Youn Yuh-jung, a well-known South Korean actress, has opted not to extend her contract with management company Hook Entertainment, which has lately been embroiled in scandal. After signing with the agency in 2017, she acted in a series of famous films such as The Bacchus Lady, Canola, Lucky Chan Sil, and Minari, for which she received an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2021.
— airen_shuping (@melissaelvagma1) December 5, 2022
Youn Yuh-jung has left Hook Entertainment, which was recently entangled in the Lee Seung-gi scandal.
Despite her agency’s adamant denial of the actress’ departure in November, barely a month later, they issued an official statement confirming the news:
“We regret to tell you that our contract with actress Youn Yeo Jung, with whom we have worked since March 2017, has expired. We will continue to pray for her health and to see her doing fine.”
The 75-year-old artist was not only the first Korean to win an Oscar, but she was also the first Korean actor to get the Screen Actors Guild Award and the British Academy Film Award. She was most recently seen in the television version of the book Pachinko, where she co-starred in with actor Lee Min-ho. However, she is not the only artist who has departed the agency. Lee Seung-gi, a singer-actor, recently announced his departure from Hook Entertainment after 18 years.
The 35-year-old accused the agency of failing to pay the fees and revenues for his songs’ digital streaming. Since joining them in 2004, the vocalist has recorded 137 songs, including singles such as Because You’re My Woman and Will You Marry Me. The artist was ridiculed or intimidated every time he requested a transparent settlement of his expenses, according to his attorneys. The agency said in a statement:
“Lee Seung-gi has concluded that he can no longer rely on Hook Entertainment and its CEO, Kwon Jin-young, whom he has treated as family.”
Outrage among netizens after Dispatch exposes CEO Kwon
Hook Entertainment CEO Kwon allegedly apologized for the Lee Seung-gi incident and confirmed that payments were owed. While the sum was not specified, the CEO went on to say that she would be prepared to sell her personal assets to pay the bills. Her apology was received with strong condemnation from netizens when Dispatch published audio recordings of her threatening to murder Lee Seung-gi and detailed details of her squandering business finances. Fans dubbed it a “false apology,” and demanded that she be properly probed and punished not just for failing to make the money, but also for subjecting Seung-gi to years of emotional torture.
In November, the National Police Agency’s Severe Crime Investigation Division seized and searched the firm on suspicion of embezzlement. The agency continues to represent Park Min-young from What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, Lee So-jin from Marriage Contract, and Lee Sun-hee from Korea’s National Diva.