Eric Reveals His Thoughts on the Filming Spy Myung Wol

After staying mostly silent through the most disruptive behind-the-scenes occurrence to befall any K-drama, the leading man of Spy Myung Wol finally expressed his thoughts. Eric tweeted a very lengthy message yesterday that contains both his personal feelings and a first-person-account of what he experienced on the set. (the fan site for Eric’s idol group) translated the entire tweet. For folks following the story, I suggest reading to get a fuller picture of what transpired, which may temper or alter some of your opinions.

A dramatic reconciliation…? We all came together and pushed ourselves to work hard after Miss Myeongwol left the country, for the three reasons that the drama had to go on, it was like a promise with our viewers, and there was the reality of our monetary contracts. But now, I think no one will feel very comfortable knowing that we will have to go back to shooting the drama like nothing happened. I’ve never talked with any newspaper about my views, but I saw a lot of articles writing about them. Actually, in large incidents like this, I believe that, rather than reveal my views on the matter, it is better to let the public judge the facts according to their own values, and also that there is no one purely good or purely evil. However, to talk of my thoughts on the most misunderstood facts in this incident: Was the script rushed? No. As we added a new writer we had to edit one or two scenes due to the story’s continuity with the Singapore scenes, so we got new edited versions of the script for those scenes. But we always had the script handed to us in advance every week, and we could even read it faster than that if we wanted to at our team’s online cafe. Was there any discord with the director because of his abusive language? We always ask our director to talk to us comfortably like we are his juniors, but he always uses the polite form when addressing us. Did Myeongwol go through difficult times because the shootings lasted all night? That is true. She had a hard time near the beginning, and once she sent a photomail text message saying she was going to be late because she was getting an injection for fatigue. The public statement written by the staff? That is true. I believe all members of the staff and the actors who were on the scene yesterday and the day before checked the facts and signed the document. I think they did not reveal the actual statement with the real names on it in the article because it was to be read by the public. It would have been better if we could have taken care of the problem and wrapped it up between us, but it’s come out into the open, and now I believe it is up to the public to judge. There is no need to point fingers, but any misunderstandings must be cleared, and that part was a misunderstanding on the part of the staff and writer. I hope my words serve as sufficient evidence, as I was on the scene every day. I also feel sorry about the conditions we had to shoot the drama in; all the other staff members and all the other actors will probably feel sorry for that also. In my opinion, we must first decide for whom we wish to improve the conditions for. Is it for “me,” who has already received the due wages for the work being done, or is it for the “staff,” who work harder for a longer time than us actors do for less pay? Or perhaps, is it for the future of our “juniors?” Many of you say that dramas should be filmed in advance, before it starts airing, but that is not easy because of the costs of production and drama time slots. There are many dramas which are filmed in advance and yet experience losses because they cannot get a time slot. I also want my future juniors to film their dramas in better conditions, but, in my opinion, more than my future “juniors” who I haven’t met yet, the staff members who I work closely with every day are more important. I know that this is not an easy problem to fix unless I become a high-level executive in broadcasting, found a production company and produce dramas with the knowledge that I will be incurring losses, or else someone good enough to do it himself appears. So as a powerless actor I don’t have many options I can take; the only thing I can do is show some appreciation for those working with me for less compensation by comforting them at the scene, giving them presents such as team uniforms, or treating them to good food, etc. It’s hard to say I’ve filmed a lot of dramas in my career, but I can say for sure that the situation I am in now is not the worst of them all. Even more, after listening to the statements of Mr. Lee Sunjae and Mr. Lee Dukhwa, who are greater actors than I am and went through even more difficult times, I feel I am too weak an existence to dare shout out for a revolution. I hope those who are higher up the ladder lend their ears to the shouts of those at the actual scenes. Forgiving someone for their wrongs is a very faithful thing to do, but if you do not set the wrong right with courage, or if you ignore the voices coming from those who still bleed from that wrong, that is not “forgiveness,” but mere “acceptance.” “

[Credit: translation by]


Eric Reveals His Thoughts on the Filming Spy Myung Wol — 113 Comments

  1. Thanks, Koala, for your tireless updates! I’m glad Eric came out with the story, and it does add a new angle to things. Unfortunately, it looks like the team will have a harder time acting after the big brouhaha, which in my mind is really unfair to those who had nothing to do with it in the first place.

  2. For me my opinion both parties has their own fault, everyone has the responsibility to do their work, KBS and the producers should make sure that the working environment for the actors and the crew are in good condition to perform their job as to the actors and crew, they need to their job as this was agreed by them, so from this fiasco I think they learned something so that it will not happened to any other actors and crew as well.

    Thanks koala unni for this news!!! AJA

  3. Thanks for this update. Ever since the fiasco began, I really felt bad for Eric and the other actors and the crew because they are left hanging. I also don’t hate Han Ye Seul because she was almost willing to leave a drama production so something big must have happened. Or that everyone experiences a lapse in judgment. But this statement definitely does show a new side to the scandal. I was touched at Eric’s words about the crew. It might be scripted or what but still, to think of the crew first and voicing their concerns is such a noble thing to do. But it will be really awkward once filming resumes. I hope this would be the worst kerfluffle in the history of kdramas and the worst for Eric too.

    SMW, fighting! 😀

  4. I think I’m jumping ship from Team Ryu to Team Eric. I’m glad he cleared up a few misconceptions and via his own Twitter in his own words. His call for changes sounds so sincere too. The only thing Eric needs now is better luck with his dramas.

    Thanks for the update Ms. Koala!

  5. After reading this, my respect for Eric skyrocketed. I wish this man the best for his career.

    I wish everything will be alright now. :/ I hope HYS will be more patient despite the stressful work not just for the drama to finish but for the people behind the camera who are receiving lesser pay but still works damn hard. I also hope she’ll be in good health.

    In the future, let’s hope for a better working-environment for all of them. 🙂

  6. ooh. this layout is waaay awesome. it’s more readable and easy on the eyes. i love it!

    and i love what eric said.

    i do think one of the reasons why han ye seul “spoke” up or said and did what she did was because of her american background and mindset. not that it’s horrible to think you’re entitled to a few rights and rest, because i’m sure i would be tempted to do the same, but korea seems like a whole different world, and the entertainment industry there, a whole other universe, at least compared to the states’.

    what eric says is true. attempting revolution the way she did wasn’t the wisest, and on the whole, selfish. at least he’s an actor that admits to the perks of being an actor. i love being in the background for video and film productions, and i know the work that goes on behind there, so it’s nice that eric calls attention to that. he obviously knows it sucks occasionally to be in an actor’s shoes too, but he’s thinking way more broadly than han ye seul.

    the real problem behind the live shoot system is the korean audience and a lack in confidence when it comes to writing. korean audiences never seem to be satisfied with what they’re presented, so off they go complaining for the story to change, and writers and producers, if only they would have more faith in themselves and the stories they want to present.

    hope everything goes well for them as they finish off the drama.

    • I’ve seen a lot of people justifying her actions because of her “American” background. I think her background is irrelevant to the discussion. Any person would have done the same thing she did if she felt that she couldn’t tolerate it anymore. We are all selfish human beings and when we’re stressed, we only think of ourselves. There has to be more to this story, if she’s willing to sacrifice her career in South Korea. I honestly don’t think we have the right to judge her, because we have no relationship with her. We’re just annoyed that it disrupted the drama, and feel sorry for those who are involved; so just take a deep breath and get over it.

      • i actually really do think it was one of the reasons. there are certain things ingrained into the american people as they go through education and life here.

      • Hasn’t HYS been working in Korea for something like a decade? Why would her American upbringing suddenly be affecting how she works now and not before? In general I think people mischaracterize the American working ethic. Yes, Americans do have labor laws that employers and the law take seriously so naturally it is part of the working culture, but at the same time, Americans are workaholics. Americans tend to be entrepreneurial and that takes a 24/7 commitment. Of course I’m just a spectator, but I don’t buy that she somehow couldn’t hack it on the set of SMW because she has was raised in the U.S. Her actions seemed like those of a person having a break down.

  7. I find Eric’s statement rather ambiguous. Other than to say that he doesn’t have the power to bring about a revolution and that, with whatever power he has, he treats those around him well, what is he saying? He seems to be saying the conditions on the set were and were not poor (but no worse than other sets, which isn’t saying much since we know that most of these sets have pathetic working conditions), HYS was and wasn’t exhausted, etc. And what is this statement from the cast and crew? I almost wish he hadn’t said anything because it further fans the flames.

    • Yeah, he really didn’t say anything. “Well, they did work her through the night to the bone for a couple of weeks, but that really isn’t so bad.” huh?? It sounds like he doesn’t want to complain about conditions or rock the boat.

      • I’m with you, anais….didn’t get what he was trying to say. From what I gather, he’s saying no point fighting against the system, so forget about revolution. Also, treat the crew better by treating them to free meals cos they work equally hard with lower pay.

    • Same here. I guess I can see why HYS felt she had to be so dramatic. If every actor thought like Eric, then the conditions would never change. So it was perhaps a little more dramatic that usual, but hey, at least it got people’s attention. The statement he’s talking about is the “list” put together by the cast and crew of the supposed leeways that the PD gave to HYS.

      Given that the cast and crew belong to the company that is intent on suing HYS, um, I’m not too sure how it would work out.

    • By no means am I saying he wasn’t being thoughtful. It’s a very considerate message. Just not clear what precisely he wants to convey.

  8. Wow. That’s a very sincere and great statement.

    But why is HYS referred to by her character’s name? And what is the staff public statement he’s referring to? My google search turns up the Production Comapany’s statement(s), but it seems as if he’s talking about another statement by staff members, but also somewhat unofficial.

    I also understand how HYS could have just broken down and lost it and acted out, not thinking clearly. I once said before, that this whole thing didn’t seem very sane on her part unless there was an obvious contract breach by the production company.

    The episode 11 scenes with her were shot before the whole fiasco exploded. Imagine being tired, overworked, even after having originally asked for better work hours. And when she complains about how the initial agreement/understanding is not observed, the lines said right to your face about how “you are not the only one…etc etc.”

    I understand now why the Production Company, as Ms. Koala wrote earlier, said the PD was at a greater fault. Surely, stuff like that was meant to dig in at her as well.

      • Oh, okay thanks. I did read that stylist statement. It didn’t occur to me that he might have been talking about that.

    • The “crew statement” Eric is talking about is NOT the what HYS’s stylist said. It’s a list of 17 specific items of HYS requesting a change to the PD about her filming and/or drama, and that change was made for her. The list is signed by the crew of Spy Myung Wol, though the names have been redacted to keep the crew safe. Eric’s tweet confirms that the list is true, and signed by the crew. The crew is very upset with HYS and also wanted to clear up statements in the public that might not be accurate by releasing their own account. I’m not going to translate it. It’ll just fan more flames. At this point, HYS has her reputation shredded and she accepts it, so it’s on to make amends to the cast and crew for her and finish this drama.

      • I really don’t think her reputation is shredded. She’s going through a controversial situation right now, but if someone works you like a slave (and you did NOT sign up for it– no matter how many others are willing to work as slaves), then you stand up for yourself. It’s only a slave mentality that expects others to suck it up and work as slaves.

      • It doesn’t matter what you or I think. In the Korean entertainment industry, her reputation is in fact shredded. Actors there are held to standards within the industry (we don’t have to agree to those standards), and until something changes, what she did is not easily smoothed over in that small select industry. That is all I’m saying. You may not think poorly of her, but her reputation within the profession she has chosen is pretty much gone. Lee Ji Ah got eviserated just as bad for just having a secret marriage.

      • Even though I may be sympathetic to HYS and all the folks in this brutal industry, I would never hire her because I couldn’t guarantee reasonable working conditions and she, commitment.

        Even if there are others within the industry who sympathize with, identify with, and/or applaud her, I wouldn’t be surprised if those individuals also wouldn’t want to be on a project with her. She’s demonstrated that she can’t handle the insane demands made of actors, and her actions – justifiable or not – did cost lots of people a lot of money. That’s the current reality of the business. Hopefully, this incident also showed investors the potential costs of live shooting. Investors being spooked into thinking it less risky to pre-produce – that seems to be the most likely impetus for changes to the system.

      • I hate to say this but the Korean Entertainment industry sounds terribly judgemental and unfair. What a terrible place to work in, where people who things done differently are forced to do extreme things like what HYS did because no one else wants to rock the boat. I would go kaka.

  9. This write up seems more like a matured approach rather than he said she said kind of sayings. One thing i like that he pays attention to is his current situation and something that he can help with the daily staff who are paid only if the drama continues. Love Eric for his matured approach, screw how ever the drama goes, he is my hero for his stance.

  10. Wouldn’t they have shot some other scene that HYS wasn’t in if she was late or not coming? Haven’t the PD heard of lemons to lemonades? I don’t understand the “live shoot” thing…even the Hong Sisters drama, who everyone watches and loves, went through the same schedule shooting as well.
    I don’t particularly watch the drama anymore coz of the writing. It had a good premise before they started adding stuff to the story that doesn’t make sense like the tough Myung Wol fainting all the time and her becoming an actress or being weak, getting slapped around etc…but I still follow the recaps hoping for the writers to bring back the capable characters that we loved and anticipated for.
    Until then…I hope something good comes out from all that had happened. Be it in the story or their work condition.

  11. Hallu Koala. 🙂

    (OT: I think the new layout will be prettier with a slightly larger line-height on the comments section. Adding line-height: 1.4em; to li.class in the css file adds a bit of space between lines and makes them less crowded.)

    • Mary! I love your constructive design comments. I work on sites and this is so much better than “make is easier to read”.

      • <3 Thanks for understanding the comment.

        I was kinda nervous that people might think I'm uselessly nitpicking and being an ass on koala's playground. Then koala will ban me. And I'll die not knowing what happens to PTB and Sunshine angel *shudders*

    • Thanks, mary, but I dunno how to code. *is ashamed* I can’t go into the css file and fiddle around with it because I’m afraid I’ll tank this site.

      • Understandable. We don’t the playground to go mysteriously dark. (I imagine a loud “POP” and then the lights go out.)

        It’s looking nice.

      • Hi Ockoala,
        Just make sure that you copy the contents of the CSS file on notepad before you do anything to the file. So, when things go south, you can always have the ol’ CSS back 🙂 It’s not hard once you start doing it.

  12. I have wondered in the past, why not pre-film a series rather than go for live-shooting. Eric’s message has answered my question. Now I understand the reluctance of any company to pre-film a drama which may incur losses and may even never see the light of day.

    Perhaps the industry in Korea should carefully study their counterparts in countries which successfully pre-film their dramas, especially in relation to time-slotting – then adopt and adapt from those systems accordingly. Even if no major overhaul occurs in the short run, any improvement made to the cast and crew’s working condition would be welcome.

    Now comes the sixty-four million dollar question. Who would be brave enough to start the ball rolling and influential enough to keep it gathering momentum till the goal (ie. better working condition) is achieved? I admit that suggestions are often easier made than carried out.

    • Based on the current system I understand not wanting to take the risk of pre-filming, but can’t they start just a little bit earlier so that it’s not breakneck speed the whole way through, but maybe just towards the end? There are plenty of bad things that could happen because of a live shoot, but I just keep remembering the live airing of the final episode of the drama Signs and they royally messed that up. I’m pretty sure it was a production error because they were so crunched with time. How is that possibly an acceptable situation for making a show?

      As for changing the system, I’m cynical about these things so I don’t think anything will change just because somebody gets hurt or protest. I think for this system and these companies Money is the name of the game. If some brilliant entertainment business person can find a way to make a non-live shoot model profitable then things might start to change. That or if the broadcast stations get into producing their own original programming like the major networks and cable networks in the U.S. do….

  13. I watch this drama solely bcoz of LJW (yes, I’m team Ryu thru’ and thru’), and accidently watch/following this saga.. I personally hope and pray all actors and crews are professional enough to continue and completing this drama~ especially the disputed parties.. And solve the unresolved matter honorably..

  14. I think he talked, talked and nothing was really said. Aside I agree with the issue the staff work very hard and should gain more money for their work, only thing he cleared up was about his rumor and all… no guts!

    I don’t blame him, it’s his comeback with he say something that is shocking and create a scandal this is no good for him, he prefers to stay safe. I understand.

  15. I like this one better.IMO. Whatever style you choose doesn’t matter to me, the content is always the best.
    I like Eric and his honesty so I choose to believe him. Ms Moon did make a speech at 2010 KBS awards about how hard everyone works and how there needs to be change. This is just one story but there are other dramas being filmed and probably going thru some kind of hardship that we will never know about. So while the industry and us attack HYS, she is a drop of water in an ocean of actors and staff (including PD’s)that are being held to working in these conditions. There is nothing (nada) that we the public can do by voicing our opinions. That change will have to come from the Korean entertainment industry. I believe people are just venting because we don’t know more than what we read. Korean actors choose this life when signing on the dotted line so let’s just wish them luck and that they pray for change.

  16. “I think he talked, talked and nothing was really said. Aside I agree with the issue the staff work very hard and should gain more money for their work, only thing he cleared up was about his rumor and all… no guts!”

    Totally agree.

  17. Though I feel for the actors and staff of SMW, I would like them to know that what has transpired is an opportunity to show what great persons and/or actors they are. In the long run, they’re in it for the public and we will appreciate all their efforts in making the continuation of MSW seamless for the viewer and future generations who will watch on the www (and not be aware of the “scandal” behind what went on). I feel safe to say that this must not be the first time something of this magnitude has occurred, though it might be the first time it was handled so publicly. Kudos to all those behind MSW who are going to put aside their issues and deliver a quality ending. My respect and prayers for all.

  18. Very disappointed in Eric right now, as I am the PD and all of the “suits” behind decisions. How many exhausted-IV-drips-necessary and accidents-from-exhaustion dramas will it take to make effective changes? The excuses for “WHY” are such short-term thinking and lack so much vision, planning, and constructive management, it boggles a sane person’s mind.

  19. i really do appreciate eric who though also raised in the US showed so much concern for both side by expressing his views intelligently, fairly and with utmost humility.i believe that he has no anger in his heart but to really work hard to finish a job that he was paid for.i feel thet he did a good job in pacifying a volatile situation.
    HYS is back i can understand a mistake was comitted but now she is back ,apolegetic and willing to work hard i think she should be given a chance and move on and finish the project.
    hopefully all will remain calm and forgiving.thanks to eric’s sincerity and humility.specially for being a peacemaker as well.

  20. *sigh* is it too pessimist of me to not believe in Eric? Dramas sometimes shed some light on what goes behind the scenes and for all I know, this statement could be released just because his boss told him to do so. Likewise, the stylist’s statement could’ve been ushered by another person. I hope you’ll also upload the stylist’s statement, just so it wouldn’t be one-sided. I’m glad I saw this article.

      • Because he’s the main actor and everyone speculating how he feels, what he thinks etc. The best way to stop this, if you give them something chewable. I think he just wants to get back to work and finish this drama asap.

    • In all the comments I have read in different forums, I didn’t see that much of an urge for Eric’s explanation. Maybe his fans have been dying to hear about it, as they would be interested anything Eric-related. If he wanted to get back to work, he could as well do it without this so called revelation, a day before the restarting the show with HYS. I find it strange how he expressed his opinion.

      • You have misunderstood what I said. Not ONLY Eric-related, how HE feels and what HE thinks of the situation, and this is only the net, I am sure his phone is quite busy nowadays just an example. Because the way he’s taking this is very important to the future of the drama, to the co-workers including Miss. HYS as well.

        I find only the timing interesting, but I can somewhat understand him, because I don’t think it’s easy to have her back on the set LIKE nothing happened. But I am also agree with you, that it was not in the right time. This is why I think he wants the work to be done, but doesn’t want to work with her. Of course, maybe I am wrong, and we all just speculating, we may never know what is the truth on either side. 🙂

  21. Amid all these hoopla, I admire how Eric has said his piece. Humbly, non-accusatory, fair and mindful of the real victims. True, everyone involved in the SMW production suffered because a few people (not just one) acted unscrupulously, greedily or unfairly. Eric hopes (as do I) that this occasion will be the catalyst for change in the K-drama production system.

  22. I like Eric´s statement. I don´t think it´s diplomatic or blank, I think he really points out what he should.
    He is being considarate, that all of them are working as hard as HYS (f.e), but he points her out as acting selfish, while she said it´s for making the conditions better for everyone.
    I don´t think he is being neutral or something. He is just sharp, with a smooth tongue. In my country we say that ´´ he is just slapping with a glove´´

      • Just to add something

        ΄΄In my opinion, we must first decide for whom we wish to improve the conditions for. Is it for “me,” who has already received the due wages for the work being done, or is it for the “staff,” who work harder for a longer time than us actors do for less pay?΄΄
        ΄I also want my future juniors to film their dramas in better conditions, but, in my opinion, more than my future “juniors” who I haven’t met yet, the staff members who I work closely with every day are more important. I know that this is not an easy problem to fix unless I become a high-level executive in broadcasting, found a production company and produce dramas with the knowledge that I will be incurring losses, or else someone good enough to do it himself appears. So as a powerless actor I don’t have many options I can take; the only thing I can do is show some appreciation for those working with me for less compensation by comforting them at the scene, giving them presents such as team uniforms, or treating them to good food, etc. It’s hard to say I’ve filmed a lot of dramas in my career, but I can say for sure that the situation …΄΄

        Isn΄t it clear already? He points out that HYS decided selfisly, thinking only about herself and ditching her about not being considarete against her colleaugues, and mostly against the crew, who compared to her (and him), have the same (or worst) conditions, while they get much less money than she or he get.
        Plus, i think he calls her arrogant, in the most gentle way he could tell it .
        (΄΄I feel I am too weak an existence to dare shout out for a revolution. ΄΄)

        @Irene , Greeks have proverbs about almost…anything..Lol

      • @vasou If I may add to all the thoughtful comments here(above & below) though I like ERIC as an actor I firmly believe his statement is a “cop out” negating any change which will entail conflict. Someone earlier mentioned something like “slave mentality” . . .

    • (΄΄I feel I am too weak an existence to dare shout out for a revolution. ΄΄)
      That is such a cowardly thing to say, specially if one believes there’s a need for change.

      I’m not going to express my opinion about what I think of HYS’s actions. I think Eric could have talked about her unprofessionalism if he believed her to be unprofessional, but to convey to us that she is an arrogant and selfish person, that is cheap.

      He says “΄I also want my future juniors to film their dramas in better conditions, but, in my opinion, more than my future “juniors” who I haven’t met yet, the staff members who I work closely with every day are more important.”
      There are lots and lots of actors and actress with that mindset, hence the continuation of live drama and its slavery schedules. professionalism is not only about being there whenever needed, it’s also knowing the worth of yourself and fighting for it. HYS’s scape to US might seem like an amateur move but it also shows how under pressure she was; and not to take heed of it, is Korean entertainment industry denial of the situation. As I’ve said before, there are a lot of actors and actress who think like Eric and even though they’re suffering they accept the situation with occasional nagging. But as long as some brave people from industry don’t stand for their right (in any method possible), nothing would change.

      And I have something to say to Eric. Buddy, if you want the situation of the staff you’re talking about get better, never is better than today. They are at the present time and a fight for them now, should happen now, not tomorrow.

      • At the end of the day HYS achieved nothing. Not only she didnt change a bit of this industry, but she also ruined her career. Let along that she came back, admitted her fault, and… came back to where things was. So, she made her revolution, and then… got it back (?)

        Revolutions in order to succeed, need wise thinking, and not spontaneous acts with bad effects. This probably will take it to more deep shit that already are.At least about this drama.

        If actors want things to change? All of them should ask for specific rules in their contracts (like she wisely did in the start), and they should sue the production companies that violating them.
        And at least one should make a start.

        I dont think that just because he is not making her mistakes he is coward. He is just wiser. He knows that this is not the right way to fight this system.

        Why believing she is arrogant or selfish is cheap? He, more than me or you, is affected from HYS´s action. He, the rest of the cast and the crew, do really have a reason to express their opinion, more than any of us. If this is his opinion, it is based of what he gone through

      • @ Vasou
        I’m not convinced HYS was thinking clearly from the beginning and decided to leave to make a statement about the industry. I think she was just having a hard time personally and it turned into this giant mess, but you say “At the end of the day HYS achieved nothing,” but I disagree. 1.She ended her career as well as ruined her reputation in the k-ent industry. That’s a sacrifice, something she gave up. 2. We are all here talking about this incident and the live shoot system which I’m sure lots of people in Korea are talking about too, even if this wasn’t expressedly HYS’ reason for her actions. 3. She did something to fight for herself however she could best do it at that time and in the frame of mind she was in which as an individual person is important for her even if it isn’t for the rest of us.
        Some people characterize her as selfish and arrogant, but I would bet she’s no more selfish or arrogant as any of us commenting here (or the rest of idols/actors). She’s a normal person like you and me and I can only think she must have been so scared however at fault she is for her actions.

        As for Eric, he seems like he’s just caught in the middle trying to make sure everyone knows he’s a good guy. I don’t think he was a coward for his statement, but it wasn’t completely sincere either. I believe he’s telling the truth, but that statement is as calculated as they come. Just because a statement is true, does not mean it comes from the heart and frankly that’s ok. The Korean entertainment industry is all about image and persona- image as a commodity, so I don’t blame him for safeguarding himself with this statement.

    • As a person who’s actually was born a little bit after a huge revolution in her country and had to look back and observe it day by day, I’m telling you most revolutions are not at all done with wise thinking and it’s exactly done by spontaneous acts. What she’s done made a lot of people think. Not all actions are perfectly done with crafted results and I don’t think HYS’s departure to US was a fully thought action. She might have been truly suffering, and I guess nobody was listening to her repeating the terms of the contract. There might be other reasons too. I don’t know about them.
      You say nothing has changed, but I guess stirring a subject in this scale is actually something. When you go from A to B and then return to A yet again, some might think nothing has changed but have you ever played chess? That happens there sometimes. The move counts.
      As you said, she did ask for specific rules in her contract, but why do you think she just left everything? Do you think she didn’t ask for her rights before that? I guess there are people like Eric in Korean Entertainment industry who’d said to her: you can’t do anything. It’s as it is. just go with the flow.
      I really can’t believe nobody asks for compensation for the long hours work which is not in the contract.

      Up to the point that Eric didn’t say anything I didn’t think of him as coward. I still don’t think he’s particularly coward. What he says is denying his rights and not standing for his rights.
      What HYS did might not be right way to fight the system, but I guess she fought in her own way, for her right, not fighting the system, and I respect her more for that than what Eric might supposedly do in the unknown future.

      BTW, I just get this feeling that Eric is rambling some stuff, and sweet-talking in general.

      • Since she repeatedly asked for this rules in her contract (which I fully supported) and they didn’t respect her, then she should sue them for violating the contract. This is big step one, and a wise think to do. Not only this will be a big ”hit” in the stomach for the production companies, but it also be a step forward, instead of back. Just like the Korean actor(don’t remember his name) that asked for the money of the 4 episodes of an extension of his drama. Even tho the amount was very exaggerated, he won.Why not HYS?

        What I am trying to say, is not that it’s bad that she ”revolute” against the conditions in k-industry, but about the way she did that. What she did had an effect to many people, not only to herself.And this is what I didn’t like.

        I would also point out another view that some people or even the actors themselves might have.When a celebrity is in the industry, he is fully aware of how these things work. They do know the bad and the good of this proffesion. They know that they might have to endure some strange things in order to get things done. Other people lose/gain weightn (Charlize theron, Kim Sun Ah), other cut their hair (Natalie Portman), other workout lots of hours , for months,to get the killer body (Gerard Butler), other have zero time to see their families,etc, etc. But its their choice to make. If they can’t tolarate this, they can 1) decline to project 2) change their job. Accepting/following this way of living, its a choice of their own, they are not forced.

        I also do come from a country, that has been through tones of hardships, Wars (WW2,Turk,Balkans), occupations(venetians,Ottomans), Juntas, civil wars…And revolute every single time. With wrong ways, and right ways.
        At the moment, it’s in the deepest shit possible. Yes, I am talking about Greece.
        An example is that recently, taxi drivers demonstrated about ”opening” the proffesion (means that everyone with a proffesional license can be taxi driver, while in the past they had to pay a huge amount (like 200.000euros) to get the ”taxi license”’).
        Not only they did strike (which is tottaly acceptable) but they…. closed the ports! So, what they did, really harmed other people, who are in the same shit as they are. No matter how right is what they ask for, how they are asking it, and who this is affecting, it’s wrong.

      • yay! that so insightful… thanks u guys i love this site becoz most of the people are quite mature and kinda dissect/analyze the situation… most of the people in soompi thinks that eric tweets are great( as of now netizen is bashing his tweets,(netizen are just pathetic).. but deep inside i didnt entirely believed it.. while the statement is true and it maybe sincere but ,still like the previous poster said.. nothing has been really said or done.. As for HYS, shes in deep shit..her only excuse is just she wants to keep herself sane rather than to be a suicidal so she ditch the set to fled for her dear life..but it turn out to be a giant mess.. THIS IS JUST SUCKZ!! nor HYS or the production to be blame. Its the damn SYSTEM in K-ent..

      • I don’t think of his act as cowardly. Rather, he understands and accepts his working conditions, and therefore (in a roundabout way), I think he is reminding other and future entertainers/actors that they chose this profession with the knowledge of the unhumane working conditions. So, in effect his statement “΄΄I feel I am too weak an existence to dare shout out for a revolution. ΄΄ holds true to their profession…..

    • Here’s when our difference of opinion shows itself more strongly. I actually believe in what taxi drivers did. If everyone or any group goes for their right, that would be a norm for people to follow the lead. I think that’s the voice of democracy. If closing the ports are illegal, the government will do something about it. If the government is corrupt and doesn’t manage stuff lawfully and rightfully, well I guess there’s no way left but for the taxi driver union to do what it deems right.

      You talk about the perfect thing HYS could do; apparently there are some reason why she couldn’t do it.

      • It’s not what goverment should do , its about what’s wrong or right. People, families, and whole lot of islands are basing their economies on tourism. Noone has the right to cut their income. In the island I live, 50% is tourism, and 30% agriculture. And tourism = summer season. Many people, can’t even get a job in winter, so their summer income, is the whole-year money.
        No taxi driver, can decide about that.
        If a taxi driver can’t tolarate competition, or think it’s being treated unfair (and Greek taxi drivers has the worst reputation in Europe, about how unproffesional they are ), it’s between the goverment and them. ONLY.

        Also , I disagree about the last comment. The fact that she didn’t do it, could mean lots of reasons.
        1) didn’t think of it
        2) had no contract that they agreed upon these requests
        3) God-syndrome
        4) Leaving from set having other reasons than harsh conditions.

  23. First. I don’t think he wrote this. Is it only a Tweet (or some)? No way. 140 chara? 🙂 But if he really wrote this, he is absolutely the most arrogant man I know.
    Is HYS selfish? Why? Because she had the courage of her own convictions and for her cowardly co-workers’ sake? She had feel herself humiliated and exhausted, she didn’t want to work like a slave. She asked and begged, they promised to change but eventually had nothing be better, so she decided to move… I think she’s really brave. Not crazy, but brave. I root for her.
    It can’t make quality work under the circumstances like this! And we all want good dramas, don’t we?

    • Not sure why you would doubt the veracity of author of this tweet, especially without understanding the available twitter add-on options. Have you ever heard of twitlonger? You might want to do a bit of research before saying “no way”. From what I recollect, almost all of Eric’s tweets in general are longer than 140 characters.

      • yup, @Ildi, if you have a twitter account you must know by now that there is thing called ‘twitlonger’.

    • First of all this is how I do ´´explain´ what he wrote. That doesn´t mean that I do explain it in the correct way, or I am sure about the way he is thinking.
      If what I wrote is what he meant, this makes him… arrogant? Woah!
      If I am not mistaken, what HYS did, did NOT affect only her, but a whole bunch of people.
      So when an action of someone affect some other in a great effect, YES, he can raise his voice about that, and that doesnt make him arrogant.
      If Eric, or any-random-Eric want this situation to stop,at least for his sake, in this industry or this specific drama, let HIM decide about it, and not HYS.
      She knew how K-industry works, she knew what kind of system the drama will use (live-shoot) and if what Eric said, they were paid for this drama already.

      • I couldn’t agree more. HYS may be a brave woman by doing so, leaving her career at stake, but of course when you’re doing a drama, things are not evolving only around you, it affects other people as well,but she did a wise thing by returning to Korea and finishing the shoot, Eric is just upholding and expressing his view, and I think he did that in a very professional way by not addressing anyone particular.

  24. I follow this issue since the beginning although I rarely make comment. I don’t want to take side here I’m just very concern about the working condition in Korean entertainment industry right now since I believe that was what triggered HYS to do such drastic act. I agree with others that there has to be a change in that working condition cause I believe there will be more damage in the long run if that condition won’t be improved. It’s true that one or two voice (of actors/actresses) won’t be heard (by the goverment or Korean ent. people in this case, just like what Eric said), but how about 10 or more actors/actresses voicing their concern about this matters. It will be better if they also materialized that into an act by doing some “hearing” or rally/demonstration/protest. But the most important thing IMO is the way of Korean viewers’s attitude/habit, to always so judgemental & critical about a storyline/plot of a drama, have to be changed cause this is what IMO started this issue. The PD/director has been demanded by TV Station to make a good rating so in turn they press for the actors/actresses & crews to give their best & work harder, harder even beyond their ability. But I know it wont be that easy to change the ingrained behavior and will take time. But as long as there’s a will there will be a way. Just a thought 🙂

    • And I don’t blame them if more and more actors/actresses taking project outside Korea (overseas) if the system/working condition didn’t improved.

    • And I don’t blame them if more and more actors/actresses will taking project outside Korea (overseas) if the system/working condition didn’t improved.

  25. I think I might get confused as an Eric-hater or an HYS’s fan :)) I assure you I’m not! I actually like him and find him both attractive and cute. I’ve got to watch HYS for the first time in SMW, so all my opinions are based on what I think of the situation, rather than being biased on any particular actor or actress.

  26. Han Ye Seul and Lee Ji ah should get together and start their own production company called Blacklisted Productions. They should make indie films for the international market…I’d watch what they make! 😀

  27. 1love
    When I said achieved nothing, I was reffering to her effort to change the industry. Maybe it would be better to say she (and in plural ) gained nothing? (Sorry my english is not good). What was the outcome? She pretty much ruined her career, she will probably ruin her bank account if the lawsuits come true, she admitted to be fault, and with the delay, they will work the same way as they did before in order to catch up the filming. Co-workers will think of her as thoughtless for leaving a drama in the middle of it, producers won’t pick her, etc…etc..etc… She gained nothing. And what she did, will change nothing in the industry as well. There is cruel statement that says ”History is written from the winners”, and sadly will be true here. Good intentions are not enough, when things are done in the wrong way.
    I , as a non-industry related person, don’t think she is arrogant. Selfish, a bit, thoughtless,a lot. Certainly NOT a diva as many others said. But for someone that her actions affect, she probably seems all of them.

    I don’t think that the statement of Eric makes him a good guy, or that this is what he is trying to show.I don’t think it’s safe either. (Coz no matter who’s side he ll take, netizens will always be ”on the other side”) . He is just a (sexy) smooth-talker

    • I think it will take time to see what effect, if any, this has on drama productions. Again, from my outside perspective I don’t think when she first ran away she was trying to make a statement, regardless of whatever she is now saying. Her actions were so erratic, I think it’s just been a situation that blew up in her face and she couldn’t handle it. I don’t think she gained nothing. If she felt like she was standing up for herself when she left, then that means something even if it’s just for herself and not the rest of us. Obviously, this is just my opinion based on what I’ve read so for what it’s worth….
      And Vasou, your English is great! 😀

      • That makes more sense, coz honestly, running away in order to make a statement, makes no sense (for me). Having a bad moment and reaching her limits is human, and even if she acted wrong, she tried to cover the wrongs by coming back and film again.
        Not only me as a viewer, but any other people will accept (at least more easily) a bad-moment of a break-down, and a sincere apology, instead of a ” I reacted this way to make a statement, no matter if there are lots of people hanging there due to my decision”

        It would be better if all people (not only celebrities) will use law to win their rights, instead of taking the situation in their hands believing they can change everything.

        @Thanks a lot, but I still need practise 😀

  28. And how much does this girl get pay per episode? I bet a lot of people make less than that per year. She’s been in the industry for how long? 10 years? She knows how harsh it is and yet she signed the contract. No one forced her to. Someone mentioned that usually the scripts aren’t complete upon contract agreement, but for someone who’s been in the industry that long should have expected it. And how many great actors before her have endure harsh filming conditions similar to her situation or worst then hers. Maybe because those actors appreciate the fact that they’re receiving a fat pay check, see how hard the production staff work for a lesser pay and they know their fans will appreciate their hard work.

  29. Eric is no coward. He accepted the pay and he promised to delivered.

    HSY on the other hand, caused a commotion and then fled. And then came back? If she felt so strongly about her stand, then why not take it to the very end. Maybe then, I’ll believe her…that she in fact reacted the way she did due to fatigue and exhaustion/unbearable working conditions and not that her irresponsible action was due to her thinking about only herself.

  30. Thanks for posting. That was well written. It doesn’t take a celebrity to walk away from conditions that they cannot work under. Although I agree that it is selfish on the surface, I’m sure she was beyond a point of return to make the choice that she did. Sometimes when we have a choice between depresssion/suicide or walking away, it takes a stronger person to walk away.

  31. sound smart, calm, sincere, educated. and for whatever reason his words comming out now, I think I kind of like him really now. Thanks Koala for your upload, and your page format is changed.

  32. EVERyone know that the industry of entertainment in ASIA in general are so damn crazy!
    they treat the people like they own them” thats sooo true!!!!
    but welll everyone knOWS!!
    and for my point of view the super professional actress””” knew it!!!!!!
    and she accept it!!!
    i insist! i feel bad for the others co-workers!!!! because of her selfinesh all that came!!
    that things never mind anymore! but really is sad alll this!
    anda that being an actor, (ess) singer, etc. is mean that your are going to be exploted!

  33. You know…I was going to let this go but am I the only one that is going to point out that Eric did in fact start a company to control Shinhwa’s activities? Yet he is claiming to be a victim of the system and unable to do anything?

    This statement is lacking. Eric, it would have been better for to you to stick posting 4D pictures and images of Shinhwa group chats on KakaoTalk rather than making a statement AFTER the situation has been resolved but since you have I guess one toeing the line and passive aggressively attacking your co-star is better than outright hostility.

    • hmmm what do u mean?? if so thats so hypocritical of him. i know hes a good actor but parts of his perspective..No, i dont buy it..

      “This statement is lacking. Eric, it would have been better for to you to stick posting 4D pictures and images of Shinhwa group chats on KakaoTalk rather than making a statement AFTER the situation has been resolved but since you have I guess one toeing the line and passive aggressively attacking your co-star is better than outright hostility”.

      u had me there.. >_>

      • I’m saying right…I guess that passive aggressive attitude annoyed people because he released ANOTHER set of tweets saying to support Ye Seul and he will scold her in private as her Oppa. Man.. (>_>) *Super Side Eye*

      • Why is bad to creating a company? He, and the rest of the group will handle their…own group instead of letting other managment companies to take care of them, they create their own. Where is the bad in here?
        With that, Eric and Shinhwa are not trying to change the system, but help themselves.

  34. I’m so loving Eric right now.^_^ i believe that his statement was partly sarcastic and is in fact aiming at the industry. although he downplayed the problems in their own production, there was no denial that there actually were problems. he said he was too weak a voice in the industry but he actually said his piece through social media where he knows he will be heard. this statement is very well thought out. he was able to pick on people without being blatant and i admire him even more for it. 🙂

  35. Thank you koala for the update! Ever since the chaos started, I was wondering why Eric didn’t give even a single piece of his thought, but as someone who isn’t new in the industry, he took a good step by being silent. I’m not a big fan of shinhwa or even Eric at the first place, but his statement manage to make me adore him. For certain people this might seems infinitesimal action, but for me,it broaden my view in certain things.

  36. He did another update…I guess that last one didn’t go over so well eh? LOL

    Eric’s tweets:

    “I hope that you continue to give Ye Seul your support. She may be the lead actress, but I personally wanted to get rid of the false accusations laid against the actors and staff who are at a lower level. Ultimately, Ye Seul made a mistake, but nobody can be a perfect human being, so I hope that her fans will continue to be a source of strength for her until the end.

    I, too, am planning to say what I need to say as her oppa during our team dinner tonight when it’s just the two of us, but I will be accepting her again like old times. We are not staff members who will be negatively eyeing her or anything now that she’s back. The slate has been wiped clean.

    The upper management of the production company, however, is completely different from us. I hope that everyone will just consider it as the mistake of one young woman and that those who were upset about it have come to terms with it. Please don’t over-exaggerate or misunderstand what happened. A lot of obstacles were in the way of ‘Spy Myung Wol’ and the viewer ratings are very low, but everyone, including Ye Seul, are all going to work hard to make the most out of it.

    Even though there are few, we are working hard for those who watch the drama with affection. We hope that there will no longer be any rumors being made so that we can all find strength again.

    PS – This controversy is over now that there’s been a reconciliation. I hope that it won’t be talked about anymore, and I’m sorry, but I’m re-tweeting this again. Any further misunderstandings and assumptions will only come back to hurt Ye Seul, who already has a heavy heart, and the remaining co-stars and staff, who must accept and move on.

    In short, just consider it simply like this: one woman’s mistake -> the disappointment of her co-stars -> her apology -> the scolding from the oppas -> and finally reconciliation.

    Please end all assumptions! Let us just film the drama!!”

  37. Thanks sis for constantly updating us on SMW news.

    Oh, how I love Eric for issuing this statement. From this statement, problems are very evident in the production. More than the actors, Eric feel for the crew. Live-shoot production has always been a big problem, so much pressure for the actors and more on the crew. Tho, Eric had explained why such a thing happen. It remains unacceptable when the health and well being of the cast and production crew are put in line.

    • More than anything else, I wish the bigwigs would look into this incident and in retrospect, see this as not only HYS’s unprofessional move but that they are also lacking in most aspects.

  38. I love Eric. So mature and articulate. He did make a stand. He chose to be a professional actor who considers everyone in the set. He knows what he signed up for and he is being accountable for it. You may say that HYS is making a stand but it is a bit selfish that her methods didnt consider the situtation of the other people involve in the drama. The End does not Justify the Mean especially if it will bring trouble and inconvenience to others. Sorry to say that because of this, but i consider HYS is not a professional actor.

  39. are you being racist here???

    flyingolfcart :
    i actually really do think it was one of the reasons. there are certain things ingrained into the american people as they go through education and life here.

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