Age of Feeling Faces Filming Halt as the Cast and Crew Ponder Quitting Due to Unpaid Wages

With the juggernaut that was You From Another Star ending two weeks ago, last week the Wed-Thurs ratings game rejiggered itself and the problem plagued KBS drama Age of Feeling (Inspiring Generation) actually came out on top though it was by slim margins over second place Three Days and third place Sly and Single Again (Cunning Single Lady). That’s still nothing to scoff at since AoF has been unable to deliver solid ratings for such a big-budgeted production, plus the behind-the-scenes reshuffling from the departure of second male lead Kim Jae Wook, the writing-out and then writing-in of Song Jae Rim, and the very shady explanation given for the abrupt screenwriter change, this drama has been nothing short of a miracle it’s still airing. I seriously thought the shenanigans would lead to a Spy Myung Wol moment where an episode actually couldn’t be ready to air. I thought my snark was overly pessimistic but now it seems I was rather optimistic – the latest news about AoF revealed that the drama actually might not finishing airing AT ALL.

Turns out the drama hasn’t paid its production staff and even most of the actors for months now, and things are so dire that the production team has taken the bold tactic of talking to the media that it will quit the drama if the unpaid wages are not paid immediately. The production company has agreed to pay up by the 17th, but sources say the overseas licensing for this drama has been less lucrative than initially predicted and the promise to pay undue wages may not be rectified even by the 17th. This genuinely serious problem confronting the production came on the heels of an earlier news report this week about how the AoF production is pissed at second female lead Jin Se Yeon for double booking her drama commitments. Apparently her decision to do Dr. Stranger required her to take four days off last week for a location shoot in Hungary. The AoF team was brief beforehand and agreed to it, but she ended up returning a couple of days late which lead to AoF airing its grievances publicly against her. This drama, it really can’t catch a break EVER, can it? I really do like Kim Hyun Joong in it though! A silver lining, yes?

Anyone still watching care to offer up some thoughts as to how the drama is faring after the writing change?


Age of Feeling Faces Filming Halt as the Cast and Crew Ponder Quitting Due to Unpaid Wages — 53 Comments

  1. Wow. What would Anthony do?
    Seems like a bunch of conflicts that led to this hot mess and people are looking for scapegoats. Well, i just feel bad for everyone involved cause working conditions are horrible in kdramaland that this shouldn’t be all that surprising. I’m sure these problems crop up, but most of the time producers handle the issues without it being known to the public.
    My sympathies rests with KHJ the most — it’s a double whammy for someone like him who’s had a failed project in city conquest and now, perhaps another in AoF.
    Still following this show.. although my lack of disappoint/anger from the possibility of it no longer airing might show the altitude of love i have for this show.

    • Yes, I totally agree with you! I really felt sympathy for Kim Hyun Joong. He really works hard for this drama and he is totally rocking the role. Just compare his acting from his other dramas, just by simply watching KHJ here in AoF you can really see his improvement.
      I was also disappointed when I heard about the script writer and second lead leaving the drama abruptly, that alone made one hell of a burden to the production.
      I really wish that we can see this drama till the end. FIGHTING AoF!

  2. Well I feel bad for Kim Hyun Joong, he really worked hard at it when everyone expected him to suck. You’d he got a break after what happened with his previous drama! I started worrying ever since the writer switch & kinda got stuck at episode 6. Was even harder to go back to when i heard second lead was written out. The cast & crew are right to be pissed off its too much hard work!!

  3. lol this drama is such a hot mess. I can’t help but feel sorry KHJ and his terrible luck with dramas even if I’m not a fan.

  4. You know I think Jin Sae Yeon actually always do the double timing thingy. If I remember correctly (I may be wrong), she did the same thing shortly before her Gaksital series ended. Well she might need to take whatever is offered to her befote the offer flies to the moon. I don’t really enjoy her performances and think she’s very limited.

    I feel rather sad for KHJ though. His past few production choices have always been caught in some kind of troubles. Sigh.

    • Yeah, but,

      *spoilers if you haven’t seen Gaksital!!*

      she was killed off before Gaksital finished airing, so that wasn’t a big deal.

      I was surprised she picked up Doctor Stranger though, filming dramas back to back just sounds like digging your grave to me.

      • Part of the reason why her character got cut off was due to her accepted Five Finger while still do live shooting for Gaksital and without informing Gaksital crew’s before hand and they were not please about it. This is her second time.

        Fans might excuse her for taking drama before the other one ended but there are tons of actors (newbies, C, B, A lists and so on) who received offers while they’re still committed with other acting project, but why we only saw her keep doing that? and I’m not even talk about jumping to another project AFTER finished the other one. It gave of such ambitious character on her part and being unresponsible. She’s not a great actress to begin with and in fact, a very limited actress, so how do you expect for her to perform her best if she keep jumping from one drama to another at the same time?

      • I’m not a fan of Jim Sae-yeon and agree she is limited as an actress. I just thought that if they planned to write her character off (which as you pointed out, they didn’t), then I don’t see a problem with her taking on another drama. Do I think it will help her act better? Absolutely not, but it will get her exposure and I think that’s what she’s aiming for.

      • Well, it’s nice that she notified the production team beforehand this time around, but skipping out on four days of shoots plus the couple
        of days that she wasn’t allotted is unacceptable.

        Never mind the fact that she’ll be overworking herself—she has the right to take up whatever she wants to, but she’s gotta make sure that she can keep both sides happy.

      • Jin Se Yeon’s agency has said that Jin Se Yeon was cast in Dr. Stranger BEFORE she accepted and started filming Age of Feeling, where she was a last minute replacement for Kim So Eun who dropped out. So much he said-she said going on here.

      • Koala: we would never be sure of that claimed. If she got offered before she accepted Age of Feeling, then how about Park Min Young? PMY was offered for the role and rejected and then we heard news on JSY’s casting and that not too long ago and definitely after the AoF airs.

        I suppose, it depends on how we see things. Some people (fans obviously) are strongly excuse her for being hardworking and such. And yes, that’s not wrong to keep working if she can manage her time and health plus to get as much exposure as she can. But personally, and I’m speaking of my own point of view in case if people come and argue on this, I can not take her seriously as an actress who is really focus on improving her craft by keep filming for 2 dramas back to back when she is a limited actress to begin with.

      • Apparently, this is not her second time for double book her filming. It is the third time. My Daughter Flower + Gaksital. Gaksital + Five Finger. And now.

      • @koala – I highly doubt that is true, sounds like a load of agency bs to me. Are we really supposed to believe that JSY was cast so far ahead of Lee Jong Seok, the actual hero of the drama?

        Or that once they did offer the role to Park Min Young who’s a much bugger star, SBS just HAD to get JSY back even though her other drama was still filming? Did every other actress in kdramas just mysteriously vanish or something?

    • You aren’t wrong. She took up Eunjung’s role in Five Fingers after they abruptly dropped Eunjung due her group T-ara’s bullying scandal while she was still filming for Gakistal. I completely agree with you, I am not a fan of Jin Sae Yeon at all, her acting is limited at best and she simply isn’t interesting to see on screen.

    • In case for those who are wondering, the filimng of dr. Stranger was delayed so JSY accepted AoF. Naturally DrS offered the lead role to another actress but when that didin’t pan out either they went back to JSY bec AoF will be finishing by april while DrS starts may. And people shouldn’t be criticizing JSY as she’s only doing her job, if anything tell on SBS or her talent agency.

      • Er, sorry but why can not we criticized her on this? yes, her agency plays BIG part on making decision but they can’t totatlly forced her if she does not want to do that either. Or are you implying that she is always 100% forced and in a some kind of slave contract?

        And if she got offered but didn’t take it (otherwise they won’t offer to another actress) and accepted AoF and then, we are back to square one aren’t we? she had no responsibility to take both dramas. And only means, she confirmed for the Doctor Stranger AFTER Park Min Young rejected and that only happened last month. And do you honestly think that the casting confirmation had made that way early? even the casting confirmation for LJS happened not long ago and doubt that Park Min Young is the second choice after JSY.

      • And please don’t throw the ‘she is only doing her job’ kind of excuse you fans always use. It won’t be her job in the first place if she is not keep taking them both on the same time. Some even ridiculously made excuse such as actors and tv networks should be thankful of her since she help them when other actresses rejected the offers and the dramas in dire need for actress o.O so, she is being. volunteer worker plus actress?

      • Having slave contracts are not new in Korea – though I’m not saying that she’s on one. Also, basically what you’re implying on the other hand though, is that JSY has enough girth as an actress to TURN DOWN offers all by her own. In Korea, actors/actresses do not shop around roles they wait for the offers. For a rookie actress like her, will she be able to refuse a lead part when it’s offered right at her? Will her agency even support her on that – especially with the current financial woes that her current production is facing?

        Yes, you’re correct, you can criticize her, but to me, you’re simply “rolling your eyes” as if you have any say to what she does with her work. You’re just a spectator, and I doubt you’re even contributing to the ratings which ultimately pays her and the production. Yet, you’re so pompous right now as if you’re holier than thou, because GASP she missed two days of shoot because KBS is on the brink of a LIVE shoot. Talk about SLAVE conditions.

  5. Oh no! For the sake of the cast and crew who are still enduring to film this drama despite the off-screen issues, I hope they get their pay soon.

    I’m still watching this drama. But I’m finding (since the writer change) the plot or the focus of this drama has changed too. Sometimes I wonder if the drama is about KHJ’s character or about the Japanese characters. There’s more screen time for the villains or the not-so-lead characters, and yet up to now I’m still not clear as to who really are the bad guys or who are on the side of KHJ’s character Shin Jung-Tae. Every episode so far has 1 or more of Shin Jung-Tae’s fight scenes. Is the only way to tell someone is a hero by fighting other people? I think there’s too much fighting, making KHJ appear stiff in the other scenes where he shows up.

  6. This is ridiculous! The cast and crew are working so hard and are not getting paid!? I would have bounced long ago, I know that sounds a mess but people have families to feed.

    It is also a mess because honestly, the last 2-3 episodes I have really come to enjoy; sad being as though it came more than halfway through the show. However, if the show stops all together I will not cry any tears— I just need people to get what is due to them.

  7. I thought Jin Se Yeon is the main female lead….as KHJ’s character is in love with her….correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not watching it..just read some recaps…

    At least, the drama showed that KHJ can act efficiently..

  8. And also what’s up with Kim Hyun Joong fans? They have not created enough buzz I guess for their oppah this time, I don’t see them pushing the drama on the top of any popularity survey not enough comments on any drama sites. I guess most of them would still prefer Kim Hyun Joong to portray flower boy roles. Another thought of mine is that Key East made a mistake by pushing Kim Hyun Joong too early to always take the lead role, he should be getting more acting experience by taking second lead role, just saying not meaning to offend KHJ fans.

  9. What is going on with this drama? I guess alarms should have been going off when KJW left, but this is crazy. Also, did they really think this was going to sell overseas just because KHJ is attached? I haven’t watched it, but I doubt a drama advertised as patriotic would do well abroad.

  10. So what that would end it at 20 if they stop filming next week? that’s only 4 left hopefully they work the problem out. I’m actually liking this drama a lot even with all the behind the scenes drama going on and I can’t believe how much khj has improved. Plus song Jae rim has been a new obsession of mine since he did moon.

  11. This boy KHJ he better go some where and light a candle, say a prayer or something because of all this bad vibes surrounding his wrk is going to get to him. My poor baby ;(
    Ps.. I was also like wtf happen with KJW!? Thank you Ms. Koala

  12. I really enjoyed this drama 🙂 especially Kim Hyun Joon n he’s really doing great in his acting and wish that we can watch this drama till the end^_*:) Hwating! !!

  13. I hope they will finish it until the end ‘coz everyone can see that KHJ had been working alot in terms of acting for this show. The great quality is still there tough the plot seems to be shaky.

  14. I have only been following this Drama through Twitter commentaries and blogs like this, but was pleased to hear of KHJ managing to impress former critics with his improved acting. Nevertheless, I can’t share the sentiments of those who who say they feel “most” for him in this situation. The people I feel for most are the crew, the ordinary wage slaves for whom not getting paid is a much bigger and more immediate blow than it would be to a performer like KHJ. The ugly mess is yet another example of what’s wrong with the live shooting system, and as much as it might be a shame for KHJ’s performance to be curtailed, I hope the unpaid crew DO stick to their guns and force a shutdown until natural justice prevails and they actually get paid for their work – I’m QUITE sure the producers made sure to pay KHJ at least something upfront.

    • Agreed. Kim Hyun Joong has popularity and therefore power. With his fanbase alone, suing the production company would get the case attention and probably everyone on his side. Which, of course, would be fair, since the man deserves his pay for the hard work.

      However, actors in smaller roles and the faceless crew are not as lucky. They are already getting horrible salaries, if any, for working just as hard and some probably even harder than the actors.

      And audiences get a good series ruined in so many ways.

      It just has to stop. Make pilots, test-screen, pre-produce. Whatever methods they’ve constructed to make money out of the mess that is the Korean drama industry, I am sure they can adjust them to both make the same or even more money without this horrible live filming system, bad planning, running budgeting and aaaaall the rest of the crap that comes with.

      • The production team was betting for the overseas sales but it looks like this drama didn’t sell well as hoped.
        I’m sure KHJ will get paid for this but it’s the crew that won’t. Yeah KHJ seems to have bad luck in dramas…sometimes it just really boils down to luck and timing.
        Take 2pm Taecyeon. He’s an awful actor and has no earnestness to him at all, yet his dramas where he plays supporting roles always manage to get high ratings. It’s just really luck. Though I am hoping his streak breaks, because he’s really bad at acting.

      • I don’t think people are concerned about KHJ getting paid…they are more sympathetic towards the situation because of what happened to his last drama and it would be sad for him because his name will always be tied to such controversial BTS issues, even though none of them are his fault. He’s been working extremely hard (as well as the rest of the cast and crew, I must say) and has been praised for his professionalism, so let’s hope everything works out in the end.

    • Yes, it’s slightly bizarre that everyone’s so concerned about KHJ receiving his pay, when Keyeast probably demanded it in advance. The producers would have to give in if they wanted a ~star~ to headline their show. It’s the minor supporting players and the long suffering crew that should have our sympathies, tbh.

      • Who’s the “everyone’s so concerned about KHJ receiving his pay”? From this board, it seems most people just express symphathy for him and there’s nothing bizarre about that. It’s a normal human reaction in this kind of situation.

    • I agree with you as 100% of my sympathies lie with the crew and the low-paying staff. I hope they get paid what they are due but i’m doubtful it will happen.

  15. It sucks when they do not pay you for your work.I know by experience.My former boss didn ‘t pay me for 6 weeks and i lost my money.I hope the workers of AOf will not have the same ending with me.I dropped the drama long ago but I wanted KJH to have a good luck with this drama.To me the main reason I dropped it was that second lead actress ,sorry i do not know her name.She is a very beautiful girl but for a reason I find her annoying. SPOILER for Bridal Mask or Gaksital .What happened to Bridal Mask to her character left me 100% satisfied.

  16. This story is a mess. My sympathy to Kim Hyun Joong. Good luck to his next project. I really love him in Boys over Flowers.

  17. I think the one that should really be worrying about the future of the drama is Yoo Chun. Let’s take a look the advantages he enjoys:

    – Exposure: YC was in 5 dramas+ 1 movie the last several years
    – Lead-in: 3-day immediately followed a drama with 28% final rating
    – Scandal: groupies creating smearing campaign against competition

    With all these assets, he should be riding all the way to the top on his very first episode and stayed there for good. Instead he managed a #2 after 3 episodes. Umm. If I was the investor to Three Day, I would be really worrying about my money now.

    Well, at least YC is a better option for action drama than the one who showed off his pelvis instead of six-pack like other normal Korean actors do.

  18. @Didi, totally agree with you about TaeCyeon, this poor chap CANNOT act if his life really depended on it, and in Wonderful Days he has to act “ANGRY” oh pleeease… Just have to fastforward all his scenes. Never kept-up with AoF, but more fun reading about it, esp. the comments… (^^) And Kim Jae Wook left even before starting our watching. :((

    BTW, can’t tell the two actresses apart, they need to have more unique looking actors/actresses who can also ACT, ACT, ACT…

  19. It’s not really inspiring after all I guess. Feel sorry for Kim Hyung Joon’s been through. All his dramas lately have been a drag to his career. :/

  20. I find the fighting cool and really like the series. I hope that it ends up finishing. I’m a big fan of KHJ and feel really bad for him that the projects that he takes seem to have a bad omen to them. I think he acted really well in this series and would like to see that all his hard work was not wasted by having the series end abruptly. KJH fighting!!! 😛

  21. Dang. I feel sorry for Kim Hyun Joong! I hope he doesn’t decide to give up on acting after these last two projects he’s age that hasn’t worked out as Jang Geun Suk did when. Pretty Boy failed. I started AoF because of KHJ but it’s not really my genre so I’ve just had it on the back burner. Watching your screencaps though tempt me to pick it back up but with all this behind the scenes drama and the danger of it not being completed, call me a coward.

    • Don’t worry, he definitely won’t give up in anything.
      He has a very strong and tough personality, all these obstacles will make him even more stronger.

      I’m 100% sure this drama will continue and finish.
      This news wasn’t true since the first place.
      It’s been doing totally fine with around 12% rating,it had been no.1 in it time slot since YWCFS ended until 2 days ago with only 0.1% lost to three days(AOF 12.6%, Three days 12.7%)

      I wonder why this blog almost never report any positive news about KHJ…
      But always fast and efficiency with bad news or unconfirmed rumor….

    • What exactly do you mean – JGS giving up on acting? Hmmmm I don’t think so, Jang Geun Suk has been acting for 18 years now, he is brilliant as an actor, koreans & international audiences agreed on that. KBS featured & described him recently as a TIMELESS ACTOR in February issue of K-Wave magazine. Pretty Man did pretty well in overseas sales & he’s preparing for coming fan meetings for it in China & Japan.

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