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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A K-Drama Scandal?

BY Julie Jones | Nov 18, 2014 10:09 AM EST

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This year two k-drama actors faced major scandals. One of those actors, Kim Hyun Joong, has stepped back from the public eye. Accused of hitting his girlfriend, the actor still faces a police investigation, even though the charges were dropped. The other, Lee Byung Hun, is focusing on his work in the U.S., having lost many advertising deals in Korea. Lee Byung Hun was the victim of a blackmail attempt. While he is the victim in this case, he has apologized for any of his own actions that might have led him to be so vulnerable.

Both actors sustained damage to their careers. But how long will the effects of the scandal last? The only way to guess is to examine past scandals and see how long the negative effects lasted.

Two recent examples are Park Shi Hoo and Park Si Yeon. Park Shi Hoo was accused of sexual assault for relations he said were consensual. The charges were dropped but his career was put on hold for over a year. He was cast in a Chinese film. When he first considered returning to the small screen, the reaction was negative. It was too soon. He declined the role. He was recently cast in the film "Love After Love" with Yoon Eun Hye. It had been a year and a half since his last work in Korea. This time there was some negative reaction but not much.

Last year Park Si Yeon was one of three actresses who were convicted of abusing the narcotic propofol. She claimed that she had been prescribed the drug to treat pain from injuries she sustained on set. The court ruled she had abused the drug and sentenced her to jail time while she was pregnant with her first child. She remained at home for a few months but is now acting again, playing the lead role in the drama "The Greatest Marriage."

Han Ye Seul, currently starring in "Birth of a Beauty" had a career-related scandal. Three years ago, she walked off the set of the drama "Spy Myeong Wol," claiming exhaustion. This made her an undesirable, unreliable actress to work with but now she is in demand again.

Two other popular actors were involved in a scandal that had to do with their military duty. Both Jang Hyuk, who starred in "Fated To Love You" and Song Seung Hoon, last seen in the film "Obsessed," tampered with their urine tests so they would not have to serve mandatory military duty. Altering the tests made it seem as if they were too sick to serve. The actors both apologized and enlisted, resuming their careers after they were discharged. They came back stronger than ever.

Viewers forgive and forget. It may take a while for Kim Hyun Joong and Lee Byung Hun to recover from at least some of the damage done to their careers, but it is possible. What do you think they need to do?

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