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Unpaid actors refuse to work

2011/06/22 Source

By Kim Rahn

Producers and directors of soap operas and movies may have difficulty shooting as scheduled after a group of management agencies announced they were refusing to let their actors work due to unpaid wages and performance fees.

The Corea Entertainment Management Association disclosed Wednesday a list of companies responsible for 32 dramas and films, which have failed to pay actors, along with the names of the productions, production heads and directors who made the dramas.

It said actors of the agencies will not participate in films made by the companies in question.

The collective action follows a chronic overdue payment problem in the film and drama production industry.

"We concluded that we need to take action. From now on, our actors will not appear in soap operas and movies filmed by the named production companies", the association said in a statement.

According to a survey conducted on actors at the member agencies, the performers are owed 1.5 billion won in overdue payment for dramas and 700 million won for movies.

The association said both the productions and broadcasting companies that outsourced the dramas have not made any effort to solve the problem.

"Heads of production companies failed to pay performance fees and kept making dramas after setting up another production company or change their names. Then the overdue payment problem gets bigger. Broadcasting companies know this, but they keep outsourcing, saying the payment issue is between producers and actors, and not their business", Kim Gil-ho, director of the association, said.

He said actors belonging to the association are top stars, such as Song Hye-kyo. "Top actresses such as Song have still not been paid for appearing in the KBS drama 'Worlds Within'. The production companies pay half of the fee first and then keep delaying paying the rest, claiming they didn't make enough money", Kim said.

"How come we, who have contributed to the hallyu boom, are caught in this underdeveloped system? We need a fundamental solution", the director said.

Aside from "Worlds Within", the list of soap operas includes "President" and "Jungle Fish 2" aired on KBS; "Queen of Reversals", "Pasta" and "Iljimae Returns - Moon River" on MBC; and "Bad Man" and "Swallow the Sun" on SBS.

Movies include "Girlfriends", "Rough Cut", "The Housemaid" and "The Yellow Sea".

A similar protest took place last September after an entertainers' union alleged production companies had failed to pay a total of 4.3 billion won in fees to its members. The unionists stopped appearing in soap operas for days and only scrapped their collective action after broadcasters promised to devise measures to prevent payment delays.

송혜교, '그들이 사는 세상' 출연료 못받아

한국매니지먼트협회에서 소속 배우들의 출연료 미지급을 이유로 출연 거부를 선언함에 따라 드라마나 영화 제작에 차질이 생기게 됐다.

협회는 수요일, 출연료를 미지급한 32개 영화와 드라마, 그리고 이를 만든 제작사, 제작사 대표와 PD의 이름을 공개하며 앞으로 이 제작사들이 만드는 작품에 소속 배우들을 출연시키지 않겠다고 밝혔다.

소속 배우들은 협회의 설문조사에서, 드라마 출연료 15억원, 영화 출연료 7억원이 미지급됐다고 답했다.

협회는 이 제작사들과 여기에 외주를 맡긴 방송사 모두 문제를 해결하려는 움직임을 전혀 보이지 않다고 주장했다. 협회 사무국장 김길호씨는 "이런 외주 제작사 대표들은 출연료를 지급하지 못하면서도 다른 회사를 차리거나 아니면 회사명을 바꾸는 식으로 계속 제작을 하고, 이로 인해 미지급 문제가 더욱 커지게 된다. 방송사들도 이걸 알면서도, 출연료 문제는 제작사와 배우가 해결해야 할 문제라며 계속 그런 회사들에 외주를 주고 있다"고 말했다.

김씨는, 협회 회원사들에 속한 배우들은 대부분 탑스타라며 송혜교를 예로 들었다. 그는 "송혜교같은 탑스타도 '그들이 사는 세상' 출연료를 아직도 다 못받았다. 제작사들은 먼저 절반만 주고, 드라마로 돈을 못벌었다며 계속 지급을 미룬다"고 말했다.

김씨는 "한류를 이끌어온 우리가 어떻게 아직도 이런 후진적인 시스템 하에서 일을 하고 있나? 근본적인 대책이 필요하다"고 말했다.

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