After the much-touted Descendants of the Sun came to a close in April, its lead star Song Joong-ki is currently filming Battleship Island, a historical movie set in the Japanese colonial era.
With its talented cast comprising Song Joong-ki and So Ji-Sub, the South Korean movie Battleship Island is bound to become a super-hit. Nevertheless, going by the current scheme of things, the movie might be headed for a financial disaster.
Last week, according to a news report by SCMP, China banned all South Korean entertainment.
A report by Variety confirmed that all Chinese-Korean co-productions are to be restricted as part of the reprisal measures for THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). Several Korean firms informed that their Chinese partners had been given verbal instructions from China’s Film Bureau that planned co-productions would not be approved.
China has been the biggest export market for South Korean TV content and music acts. But with the emerging political crisis, South Korean entertainment will take a beating. In fact, some already did.
Last Tuesday, YG Entertainment’s stock dropped nearly 9 percent on Tuesday to a 52-week low of KRW 33,800. SM Entertainment also hit its year low of KRW 27,650, reported Variety.
According to Korean news outlet Sports Chosun’s report Monday, Korean entertainment firms were forced to cancel their artists’ scheduled TV appearances. Moreover, in a petty initiative, the scenes featuring the performers are also being edited out.
Recently, the fan meet of Kim Woo-bin and Bae Suzy, which was scheduled in China, was canceled. The duo is starring in K-drama Uncontrollably Fond, which is quite popular with the Chinese audience.
A source at production company Samhwa Networks said that the organizers canceled it for “reasons out of their control,” Yonhap reported.
“The fan meeting was planned in advance so there were no issues with the planning,” the source said, adding it has been difficult to determine the exact reason
Rarely are fan meets canceled, and even when they are, there always is a logical explanation behind the cancellation.
“Large TV stations in China are taking action to ban hallyu stars from appearing in their reality shows,” an industry source was quoted as saying. “Furthermore, contracts with the hallyu stars are being nullified,” K-pop Herald reported.
Despite these concerns, actor Song Joong-ki maintained that he has not been banned in China.
According to rumors, an $8 million Chinese drama offer for Song Joong Ki was recently canceled due to the situation surrounding THAAD.
Last week, Song Joong-ki’s representative said, “He did receive many offers for Chinese dramas and movies, but nothing was confirmed. Therefore, the word cancellation does not make sense in this situation.”
Although the representative has clearly stated that Song Joong-ki is not banned, it remains to be seen if China will keep its word in letting the actor continue with his project promos.
The bad news is that Chinese fans of South Korean entertainment might support China’s ban on Hallyu.
According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, a recent survey showed that more than four-fifths of Chinese people would support the ban on the appearance of South Korean entertainers in Chinese TV programs if the government does so. It reflects Chinese placing love for their home country before the popularity of entertainment stars.
If the ban on Hallyu stars is not lifted, Song Joong-ki’s Battleship Island is bound to suffer losses, as K-movies usually have a huge fan following in China.
[Photo by Kin Cheung/AP Images]