that he is the one getting more promotion since he was cast first.

    • I remember that introduction promo. Obviously, they hype the male lead too much to the point that it’s actually annoying. An article said that there’s no meaning about the name order. And they’re doing it because AHS has been waiting for that drama for almost a year. That reason doesn’t make sense. And is it important who they cast first? I remember the news back in April 2020 that AHS got an offer for the role. But that time also, Yoo Jung is in the midst of filming another SBS drama (BR) So I think, it’s not her fault on why AHS needs to wait for almost a year. They can cast another FL and not offer it to Yoo Jung if they will just disregard her. Name of order is very important in Korea. Remember the case of Kim Sae Ron?

      • If this is sbs way of promoting this drama, this isnt it. It just creates negative buzz before the premiere of the drama. Kim Yoojung was behind Ji Changwook in Backstreet Rookie and her character name is also the title of the drama which hasnt become an issue at all. And just by watching the teaser, im most curious about the male character having the red eyes so maybe he is the center of the story after all?

      • Kim Sae Ron isn’t a fair example because she was cast first but since the beginning the synopsis said it would focus on Jaehyun and Hyesoo. She and the other male actor were always the supporting couple so she should have actually rejected the drama when she got the first episode script and not after the script reading.

      • @dandyy Being attached in the drama for the longest time doesn’t mean you have to disregard those who just recently signed up. It’s not also the fault of those who just recently signed up that the production preparation took a long time. In Korean Ent. Industry, SENIORITY MATTERS. Not who signed up first. That’s why name order is really important. I just hope that the production and SBS considers the seniority of a female actor despite her young age. Knetz has the right to give their sentiments about this because it’s really unfair.

    • He got cast the minute he finished his doctor drama and won that best new actor award. They obviously wanted him badly for the drama and it is unfortunate he wasn’t allowed to take any new ones while waiting for this one to start. The fact that it took them a year to get a female lead is already sus and like you said on top of that promoting the male lead heavily. Maybe there was behind the doors casting for the female lead where everyone rejected it and sbs already offered him another drama even before they were halfway through filming this one. They obviously badly want him with their channel giving him 3 dramas back to back and his other drama is already getting more promo. Everything is sus but I also agree with the other comment about noise marketing.

      • I would be very surprised if there many young female actresses who would reject a remake of a Jung Eun Gwol novel directed by Jang Tae Yoo. It’s very normal that casting both leads takes a couple of months, especially if they were waiting for the FL to finish another project. What is weird is that SBS decided to announce Ahn Hyo Seop so early, but hopefully he put his time to good use and prepared well!

      • @ohauu Not a relevant argument because many high profile writers get turned down like KES and KEH. Why do you think this drama didn’t have its fair share of rejections? Just because it wasn’t made public doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We don’t even know if AHS is the 1st choice since this drama has been in pre production hell for 4 years. He was announced because he signed on 1st and they wanted to use his name to secure the lead actress and funding obviously. You’re assuming she was even offered the drama at that time when its quite possible she was only offered the drama when it was announced. Everything is conjecture except for the fact that his name has been attached to the drama the longest and he deserves to be respected for that.

      • @ohauu Not a relevant argument because many high profile writers get turned down like KES and KEH. Why do you think this drama didn’t have its fair share of rejections? Just because it wasn’t made public doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We don’t even know if AHS is the 1st choice since this drama has been in pre production hell for 4 years. He was announced because he signed on 1st and they wanted to use his name to secure the lead actress and funding obviously. You’re assuming she was even offered the drama at that time when its quite possible she was only offered the drama when it was announced. Everything is conjecture except for the fact that his name has been attached to the drama the longest and he deserves to be respected for that.

      • On twitter there were some rumors about the drama being offered to Kim So Hyun but no clue if it’s true or not because there was no official announcement and her fans didn’t really talk about it. They could have offered it to IU and Suzy too or even Nam Ji Hyun there was some mention about Suzy some years back. They could have turned down the role for other reasons not related to the character writing.

      • This channel has a weird notion for the word promotion. What else to expect from a racist channel.

    • Their noise marketing only results to controversy.The general public in Korea are questioning the name of order because they also find it unfair after they release the script reading video.

    • Not like this drama has any relevant competition for it’s timeslot. What is the point of this noise marketing and swapping the names around on a whim? Even without this nonsense it’ll easily secure double digit ratings.

      • @Paperdoll The issue is about seniority. The billing of names. The order. It’s very important in korean entertainment industry. And they disregard that important thing so Knetz is making an issue out of it because it’s really unfair.

  4. Empress Ki, Queen Seon Deok, Dae Jang Geum all listed the actresses first even if the actors were more seniors. Koreans are not buying any reasons from the production. They can have their favorites but their audacity to disregard a more senior actress is really just rude.
    No hate to AHS and his fans.
    Just saying the truth.

    • I’m not defending anyone here but there are 2 primary rules about name order. Either seniority or ‘main’ character onwards. Basically the seniority is compromised if the ‘main’ character is the more junior actor which was not the case for Empress Ki since she was both the ‘main’ and more senior. Over here we are assuming it is the same case but with the way the channel is behaving it may not be the case but who knows. Until the drama comes out this will remain unclear but pitting the leads against each other 3 weeks before the drama releases is very negative marketing that leaves a bad taste and personally I don’t like the tone of statements that are being made right now.

      • I understand you. I also don’t want to be negative. I just really want fairness for female actors in the K ent. industry. Not just for my fave actress.
        And in HCG, obviously, the female lead actor is the senior in terms of acting career, and Hong Chun Gi the novel is the name of the female lead which is the main focus of the story. And because I also saw the general sentiments of knetz about how unfair it is. But I still root for the drama of course and I hope they can give credit where the credit is due.

      • The obviously changed the English name to lovers of the red sky for a reason. The red sky is supposed to be about male lead character specifically because of his eyes.

      • @Ice Actually I think the english title comes from the hanja of Hong Chun Gi, which more or less translates to “secret of the red sky”!

      • @ice Having that english name doesn’t reflect anything. For example Dong Yi in English it’s Jewel in the Crown. Dae Jang Geum is Jewel in the Palace. They just used those English name to make it more relatable on I-fans

  5. I’m happy that the Netizens are siding KYJ and said she deserves better! Because she does! She’s way more better at acting and ASH never was good in a sageuk before…

  6. What’s new.
    Kim Yoo Jung is a female.
    Ahn Hyo Seop is a male.
    I will not be surprised if AHS has a higher salary in this drama than hers.

      • @Angel Wouldn’t even be surprised, just another day of men being paid more than women despite having less experience. @Bid KYJ also has a Baeksang (popularity) and I’m not sure what metric you’re using to judge AHS’s international popularity, but she has more instagram followers (if that’s the right metric?)

      • More popular internationally? LOL. Yoo Jung is more popular. Please wake up. And his Baeksang Award is covetable. It is not even closed to Best Actor nomination.

  7. @dandyy Being attached in the drama for the longest time doesn’t mean you have to disregard those who just recently signed up. It’s not also the fault of those who just recently signed up that the production preparation took a long time. In Korean Ent. Industry, SENIORITY MATTERS. Not who signed up first. That’s why name order is really important. I just hope that the production and SBS considers the seniority of a female actor despite her young age. Knetz has the right to give their sentiments about this because it’s really unfair.

    • yep, this is only controversial to international fans. there have been 3 threads on theqoo just today with over 1000 comments each, and there was an overwhelming consensus that SBS messed up the name order.

      • I’m going to go with what Bones said above. We don’t know what the plot actually is so we don’t know if the name order is messed up or not. There could be a reason why they did that but they don’t want to reveal it.

      • @MM they hid many controversial things about JE which ultimately caused it to get cancelled. Would not be surprised they’ll do the same again but already they’ve caused controversy.

      • It’s really controversial in Korea. Koala posted it so I think it’s also controversial internationally.
        But yeah, Knetz is not happy about the name order. Like what I said, seniority is really a big deal in korea. I love KYJ so much and I like AHS as well. I’m happy that they finally work together. So I hope the production and SBS can resolved it peacefully.

      • yep, we’re going to have to wait and see when the drama comes out for sure. The arguments knetz were making was that KYJ was the titular character, she has more name recognition, she’s his senior by more than 10 years and the novel is female-centric, though they might have changed it in the drama so we’ll see!

    • Actually the planned or proposed schedule announcements that production houses circulate internally has always had his name in front. They never changed around the names in that no matter how many times they changed the schedule.

  8. Pingback: K-ent Discusses SBS Toggling the Name Placement Between Leads Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seob in Various Promo Materials for Sageuk Red Sky – SanIsidro

  9. Reminding me the name placement debate of Kris Wu and Yang Zi of the Chinese drama Golden Hairpin last year…
    Well, after the hot debate, we can’t even watch that drama….

    • That was justified because Kris Wu was ultimately given more screen time because his fans demanded it. Not that it matters anymore since that drama will never see the light of day.

    • Ignore this attention seeker.

      my input is for everyone to wake until the drama airs and then we can see which character the drama focuses more on in the first few episodes. Let’s enjoy the drama and not focus too much on billing although it’s also somewhat important. A good quality drama is the most important priority, I hope it’s great, I’m happy to watch ❤️

  10. Actually SBS is just bullshitting because in all their promos Ahn is first-billed. So KYJ got the short end of the stick here. I didn’t even expect this to be an issue. I naturally thought that Kim should be top-billed, without question. But… well Ahn’s agency probably has some power or it’s just inherent discrimination again in the entertainment industry.

  11. If this drama get flop, kim yoo jung will took all the blame. If this drama hit big male lead will get all the credit. Some of his or her fans claim without noise marketing this drama easy to get double digit rating. Dejavu backstreet rocky btw.

  12. i thought no one will discuss this, lol. my opinion is…the hong chun gi title is just for promotion and to respect the novel title. and i think they already change everything to make this drama to focus on the male lead. it is so obvious already that ahn hyo seop will be the centre of the drama. from the casting news, the tittle news in naver, the casts’ name position in naver, we can say that almost everything, ahn hyoseop come first. even for the stills, haram pictures came out first in the naver news. only international media that put kimyoojung name first. i think maybe his agency has invested in the drama. coz last tym i checked, I’ve seen someone mentioned that some of the side casts are ahn hyoseop label mates. so it’s no surprise if this drama focuses on ahn hyoseop characters. After all, his characters are more interesting and related to the fantasy element. additionally, i noticed that korean writers like to write ROMANCE sageuk in such a way that the male is the focus of the story, and female needs to be saved like almost everytime.

    • ???????????
      They’re done filming. And base on what you said, I feel robbed. They might totally change the story of the Novel, to the point that the Hong Chun Gi drama title will no longer makes sense. They just retain it for the sake of the Author’s original work. Like what you said, they’ve been consistent in the promo about AHS always being the first to be mentioned. But I’m still hoping it’s not, though you really have a lot of point and the eveidence is clear. ??
      No hate for the actor. I’m just so sad as a fan of KYJ. I really thought from the start, it’s female centric, but I think they really changed it? I hope I’m wrong.

    • This is accurate, there are a lot of behind the scenes maybe including agency and production company sponsoring the drama. If AHS agency is one of the production company, then they would have a say in making him stand out and even on the name order. I remember the case of Jo Byeong Gyu, who was still in the midst of the bullying issue being offered the ML in a drama. And it was found out that his agency is one of the production company behind this new drama. Sometimes its not just acting ability, seniority or even popularity… it can also be the power, influence and money behind the scenes.

      • @chie
        this is just my assumption. just pray for the best that kyj also got equal screen time.

        @n
        there’s a possibility that his agency invested in this drma, so that’s why ahs always come out first. but another thing that I’m thinking is, did the pd and the original writer also concurred with ahs as the 1st billing? why i had a hunch that everyone in the production team was in an agreement to make ahs as the top billing? coz this problem will not be happened if the pd and original writer disagree with this. i excluded the screenwriter coz maybe she’s the one that changed the story into male centric. they shouldn’t use the title hong chun gi in the 1st place if the drama isn’t a female centric. anyway.. this is just my opinion. now let’s wait for the drama airing to see if the drama is truly a male centric one.

  13. SBS deserves to be called out. What a lame excuse that because the male lead was cast first and waited, he should be on the top billing. I love Hyo Seop but SBS/production is plainly being rude. Seniority is the one who matters in this issue alone.

    • SBS making knetz mad as f*ck from last months because of historical distortion and this time, because of name order controversy. The JE controversy is much bigger I guess, but I can’t blame Knetz for being so protective of KYJ. They don’t want her to be treated unfairly. Name order is truly a big issue in the K-Ent. industry. I hope they don’t disregard female actor who is obviously way veteran than the male lead. No hate of course, just please be fair.

  14. I was actually surprised that after SBS released the script reading video on their youtube channel, most of the comments are about the name order of the actors. Many find it so unfair that KYJ, the titular role is just next to AHS. No hate to AHS. It’s knetizen general sentiments not by KYJ korean fans itself, so this is really another red flag from SBS. Their is also an article made regarding it. Her agency, just said “no comment” on this issue.

  15. The name order shouldn’t have been a question in the first place, when the title role is that of a woman. SBS, what a liar.

  16. Another drama of my girl which it seems i will have to watch without popcorn but stress medication

    Tired of all this mess everytime my girl is going to make an appearance on air

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