BY Julie Jones | Jan 16, 2015 11:27 AM EST
Actor Jang Geun Suk has dropped out of the tvN reality show "Three Meals a Day - Fishing Village." The announcement came a day after the Korea Times reported that he had to pay almost $10 million in fines for underpayment of taxes.
The 28-year-old actor paid fines to the Seoul District National Tax service for not registering parts of his overseas profits. The money was primarily made in China. The six-month investigation into his finances did not result in further legal action as the actor paid what he owed. Prosecutors then closed the case without making any indictment.
But even if the underpayment was considered the result of accounting errors, it was decided that the actor's appearance on a television program might generate too much controversy. Before the show even aired, the producers received comments from potential viewers expressing their concerns about Jang's appearance. Tree J, Jang's agency, and tvN agreed that it would be appropriate for the actor to withdraw from the program.
On Jan. 15 tvN and CJ E&M, the program's producers, released a statement announcing his removal from the cast.
"The time is not right," the tvN press release said, "for Jang to appear in the show, considering public sentiment."
The cable channel will edit out the "Three Meals A Day - Fishing Village" scenes that Jang Geun Suk has already filmed. This will require considerable work as two thirds of the filming was already done. The editing will delay the show's premiere, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 17. The program will now premiere on Jan. 23.
The spin-off reality show also stars actors Cha Seung Won and Yoo Hae Jin. The actors featured on the program must subsist on food they can find in their immediate environment, which in this case means catching and preparing fish. The original show "Three Meals - In Gangwon Province" starred Lee Seo Jin and 2PM's Taecyeon. They had to forage. But as this spin-off was set in a fishing village, preparing a meal means fishing. There has been some as yet unconfirmed talk about actor Son Ho Jun taking a larger role in the reality show.
Jang Geun Suk is best known for his roles in dramas such as "You're Beautiful," 'Beethoven Virus" and "Pretty Man." He is so popular throughout Asia that he is known as "The Prince of Asia."
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