Following the news that broke out about Lee Seo-won (Hospital Ship) sexually harassing and threatening a female celebrity with a weapon, upcoming tvN drama About Time and KBS’ music program Music Bank both announced the removal of the young actor from their respective shows.
Here is the full statement of the production team behind About Time:
“The production crew of tvN’s ‘About Time’ received notice about the pertinent facts late this evening (Wednesday, May 16), and through internal discussions has decided on the withdrawal of Lee Seo-won.
Lee Seo-won’s role in the drama was the director of a musical that the female lead appears in, and as it is a supporting role in a subplot that is separate from the lead characters’ story, it does not have a lot of screen time. However, despite it being a subplot, it is one of the many diverse stories within the drama, and therefore the whole story cannot be removed. Therefore, we will be replacing him with a different actor and re-filming. ‘About Time’ began filming last February and so there is enough footage that has been set aside. Therefore, even though the relevant scenes will be re-filmed, it has been determined that there will be no setbacks in the broadcast schedule. The production crew will do our best in the future so that the drama production will be carried out amicably and we can provide viewers with a good drama. In addition, please note that the ‘About Time’ press conference scheduled for May 17 (Thursday) will go ahead as planned.”
Meanwhile, Music Bank has also released an official statement on the status of Lee Seo-won as MC:
“After the reports of the incident on MC Lee Seo-won, we checked on the facts of the situation with his agency, and we have decided on Lee Seo-won’s removal from the program. For the time being, ‘Music Bank’ will cast various special MCs to be paired with current MC Solbin.”
On May 16, news sources reported that the Seoul Gwangjin Police charged Lee Seo-won on April 8 and investigated him afterwards, before sending the case to the Seoul East District Prosecutors’ Office with a recommendation of indictment.
Police investigation findings stated that during a drinking session with an unnamed female celebrity, Lee Seo-won attempted to kiss her and make physical contact, but was rejected. When he continued to force her into making physical contact, the celebrity victim called her boyfriend to ask for help. Lee Seo-won allegedly got angry and threatened her with a weapon.
The police statement even revealed that Lee Seo-won was investigated in a very intoxicated state that he even swore at the police officer and shouted.
The actor’s agency Blossom Entertainment also released their own statement following the scandal:
“Hello. This is Blossom Entertainment.
We sincerely apologize for causing concern to many people through the shameful incident related to actor Lee Seo-won. Firstly, we did not know about this situation before we received a request for confirmation from the media. After verifying with him in order to understand the exact truth, we learned that it was something that happened after he had drank alcohol at a private meeting with an acquaintance.
There are no excuses to be made. We bow our heads to everyone and express our apologies. We are sorry.
Currently, actor Lee Seo-won has recognized his error and is deeply reflecting about causing concern to the other party and many people due to his thoughtless and mistaken actions.
We once again sincerely express our deep apologies to everyone, and we will sincerely take part in the upcoming investigation. We are sorry.”
About Time is directed by PD Kim Hyung-shik (Twenty Again, Sign, and Ghost) and is set to air on May 21. The actor’s replacement has not been announced as of this writing.