On Sunday, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism vowed to put an end to the entertainment industry’s irrational practices. The department plans to eradicate practices such as excessive labor by artists and non-written contracts to stop scandals. Their course of action stemmed from the recent controversy of Lee Seung-gi’s abuse and non-payment by his former agency Hook Entertainment.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism stated that the entertainment industry’s practices, such as unfair binding contracts, will be dismantled. They will do this through yearly reports on labor practices and an amendment to existing laws, including the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Act.
According to the Culture Ministry’s release, social discourse on the nature of artists’ contracts has been strengthened. They said that the case of pop culture artists who do not have a huge following are exploited, and the matter is becoming grave.
Culture Minister Park Bo-Gyoon stated, “In a situation where Korean culture maintains a lot of attention and applause, strengthening the industrial ecosystem for entertainment is important in seeking continuous growth and protecting the weak within the industry. Our goal is to promote fairness in the popular culture and arts industry as a core project for the coming year.”
The culture ministry cited that Article 13 of the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Act would be amended so that administrative measures could be taken in cases of unfair contracts. Corrective measures, such as fines and holding an investigation under the Fair Trade Commission, would become available.
Under Article 18 of the Popular Culture and Arts Industry Act, there would be a yearly survey on industry status, market size, and working environments. Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee Rep. Lim Jong-Seong proposed legislation to protect industry workers, especially young ones, under the National Assembly. The Culture Ministry said educational programs would be available for younger workers wanting to enter the industry. These educational programs include tackling their legal rights when signing contracts.
Lee Seung Gi is also on the path of healing. He made his first public appearance at the 2022 KBS Drama Awards and won the Popularity Award for his role as Kim Jung Ho in the KBS2TV series The Law Cafe. His late appearance also garnered attention as he appeared with a shaved head due to his character as a monk in the new movie Large Family. He is also widely praised for donating a large portion of his late payment, a total of 2 billion KRW, to Seoul National University Children’s Hospital.
Source: (KoreaJoongAng Daily)