It seems that real-life drama is inevitable in the colorful world of Korean dramas! Sometimes, it is inevitable for actors and actresses to find themselves in hot water that would cost them their roles. You may have heard a few of these casting changes which actually stemmed from unfortunate circumstances.
Here are 15 K-drama stars who were dropped from certain projects due to controversy.
In 2021, Ji Soo was set to star in his first major acting role in a drama for ‘River Where the Moon Rises’. But his rise to the top was marred by bullying allegations and sexual harassment prior to his debut to which he fessed up. However, despite his apologies, he was condemned by many of his fans and received a huge backlash. Eventually, he was replaced by actor Na In Woo and he was forced to take time off from the limelight.
Seo Ye Ji
Seo Ye Ji was replaced in the Kim Na Gil drama, Island. This came after it was alleged that she bullied her then-boyfriend, actor Kim Jung Hyun. While he was filming the 2018 MBC drama, ‘Time’, it was reported that she manipulated the actor which pushed the actor to drop out of the project. To make matters worse for the ‘It’s Okay To Not Be Okay’ actress, some of her former middle school classmates came out and said that the actress bullied them in high school. Her agency released a statement denying these claims. She may have made her comeback, but the controversy cost her some deals.
Lee Naeun is famously known as one of the members of the K-pop group APRIL, who later crossed over to acting. What would have been a promising career was slammed with a bullying controversy that infuriated her fans. It all started with an online post that said that Naeun and other APRIL members bullied an ex-member of their group, Kim Hyun Joo. The post was allegedly written by someone who claimed to be Hyun Joo’s brother. This spurned several other revelations from other individuals who claimed to be the subject of Naeun’s bullying tendencies. The actress was involved in the drama ‘Taxi Driver’, and has filmed a couple of episodes when all this went down causing her to lose her role.
Jung Joon Woon
‘The World of the Married’ was in full swing when one of its stars, Jung Joon Woon, was caught drinking soju and smoking cigarettes while still being a minor. The actor’s agency put out a statement apologizing on his behalf, however, it was not enough as fans demanded that he be axed from the series. He was forcefully removed from the series, even though there were just two episodes left.
Yoon Tae Young
In May of 2018, actor Yoon Tae Young was caught driving under the influence, which led to an accident. His blood-alcohol level was high enough to get his license suspended. At the time, Tae Young had been cast in the tvN drama, ‘Hundred Days My Lady’ as Wang, the father of Crown Prince Lee Yul (Do Kyung Soo). Now mired with controversy, he was dropped from the series.
Han Ji Sun
In 2019, Han Ji Sun had to step down from ‘The Secret Life of My Secretary’ after getting herself involved in an assault case with a taxi driver. Her violent behaviour stemmed from her being intoxicated. But that didn’t stop there as it was reported that it continued even in the police station where she slapped an officer and bit another in the arm. She was then fined 5 million won and given one-year probation for obstruction of justice.
Kang Ji Hwan
Kang Ji Hwan headlined the 2019 series ‘Joseon Survival’ when he was arrested for sexually assaulting and raping two female employees from his agency. It was alleged that the crime happened in the actor’s home after a company dinner when the woman had already fallen asleep. Kang stated that he remembered drinking with them, but he could no longer recall what happened afterward. The drama had to be canceled without any reruns and they even considered replacing Ji Hwan with someone else.
Ahn Seo Hyun
‘Okja’ actress Ahn Seo Hyun was dropped from her female lead role for School 2021 in May of 2019. She was supposed to play Na Geun Young, a second-year student at a vocational high school who is the daughter of a karaoke-bar owner from the outskirts of Seoul. According to producers, this decision was made due to her father’s extreme demands on top of the false information that he peddled. She was then replaced with actress Kim Sae Ron.
Choi Jae Hyun
In 2018, veteran actor, Choi Jae Hyun was embroiled in a sexual assault case which caused him to be removed from his drama ‘Cross’. Actress Choi Yul posted on her Instagram exposing the actor as a pervert. She explained that his misconduct took place in 2013 when she was in her 20s. Jae Hyun admitted to the allegations, so he was dropped from his ongoing drama while it was in full swing. He was subsequently demoted as a professor at Kyungsung University.
Han Ye Sul
Han Ye Sul left for LA amid controversy surrounding her drama ‘Myung Wol the Spy.’ It was said that she didn’t show up for filming, which caused panic amongst crew members. It was said that the actress complained about the “killer filming schedule” that caused her to get into a big fight with the main PD. She then requested KBS to replace the whole production crew. Due to her abrupt absence, they had to hold off episodes 11 and 12. She had apparently gone to visit her parents in LA, but she eventually came back to Korea and continued shooting for the drama. However, she was met with backlash and accused of being irresponsible with her career. She ended up halting her activities not long after because she found the K-drama industry was becoming too toxic for her.
Lee Seo Won
Lee Seo Won was still a rookie actor in 2018 when he became part of the cast of ‘About Time’ and Music Bank. Midway through the K-dramas airing, it was reported that Lee Seo won sexually harassed a female celebrity while he was drunk and threatened her when she refused. He was taken into custody where he swore at police officers in his drunken state. He was immediately dropped from the series and was replaced by Kim Dong Jun, and was subsequently removed as an emcee from Music Bank.
Oh Dal Su
A sexual assault scandal was also the reason Oh Dal Su was removed from tvN drama series, “My Mister,’ which starred Lee Sun Kyun and IU. It all started with an anonymous comment that accused the actor of sexual misconduct in the 1990s in Busan. Dal Su denied the accusations, but on the same day, the accuser appeared on JTBC news with her identity hidden. To make matters worse, another woman came out with a similar accusation.
Kim Seon Ho
Known for his role as “Good Boy” in the 2020 drama ‘Start-Up,’ Kim Seon Ho’s career was on the up and up. His star even shone much brighter after the conclusion of ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.’ But shortly after the series finale, the actor found himself embroiled in controversy. A former girlfriend anonymously posted in an online community forum claiming that the actor emotionally abused her and even forced an abortion. The post went viral, prompting Kim Seon Ho and his agency to issue an apology. He was dropped from several projects including two upcoming movies. Fortunately, Dispatch came to his defence and his fan base immediately offered their support, going as far as launching an online petition and sponsored a billboard for him in Gangnam. However, this did not stop the actor from declining all projects in 2022.
Choi Il Hwa
Choi Il Hwa came forward and admitted to sexual assault accusations while he was working on a play. This controversy cost him his role in the MBC drama ‘Hold Me Tight’ and the movie ‘Along with the Gods 2.’ On top of that, he also lost his position on the board of directors for the Korean Actors Association and academic advisor at Sejong University.
Oh Seung Yun
In July of 2019, it was reported that Oh Seung Yun was booked for aiding and abetting his girlfriend’s drunk driving. He had tried to stop her from driving under the influence of alcohol but was unable to. In light of this controversy, the actor was removed from ‘Love Me Actually’ and ‘Melo is My Nature’.