Salary Difference Between Top Korean And

Salary Difference Between Top Korean And Japanese Actors Sparks Heated Debate

Netizens were not impressed by the trend.

Recently, a community post went viral in Korea in which the OP (original poster) compared the fee received by a top Korean actor against that of his Japanese counterparts.

The discussion was sparked, in particular, after a report stated that Kim Soo Hyun, often considered the highest-paid K-Drama actor, received ₩300 million KRW (about $222,000 USD) appearance fee per episode for his ongoing tvN K-Drama Queen of Tears.

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Kim Soo Hyun in “Queen of Tears”

A netizen reacted to this report, noting that, in comparison, Japanese actors get paid a lot less. They highlighted some figures, such as in 2022, popular actor Oguri Shun received around ₩5.00 million KRW (about $3,700 USD) per episode for an NHK drama, a top broadcasting network in the country.

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Oguri Shun | IMDb

Similarly, another popular Japanese actor, Aragaki Yui, was paid around [KRW] 3 million [/KRW], and Suda Masaki received [KRW] 2 million [/KRW] per episode of their most recent projects.

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Aragaki Yui | IMDb
Suda Masaki | @___suda221/Instagram

The OP ended the post adding that they felt Korea overpays its actors and should adopt the Japanese structure instead. Many netizens agreed with this viewpoint, asking for a change in the domestic industry.

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| Nate Pann
  • “Our country is seriously messed up. They get paid like Hollywood actors, while the staff below are paid peanuts… LOL. Just look at the co-ordis; they run around like crazy when they’re starting out and don’t even make 400,000 a month. And it’s not like they’re treated well, either. They have to hear “f*cker this, f*cker that,” and endure power abuse, while the pay they receive isn’t even much.”
  • “Timothy, who is a world-renowned star, reportedly received 12 billion KRW for his Willy Wonka. When you keep that in mind, it is absurd that a celebrity from such a small country like ours gets paid tens of millions of won per episode.”
  • “The staff does all the grunt work, and they take all the money, LOL.”
  • “Instead of copying the weird things from them, let’s follow stuff like this, please.”
  • “In our country, the celebrities are the new nobility, LOL.”

Meanwhile, the production crew of Queen of Tears has denied that Kim Soo Hyun is being paid over ₩3.00 billion KRW (about $2.22 million USD) for the entire show. Read more about it here.


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