Seo Ye-ji's scandals might have died down for now but their impact on her money and career has been massive
Seo Ye-ji came to global limelight with her performance in the show 'It's Okay To Not be Okay'. The world enjoyed the show for its brilliant portrayal of people who live with different kinds of mental illnesses. The show also featured a main character who falls on the spectrum of autism. The character played by Seo Ye-ji, Moon Ga-young, was someone who suffered from anti-social disorder, which left her unfeeling of the pain that others suffered and in turn forced her to internalize her pain in a toxic manner.
Seo Ye-ji has even been nominated for the Baeksang Awards 2021, which is equivalent to the Oscars Award in South Korea. However, at the peak of her popularity and her career, Ye-ji got mired in controversy over how she allegedly forced her ex-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun, the 'Mr Queen' actor, to alienate his co-stars including Girls Generation star Seohyun while together on the sets of the show 'Time'.
This allegation was raised after chats between Jung-hyun and Ye-ji had been released by Dispatch. Initial reports were about Jung-hyun bullying Seo-hyun and it was speculated that it all started as a smear campaign by Jung-hyun's agency which is currently in conflict with him over his contract. However, in a string of unexpected events, all the chat messages were released and it affected Ye-ji in a huge manner.
When everyone was blaming Ye-ji and even speculated that she played herself in her show 'It's Okay to Not be Okay', her agency did not respond. Jung-hyun, whose agency refused to comment on the entire situation, released an individual statement. In this statement, he absolved Ye-ji of having to do anything with what happened when he was working on the sets of 'Time' or his untimely exit from the show.
One of Ye-ji's former employees had also released a statement to explain that the speculations about Ye-ji were all false. Not just this, recently it was revealed that the 'Lawless Lawyer' actor took the lead in 'TikTok Popularity Star' category right after voting opened for the 'Baeksang Arts Awards'. As of May 4, she had been leading with 57,520 votes. She was followed by actor Shin Hye-sun of 'Mr Queen' and 'Love Alarm' star Kim So-hyun.
Despite all of the positive news that has surfaced since the scandal, Ye-ji has had to pay a huge price in the fallout. Firstly, she is expected to pay billions of Korean won in penalties for her breach of advertisement contract. The commercial brands that the actor had represented over the years dropped her like a hot potato when speculations about her personality started making the rounds.
AK Beauty's cosmetic brand LUNA, New Origin's 'Inner Flora' and mask brand AER are some of the brands that took a quick decision and erased all traces of Ye-ji from their social media accounts and websites. RIETI, which happens to be a sunglass brand, not only changed YouTube status of all their commercials with Seo Ye-ji to private but also removed the collaborative video titled 'RIETI x Seo Ye Ji collaboration'.
There has also been allegations that Ye-ji lied about her academic background. The actor had claimed that she had studied in Spain and that was the reason she could speak Spanish. However, it came out that the actor did not complete her education at all. In fact, people who were with her in Spain also exposed her for allegedly behaving badly. So, all the positive tidbits that were being released were getting buried under the speculations and allegations against the actor.
She had to back out from attending the premiere screening of her film 'Recall' and now, it has been reported that Ye-ji has backed out of a show that she had been expected to work in as well. Her agency Goldmedalist also confirmed that Ye-ji will not be a part of OCN drama 'Island' and said, "a mutual final decision has been made for Seo Ye Ji not to star in 'Island'."
In the initial stages of planning the show, it was revealed that Ye-ji's character Won Mi-ho was created solely keeping her in mind and so, there have been reports that the character itself would need to be revised so that showmakers are able to go forward with the casting. The show is expected to star Kim Nam-gil in lead role and ASTRO's Cha Eun-woo is also reportedly in talks for the same.
Addressing the original scandal involving Jung-hyun, Goldmedalist had said "After checking with Kim Jung-hyun’s side, we received clear confirmation that the controversy regarding the drama did not occur because of Seo Ye-ji, and he expressed his intent to release his own statement regarding this. However, he expressed that it will take some time for the statement to be released because various issues are involved. As the controversy continues to heighten, we were told that it is alright for us to release our statement first, so we are releasing our statement now. We once again apologize for the delay in releasing a statement."
They had added, "In addition, we sincerely bow our head in apology for the absence today from the press conference for the film 'Recalled', causing harm to staff and the other actors of the film as well as reporters. We are revealing our statement separate from Kim Jung Hyun’s. It is logically difficult to accept the controversial report that a drama’s leading actor would act exactly as told by someone else without his own free will. It is realistically impossible that an actor can act and participate in filming without one’s own will."