Song Kang-ho’s Salary Despite Uncle Samsik Failure: 700 Million Won Per Episode?

According to a casting director with 10 years of experience in the global OTT industry, Song Kang-ho, who made his drama debut with ‘Uncle Samsik’, reportedly received 700 million won per episode on June 7th.

Despite the production company and Disney+ not disclosing any information about appearance fees, it is difficult to determine the exact amount. Nevertheless, the managers of other “Uncle Samsik”actors have claimed that Song Kang-ho’s appearance fees per episode amounted to 700 million won.

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Despite being lower than the 1.3 billion won received by Lee Jung-jae for each episode of “Squid Game 2”, this amount is comparable to the appearance fees of other top actors such as Lee Byung-hun, Song Joong-ki, and Kang Dong-won. Many consider the 700 million won reasonable, given that Song Kang-ho is a highly experienced and respected actor.

Despite this, there is a sense of disappointment among many individuals as they realize that the drama is not receiving the desired level of recognition. A representative of the film industry disclosed, “Song Kang-ho was paid 800 million won for his role in ‘Parasite’, but it is astonishing to know that he received 700 million won per episode for an OTT series with a global reach. It appears that local funding will struggle to compete with the vast financial resources of a US-based OTT platform.”

Since the expansion of platforms, leading actors have seen a significant increase in earnings. However, this growth has also brought about negative consequences. Production companies, who only receive 6-7% as fees, and writers and directors, who must relinquish all intellectual property rights, are increasingly resembling American agencies. This is expected to further exacerbate the issue of equity. In fact, there have been rumors circulating that Netflix may be shifting its production base from Korea to Japan, with the recent assignment of a Korean employee to work in Japan.

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It has been reported that Disney+ may have to reassess their entire Korean operations due to the underwhelming performance of Han Hyo-joo’s drama ‘Blood Free’, which they had invested 24 billion won in, as well as ‘Uncle Samsik’ in terms of popularity and buzz. If the current trend of 52-hour work weeks and increasing labor expenses for actors and staff persists, international OTT platforms may opt for other locations that offer greater cost-efficiency than Korea.

Despite releasing 11 episodes, the much-anticipated drama “Uncle Samsik”failed to capture attention due to its unappealing direction, sluggish progression, and overly materialistic storytelling.

In regards to Song Kang-ho’s compensation, his agency Sublime clarified that the actor had agreed to a contract with Slingshot Studio, the production company of ‘Uncle Samsik’, for a 10-episode drama. However, due to editing, the number of episodes increased to 16. As a result, Song Kang-ho received a total of less than 400 million won for the 16 episodes.

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