Upcoming Drama “Sponsor” And Lee Ji Hoon’s Agency Denies That Writer Was Changed Because Of Him
On November 4, iHQ’s upcoming drama “Sponsor” and Lee Ji Hoon’s agency issued statements denying that staff members were fired because of the actor.
The day before, it was reported that a staff member on “Sponsor” had complained about the behavior of Lee Ji Hoon’s acquaintance who had come with him to set. At the time, Lee Ji Hoon issued an apology to the production team for his acquaintance’s behavior.
On the same day, writer Park Gye Hyung claimed to YTN Star that he had been fired due to power tripping from the lead actor, Lee Ji Hoon. The writer alleged that Lee Ji Hoon had complained about his screen time to the production company and that half the staff members were replaced, including himself. He said that these staff members were fired without prior notice or discussion, with words like, ‘We’ve given this to another writer, so you drop out.”
Park Gye Hyung said that Lee Ji Hoon’s character, Sun Woo, was a character who uncovers the truth and enacts revenge in secret, and so appears somewhat mysterious at first. Even though he didn’t have many scenes at first, he would later play a key role in events that unfolded afterward. However, the writer alleged that Lee Ji Hoon had been dissatisfied with his screen time in the first half of the drama and had asked the production company to unilaterally fire the writer. Furthermore, with the change in writers and scripts, Park Gye Hyung alleged that the staff had to get rid of all the footage that had been filmed until then.
The writer said that he had planned the script of “Desire” (the original title of the drama) with the director for a year and had written up until episode 8 until another writer was hired around episode 3-4 and the story began to change. Although some of what he had written remained in the new script, including the general storyline and the lead characters’ names, his name was removed from the credits. He further alleged that he was still under contract with the production company and could not take on new work despite sending them multiple certification of content requests to end the contract.
The following is the statement from the drama “Sponsor”:
This is the production team’s statement in response to the reports on Park Gye Hyung and related staff members.
First, it is not true that half the production staff and writer Park Gye Hyung were replaced because of actor Lee Ji Hoon. It is not realistically possible for an actor to replace production staff members or get a writer replaced because of objections to his own screen time. We are disappointed to hear writer Park Gye Hyung’s one-sided and wrong conjectures about this.
The reason that we could not continue working with Park Gye Hyung is because he did not carry out the production team’s requests for revisions.
The production team asked writer Park Gye Hyung for revisions on the character set-up based on the fact that the lead actor had only four scenes in one episode. However, Park Gye Hyung refused these requests and kept on doing whatever he wanted. The production team held a conference and decided to put an end to his writer’s position on the show.
We hope that this issue will not become a bigger controversy for the sake of the cast and crew, who are working day and night to make a good production for viewers.
We ask that people refrain from spreading false information and attacks without proof on the cast and crew.
A representative from iHQ also clarified that while the production team had asked Park Gye Hyung to revise the script, it was not because Lee Ji Hoon had asked them to. The representative also stated that the former director and former writer’s names were removed from the credits because they had scrapped the earlier footage and changed the script completely.
Lee Sang Gil, the CEO of Lee Ji Hoon’s agency, Ssom Entertainment, also issued a statement, saying, “We have never filed objections with the production team regarding screen time. The writer and PD were changed because of problems that arose in conferences with Jo Yoon Jung, the CEO of the production company Victory Contents, and the production team.”
CEO Lee Sang Gil further said, “Lee Ji Hoon is not the kind of person who goes on power trips. He’s very kind and easily scared. He gets along well with his senior and junior actors and the staff on set. He is still filming ‘Sponsor’ and it will premiere as scheduled.”
About the issue with his acquaintance on set, the CEO said, “It was Lee Ji Hoon’s birthday two days before the incident. The friend, ‘A,’ came to set to give him a birthday present. Lee Ji Hoon talked about the difficulties he was going through at the time and A was overcome with a feeling of burning justice and went to the FD [floor director] to talk about it. After the incident, Lee Ji Hoon found out what had happened and went to the FD to apologize over ten times. The two are close. It is absolutely not true that he took off his pants and caused a commotion. He was just changing clothes on set in a hurry.”
“Sponsor” is a romance thriller about the scandalous love affairs between two men and two women. It is described as being similar to “The Penthouse” series and stars Lee Ji Hoon, Han Chae Young, Ji Yi Soo, and Goo Ja Sung. It is currently scheduled to premiere on November 29.