Song Hye Kyo is having one of the best years in her career. Though considered one of the top Hallyu stars in the world ever since she starred in Autumn in My Heart, a K-drama recognized as one of the top five to push Hallyu to what it is today, her significance was further enforced when she starred as the female lead in Descendants of the Sun.
Considered the most popular K-drama if we were not to weight its viewership ratings from Korean public television to Korean cable television, Descendants of the Sun was a phenomenon enjoyed and admired not only domestically in South Korea, but internationally especially in China. It made Song Hye Kyo a name recognized as a brand again this year. It also made her a lot of money to the point she probably did not need to star in another K-drama for the rest of the year possibly going into 2017. All in all, everything is looking up for Song Hye Kyo simply because she played the “Beauty” Kang Mo Yeon.
Unfortunately for Song Hye Kyo, she is also the center of attention for debilitating reasons too. For example, just before Descendants of the Sun began airing on KBS, it was reported that Hye Kyo purchased a $7.5 million second home. Such news would technically not be bad given Hye Kyo’s income, but the purchase took place right after her tax evasion scandal. Even after she reportedly paid back all the taxes she owed, it would still look sketchy to some, especially those who may not know that Song Hye Kyo was free and clear at the time of purchase.
Staying on topic with legal cases, it seems that because of Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo found herself in another legal situation with jewelry company J.ESTINA. Eventually, the case was resolved and Hye Kyo was paid for damages. However, she did something that would surely pull at heartstrings among Hallyu fans: Song Hye Kyo donated all the money to charity specifically the Beautiful Foundation.
Before providing more thorough details on how Song Hye Kyo used the money won by damages for humanitarian endeavors, it is best to explain what happened that caused the legal situation in the first place. According to AllKpop, both the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and jewelry company J.ESTINA had a deal in which J.ESTINA was allowed to use images and media from the popular K-drama for advertisement. Unfortunately for J.ESTINA, they made a snafu when they ended up using images and media outside of the K-drama. KBS was quick to provide a statement on this matter.
“In the case that the brand decides to use images and video clips of the actress outside of the drama, they should request permission from the actress.”
Legal action took place which was resolved earlier this year in which J.ESTINA chose to accept responsibility for their actions. They released a statement claiming they would “no longer dispute with Song Hye Kyo.”
“The company [J.ESTINA] has a lot of influence on the economy and Hallyu content, and we respect all the productions, actors, and businesses that work for those goals. Though we have little influence, we’ll do our best for the progress of Hallyu.
We will no longer dispute our former brand model Song Hye Kyo’s claims of image infringement in the media. We apologize for causing worry. We will promptly exchange sides with the other party and resolve this.”
Song Hye Kyo was given a total amount of 150 million KRW, which is about $124,357 USD and she donated it all to Beautiful Foundation. According to the charity’s website, they conduct research, surveys, and educational programs to aid philanthropic culture in Korean society. As for the donation, a staff member provided a statement in which they thanked Hye Kyo and further detailed that “she wanted the money to be used for underprivileged design students.”
Song Hye Kyo may not be perfect as she has had her fair share of skeletons in her closet, but she has shown she too has a heart of gold. For those who want to show their support for her, it is possible to do so by viewing her last K-drama, Descendants of the Sun, online for free, with ads, at either DramaFever, Viki, or OnDemandKorea.
[Featured Image by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)]