Korean actor Ji Soo has been officially removed from the drama “River Where the Moon Rises” which is currently airing on TV channel KBS2 following his admission that he committed school violence in middle and high schools.
In separate announcements, KBS and drama production company Victory Contents said Ji Soo will be replaced with a new actor starting in episode 9. The drama has so far aired six episodes with the last on March 2.
“Mr. Queen” actor Na In-woo has been offered to take over the role of Ji Soo as On Dal in the drama, which airs every Monday and Tuesday.
“First of all, we apologize for causing concern to viewers over the controversy over school violence by actor Ji Soo, who is starring in the KBS Monday-Tuesday drama ‘River Where the Moon Rises.’ Also, we would like to express our sincere consolation to the victims,” said KBS.
It said it will not air this weekend the reruns of the drama where Ji Soo appeared and for the seventh and eight episodes, the scenes in which Ji Soo appears will be deleted as much as possible. The drama will be filmed again with a new actor starting in episode 9.
KBS said it recognized the seriousness of the incident involving Ji Soo and reviewed plans including cancelling the drama. However, it decided otherwise owing to the viewers who have loved the drama and to the numerous staff, actors and the production company.
The TV channel has removed Ji Soo’s photos and video clips from the drama’s website.
Victory Contents, on the other hand, said after discussing the best way under the situation where more than 95 percent of the total shooting have been completed, Ji Soo’s scenes will be deleted as much as possible.
It said the decision will result in huge economic losses but it was decided to reshoot the scenes in close consultation with KBS.
Ji Soo’s classmates and schoolmates accused him of school violence including bullying, beating them up and sexual misconduct in school.
More than 7,000 Koreans have signed a petition demanding KBS to remove Ji Soo from the drama because of the controversy.
“I sincerely apologize to those who suffered because of me. There is no excuse for my past misconduct. These were actions that could not be forgiven,” Ji Soo said in a post on Instagram on March 4.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Ji Soo will be enlisting in the military in October and fulfill his duty as a public service worker, an alternative form of military service. Ji Soo had surgery for acute osteomyelitis, or infection in a bone, in 2016.
Ji Soo is currently 27 and under Korean law, all qualified men are required to enlist in the military by age 28.