7 Korean actors who had successful comebacks after being involved in controversies
Not every celebrity is able to do the same.
2021 is definitely not a peaceful year for Asia’s entertainment industry with various top names being blacklisted and having their careers ruined due to shocking scandals over personal lives, such as Zheng Shuang, Kris Wu, Ji Soo, Kim Jung Hyun,…
With the current prevalence of “cancel culture” in the entertainment industry, do these celebrities still have a second chance? Let’s take a look at 7 Korean actors who made victorious comebacks after getting embroiled in huge scandals.
1. Lee Byung Hun
Great talents often come with many flaws. Lee Byung Hun was the center of not only one but two scandals in the past. In 2009, the actor was accused of cheating by his ex-girlfriend, Kwon Mi Yeon. She revealed that Lee Byung Hun promised to get married to her, so she decided to give up her career abroad to return to Korea to be with him, but his attitude towards her was no longer the same. Kwon Mi Yeon went on to expose that Lee Byung Hun even committed some illegal acts in the US and asked the actor for compensation for mental damage she suffered because of him.
In response to the press, Lee Byung Hun admitted to be dating Kwon Mi Yeon but denied cheating accusations. Not long after, Kwon Mi Yeon canceled her lawsuit, so Lee Byung Hun was acquitted. However, the actor faced severe backlash from the public at that time.
In 2014, after he settled down with his gorgeous wife Lee Min Jung, the actor continued to be caught up in another controversy over personal relationships. He was allegedly having an affair with model Lee Ji Yeon and female idol Da Hee of Glam. Specifically, Da Hee even had videos as proof and put pressure on the famous actor.
This controversy was more shocking because at the time it broke out, Lee Byung Hun’s wife was pregnant. Lee Min Jung angrily returned to her mother’s house, while Lee Byung Hun was strongly condemned and criticized by the public. Lee Byung Hun then publicly apologized to his wife in front of the media and took a break from the screen for a while.
In 2018, he had a spectacular comeback with a well-invested drama with the script written by “golden screenwriter” Kim Eun Sook, Mr.Sunshine. Since then, Lee Byung Hun gradually resumed his acting activities and was forgiven by the public. Recently, by having a cameo appearance as The Front Man in Squid Game, it seems like Lee Byung Hun has erased all the stains of his career.
2. Joo Ji Hoon
In 2006, Joo Ji Hoon shot to fame throughout Asia when he took on the role of Crown Prince Lee Shin in the hit drama Princess Hours (Goong), adapted from the comic of the same name.
But at the peak of his career, the actor was involved in a shocking scandal of possession and use of illegal drugs. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, 1 year of house arrest, 120 hours of community service and a fine of 360,000 won. This scandal was thought to have put an end to Joo Ji Hoon’s career.
After he got out of jail, Joo Ji Hoon decided to enlist in the army but the public was still extremely angry with him. In 2015, his role in “Mask” alongside Soo Ae helped to partially improve the image of Joo Ji Hoon in the public eye.
But it was not until he starred in the box office hit “Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds” that Joo Ji Hoon truly had a successful comeback. The movie helped him win back his former glory and became one of the most sought after actors by producers once again.
Currently, Joo Ji Hoon is starring in Jirisan with Jun Ji Hyun. Joo Ji Hoon is definitely the strongest proof that talents can overcome controversy.
3. Song Seung Hun
In 2004, Song Seung Hun was accused of faking urine test results to avoid military service with Jang Hyuk and Han Jae Suk. In a country that values military service like Korea, this incident shocked the Korean entertainment industry in 2004. Song Seung Hun had to withdraw from the drama “Sad Love Story,” the project he was participating in at that time.
After being discharged from the army, the actor returned with “East of Eden” and fortunately made a big hit, recovering his lost reputation.
4. Park Shi Hoo
Park Shi Hoo was also one of the stars at the peak of his career when caught in a scandal. In February 2013, a girl named A accused the actor of inappropriate behavior.
Not only was he accused of raping but Park Shi Hoo was also caught in a scandal of sexually harassing a female co-star.
Although he explained that the two’s relationship was voluntary and the girl also withdrew her accusation, Park Shi Hoo‘s reputation was also severely affected and the actor was boycotted by the public.
While everyone thought that Park Shi Hoo could no longer be active in the entertainment industry, in 2017, the actor unexpectedly returned with KBS’s “My Golden Life” co-starring with Shin Hye Sun. Thanks to the attractive plot and dramatic content, the drama quickly attracted many audiences and achieved great ratings. The success of “My Golden Life” helps Park Shi Hoo become popular again.
5. Song Hye Kyo
Song Hye Kyo is admired by many people because of her great popularity in Korea and around the world thanks to her drama career. However, in 2014, Song Hye Kyo was involved in a tax evasion scandal. The actress’s total income in 2012 was re-investigated, and Song Hye Kyo was claimed to have evaded 2.5 billion won in taxes within 3 years.
The incident shocked Korean showbiz even though Song Hye Kyo explained it was her accountants’ fault. The actress expressed her remorse by bowing in front of the camera, a familiar Korean way of apology.
Thanks to the drama Descendants Of The Sun the actress co-starred with Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo rose back to her reputation and the star couple’s marriage also made headlines. Recently, the actress returned to the small screen with her new project “Now, We Are Breaking Up,” starring alongside Jang Ki Yong.
6. Han Hyo Joo
Han Hyo Joo is perhaps the most special case on this list because she was negatively influenced by her younger brother. In 2014, the actress’s younger brother bullied another soldier, causing him to commit suicide. Not only Han Hyo Joo, but her whole family was punished because many viewers thought that her family used money to cover up the incident.
She was forced to take a break from activities for a while and only when she returned to W – Two World (Two Worlds) with actor Lee Jong Suk, did Han Hyo Joo return to her golden age. Happiness, which was released this November, is Han Hyo Joo’s latest drama, co-starring Park Hyun Sik.
7. Kim Seon Ho
Kim Seon Ho rose to fame thanks to the success of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, co-starring Shin Min Ah. Many brands signed advertising contracts with him, the actor’s image appeared a lot on media and social networks. But all fell apart when Kim Seon Ho‘s ex-girlfriend accused him of forcing her to have an abortion.
Kim Seon Ho kept quiet despite his ex-girlfriend destroying his reputation. As a result, he was cut a series of valuable contracts, left the show 2 Days 1 Night, was removed from a series of big projects.
It wasn’t until Dispatch revealed the truth about Kim Seon Ho‘s incident that netizens started supporting him again. The producer of the film “Sad Tropics” has confirmed that Kim Seon Ho will still play the lead role. The actor is currently leading many nomination categories at year-end award ceremonies.