K-actor Ji Soo’s agency sued for $2.66 million over ‘River Where the Moon Rises’ controversy

Korean actor Ji Soo (Instagram) 

Production company Victory Contents has filed a 3 billion won (about $2.66 million) lawsuit for damages against KeyEast, the agency of Korean actor Ji Soo, over the controversy involving the drama “River Where the Moon Rises.”

Ji Soo was removed from the drama early last month following his admission that he committed school violence in middle and high schools. “Mr. Queen” actor Na In-woo took over his role as On Dal in the drama.

Victory Contents filed the lawsuit on April 1 with the Seoul Central District Court to recover the damages from additional production costs as the drama had to be reshot.

The company said it suffered damages such as staff expenses, venue and equipment rental fees, appearance fees and production design expenses due to reshooting of the drama. It also cited decrease in viewership ratings, decrease in expected sales and damage to the company’s image.

"We tried to sincerely proceed with consultations on compensation for damages with KeyEast but we were forced to file a lawsuit due to KeyEast’s non-cooperation,” Victory Contents said.

As a response, KeyEast issued a statement and denied that it was not cooperating, saying it had close consultation with Victory Contents and TV channel KBS after the controversy involving Jisoo’s school violence broke out.

“We deeply sympathize with the difficulties faced by the production company and production staff due to sudden replacement of the actor and we have made it clear that we are only willing to take responsibility for the reasonable cost of additional filming for the replacement of Ji Soo,” it said, adding that it will take more than a month for the final settlement.

KeyEast said it made sincere efforts to reach an agreement by requesting arbitration from KBS and the drama producers’ association.

Based on its proposed agreement sent to Victory Contents dated March 31, KeyEast said that as a listed company, there is possibility that legal and accounting issues will emerge due to lack of specific details on the additional production costs for the reshooting of the drama. It said actual reasonable costs are needed to be presented in order to have a settlement.

KeyEast told Victory Contents that since the latter said the additional filming is scheduled in mid-April, it is expected that it will take some time until the final agreement is reached. KeyEast offered to settle a portion of the additional production costs if an agreement is reached this week.

“KeyEast will do its best to resolve the issue until the end,” Ji Soo’s agency said. “River Where the Moon Rises.” is a 20-episode drama that premiered on Feb. 15 and will end on April 20.