Jang Geun Seok Leaves Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village Due to Tax Scandal

In a whiplash inducing about-turn, news just broke that Jang Geun Seok will henceforth NOT be in the cast of the upcoming tvN reality show Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village. The spin-off of the original concept show Three Meals a Day was supposed to air tomorrow Friday January 15th but will now be delayed a week until January 23rd in order for the production to frantically edit out all Jang Geun Seok scenes. I honestly have no clue how that will work in the scenes where he’s interacting with the other two sunbae cast members Cha Seung Won and Yoo Hae Jin. Will they be seen talking to a ghostly third presence off-camera? Or have truncated non-sequitur conversations?

Jang Geun Seok’s departure from the show came about with the recent news release that Jang Geun Seok was indeed found to have under-paid his taxes in Korea after he came under investigation last year. He has since paid all the taxes that he owes but the production of Fishing Village felt that it would be a distraction to the show were he to be on TV during this time. The vaguely worded press release doesn’t make it clear whether Jang Geun Seok wanted to leave, the producers axed him, or it was a mutually agreed upon decision. End result is the same – no Jang Geun Seok gone fishing.

It’s going to be sooooo awkward and obvious that Jang Geun Seok was supposed to be on this show. He’s on the show poster and all the previews highlight his involvement. This totally reminds me of the SBS/Five Fingers fiasco with Eunjung during the T-ara bullying scandal. She was on all the drama posters and even attended the freaking drama press conference only to be replaced with Jin Se Yeon before the first episode aired.

To this day if one does a search for Five Fingers it still appears as if Eunjung was the female lead based on the search results. Sometimes bad press isn’t always a ratings killer, my preference would be for the production to barrel through it rather than cut losses and run in such a clumsy way. Unlike FF’s last minute substitution, the production of Fishing Village will not be replacing Jang Geun Seok and will continue the show as a two-person cast with Cha Seung Won and Yoo Hae Jin.


Jang Geun Seok Leaves Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village Due to Tax Scandal — 44 Comments

  1. Poor guy, I believe he joined and endured the show to recruit back the popularity he lost. Now he’s left with no show and a scandal to overcome. I hope he gets a break soon.

  2. wow.. not only his appearance is getting weirder and weirder (i mean he used to be quite handsome but for the last 2-3 years i dont know its like something happened to his face) he is going from one failed drama to another and now this!!! i guess his u r beautiful days are over!

  3. JKS will survive this too. Since 2011 he has an unspoken ban to work for Korean ent.industry and only KBS dared to broke it. TVN are too weak to stand agains those sharks who rule in Korea.
    If someone thinks this is a mad theryjutcheck out all news about him – negativity breaks out every time he has a new project or starts to regain his populrity in Korea.
    Don’t think he will be crushed – he has Japan, right? And China. And Europe.
    Always with you, our Prince!

  4. Wow. Just recast him and delay the show altogether. I think it’s inane to only have 2 people in that show. I don’t know how exactly this format works, but having 2 older dudes in a fishing trip somewhere secluded doesn’t seem to be very exciting. Not that the premise was ever intended to be, but I sincerely believe that the appeal of the show wrested upon the fact that you have 3 dudes with seemingly different personalities. Losing JGS will upset that intended narrative and would sap the comedy out of it, methinks.

    And taxes, really? It’s not like the guy is running for a public servant position. How is that even scandal-worthy to boot him off the show? In contrary, I think it serves as publicity, admittedly it’s not positive, but if JGS intends to pay it in full anyway, then no loss in there.

    Korea and their preponderance with taxes is really strange.

    • Seo Jin made it work and they always have guests. Taecyeon didn’t add much to the show (and I think skipped a few episodes?) and it worked without him. This show isn’t that exciting to begin with actually. It will disturb the balance though for sure.

      Taxes are a big issue, though I think the bigger issue is celebs have to be seen “reflecting” over their scandals.

    • I totally agree. Get over the tax thing, seriously. I applaud people if they can avoid paying exorbitant taxes. Good for them to keep what they earned. This harming people’s careers for something so petty is inane. Let’s focus scandals (and public ire) on people who may have committed real crimes like rape or domestic violence. Just saying.

      • You applaud people if they can avoid paying exorbitant taxes? Really?

        The people who need to be exorbitant taxes are those that earn exorbitant amounts of money. They can perfectly well pay those taxes and do without, I don’t know, another fancy car or a second holiday home, while millions of hard-working average (or below average) earners who pay their taxes are the ones affected if the rich weasel out of their fair share.

        Unless you are advocating a society with no taxes? Or a society where the rich don’t pay but the poor do?

      • The max individual tax rate in S Korea is 38-41%. In the US it’s 39.6%. While you may applaud tax evasion, I ask you to consider that taxes pay for the safety and health regulations that we all rely on to make our day to day lives relatively safe. In the US, lower income individuals pay a higher % of their income to taxes that those in the highest tax brackets. I don’t resent that wealthier people have more money than me. But, I do resent that they are paying a smaller share than I to enjoy a safer life. I suspect people in S Korea may feel the same way.

      • You bloody serious? Do you even understand why the taxation system exists? It pays for healthcare, education, police, army, keeping yous streets clean, pensions and so on. Any tax invader robs his/her fellow citizens. I am not saying JGS is guilty, accounting mistakes do happen,but claiming that tax avoidance is now a real crime is ignorant as f@ck.

      • @m

        I personally don’t want to go on to a civics debate, but your statement regarding the ‘poor’ paying more than the ‘rich’ seems a bit troubling. Millionaires and Billionaires pay *more* taxes than your average joe, and no, 40% is not levied upon your average middle class citizen either, in fact, 40% in taxes is usually reserved to those exceptionally high personal incomes. I may be wrong, and therefore will welcome corrections, but I for one, certainly don’t pay anywhere near 40% nor even 20% or even 15% in taxes, and I can assure you that I’m definitely in the lower brackets. Also, a 40% paid by a middle class is still exponentially less than the 40% paid by a millionaire–that’s just in personal income alone too (ie salary); which is excluding other sources of income in which millionaires most often and certainly pay taxes into as well (ie stocks, investments).

      • @m

        And I can assure you that the millionaire/billionaire contributed more $ towards assuring his and the general public’s safety than you did.

      • @ Scientia

        Actually you’re leaving out a lot of important detail. The rich do face a higher marginal INCOME tax rate than the middle class, but the super rich generally make most of their income not through earned income but through CAPITAL GAINS, and in the US at least, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than earned income. That means that often, the middle class does pay a higher effective tax rate than the rich.

        Also, the rich can afford to hire the best tax attorneys and accountants to help them create tax shelters and exploit other loopholes in the tax code, whereas the middle class doesn’t have that option.

      • @nan

        Which does make sense as I’ve mentioned above. The rich pays at the higher 40% of their PERSONAL INCOME. Yes, they do make most of their money from Capital Gains, but then–so what? If the average joe start earning income through other avenues, then they will be levied equally just as the *rich* too. As far as PERSONAL INCOME TAX is concerned, the rich pays more. And that’s merely on % alone. The actual $$$ contributed is astronomical in difference.

      • @ Scientia

        I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. Are you saying it’s fair for Warren Buffett to pay a lower effective tax rate than his secretary? Even Warren Buffett himself acknowledged the unfairness of this.

        And what does the actual dollar amount have to do with anything? If a billionaire pays $2 in taxes while a homeless person pays $1, are you saying that’s fair? It’s the effective tax rate that matters for fairness, and the middle class often pays a higher effective tax rate than the rich.

      • @nan

        The Buffet rule, you mean? I guess we have to also consider that since most millionaires earn money from investments and investments in turn are taxed lower, to promote entrepreneurship–people who which in turn hires other people and effectively pay *more* in the grander scope of things–then yes, it’s fair. By the end of the day the millionaire still paid more money. Perhaps the poor paid a higher part of his or her income, but their contribution is still marginal comparatively. If WB contributed millions of $ compared to a couple of thousands as his secretary–then surely WB paid more taxes.


        Honestly this is an ongoing economic debate and I would rather stay away from it as we’ve already gone off a tangent here.

      • @ Scientia

        I strongly disagree that rich people with investments are “job creators” and should be taxed less. That is a common conservative view, but many rich people like Romney have their investments overseas in tax shelters or profit from vulture capitalism. And why should a trust fund kid who sits on his ass collecting interest or dividends from his trust fund have to pay less taxes than those who work for a living, such as an engineer or secretary?
        Of course Forbes would be against the Buffett rule, since Forbes is basically a mouthpiece for rich people.

        I know this isn’t a political forum but I feel really strongly about this. The rich around the world are already getting richer and richer as the concentration of wealth accelerates (read Thomas Piketty’s book Capital if you have time), and workers are often exploited and mistreated (read about all the Americans who can’t survive on minimum wage or all the sweatshops around the world). In times like these, I just strongly disagree that rich people should be paying a lower effective tax rate than the poor or working class.

    • Tax evasion is considered a moral crime in S.Korea especially since it’s pervasive among the rich and the Koreans hate people who try to weasel out of their fair share. For example, that’s why draft dodgers are so reviled, SK men have to serve in the military and those who try to get out of it and are caught are raked through the coals even if it didn’t “hurt anyone else” per se.

      In this case, it’s actually quite a huge amount – JGS reportedly paid $10 million (US dollars) equal to billions of won in back taxes. Try to calculate how much was under-reported for him to end up owing billions of won in back taxes, of which was paid which is admission that he did owe it. There’s the feeling of everyday ppl working hard for their average income and paying their taxes, making it harder to swallow that the rich already make so much more and could be not paying their fair share. Tax evasion hurts society as a whole.

      • I don’t doubt that tax evasion is any less of a crime and to be taken any less seriously just as any other of our civil obligations. But what is baffling is the sheer attention it garners in SK. Sure, it’s unfair for the “rich” to weasel their way out of paying their taxes, but at the same time, anyone who can and will in every tax returns form (like we do here in the US) will make sure to maximize every returns and minimize any payments, if at all possible. Because let’s face it, it’s our hard-earned money and we would rather keep it all. So let’s say that these celebs, like any other normal citizen, would try to minimize as much payments as possible as they do, and inadvertently ends up underpaying–they ought to correct, lest be hammered by the IRS (here in the US) or any equivalent tax collecting agency in SK, and pay the right amount. Which in most cases, these celebrities end up doing anyway. The State gets their money and the “rich” celebrity has fulfilled his duty. No harm done.

        I guess I’m just rather puzzled by SK’s attitude towards it, and this could be a purely cultural dissonance in my part.

      • Ockoala, the reported amounts you mentioned were rediculously enourmous. Yes, he worked hard in China. Yes, he was paid well. But if he had hidden so many millions, don’t you think there would be a criminal investigation and prosecution? The authorities said the mistake was inconditional and there wasn’t reasons to raise charges.
        I think we all will hear the truth soon.

        I respect koreans and especially those who work hard. JKS is one of them also. I disrespect the superficial and narrow-minded people, who prefer to be ‘informed’ by some by scandalous-oriented sites instead of believing the offisial statements. Of course it is not korean patent, those people live everywhere. But in which other country making them happy is more important than following the rules of fair bussuness.

      • Miss Ockoala, I have one question, considering the fact that we, the ordinary people, pay our taxes by ourselves: Do celebs in any country do the same as us? I mean, I know that big companies have a special department for financial and tax payments. Do the agencies in SK have any similar section or the actor/singer/idol is the only one responsible for his/her financial situation? Is there a possibility for them,given their young age too,not to be familiar nor informed on these matters? It is an honest aporia, since it did happen to ordinary people too…youngsters hiring bad tax-accountants and finally pay extremely severe penalties for “deliberate”tax evasion! Thank you, in advance!!

  5. Really Ockoala? You are super fast in updating the Negative news than the positive ones.
    Anyways all the fans of previous season’s cast must be happy with the news.

  6. stupid tvn and reporters !! korean are really crappy thinkers !! like serioulsy it was not his fault but his company plus he paid it ~ WTF !!! SOOOO STUPID i’m never ever ever gonna check this out !

  7. Thats too bad, I mean dont they have special people to pay his taxes? Why is he getting the fault?

    Anyway, all I see is JI CHANG WOOKIEEEE <3

  8. this is so sad!!!!! poor jks his one chance at redemtion. and plus the effort of na pd and the crew and two sunbea’s :((

  9. Ridiculous. Wont bother now. Dropped three meals a day as so boring and was only going to give this a go since he would bring a fun new dimension to the format.

  10. Wut? Haha! I was half tempted to check out this show just for the amusement of His Royal Weirdness, but I shan’t bother with it now. Reality shows are often disjointed anyway, in their drive to create storylines out of nothing. This version will be an even hotter editing mess than usual.

  11. Therefore I conclude that JKS is earning much more than SM, YG, JYP and FNC. Why? Because tax paid is directly proportional to earnings. Secondly, his earnings might have been much bigger than other Hallyu stars combined. He is therefore Korea’s top K entertainment’s biggest earner and now tax payer.

    • I admit $10,000,000 USD seems a bit excessive in back taxes. It’s as if JKS is a billionaire. Does he somehow own stocks on a fortune 500?

      • He doesn’t own stocks. His properties are several buildings in Japan and Korea.
        The money he earnes are really big, but he also do many charity work, not nessesary shown on every media. Just to his university Hanyang he has donated over 2 000 000 $.

    • Jang Geun Suk is manage by Tree J which he owns, so you can say his earnings totally goes to him, and that can make K-entertainment companies pissed off because he dares to go solo & set up a new possibilities for any actor as young & successful like him to also build up their own agency – just imagine making it easy for Jang Geun Suk is like allowing other top actors (he went solo at a young age) to do the same like him. Those agencies who wanted & offered to manage him have lost their share of money. So I guess when it comes to JGS expect that they will give him a hard time and will not make things that easy for him.

  12. I don’t believe about this scandal. JKS is an educated person of course he know that paying tax is a must. I live in USA, most of paper law can be accessed online. Until I read the evidence on my own, I assume this is a low-blow. Ganbatte JKS, I will always on your side no matter what!!

  13. I know one thing. If my accounting firm under-paid the taxes and now my career was affected, that accounting firm would be so fired!

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