The set team for tvN drama 'Hotel Del Luna' is under heavy controversy after it was revealed that they had been failing to pay their staff members. Two members who also worked on tvN's drama 'Boyfriend' have not received their pay from that drama either. The victims have been trying to receive their wages through the Ministry of Employment and Labor and stated that they were disgusted with the way they were being treated. They were apparently told that the team leading the production of 'Hotel Del Luna' stated that they threatened wages even later after complaints were made. The reports of the poor working conditions have also led to dramas 'Arthdal Chronicles' and 'Korean Odyssey' to be affected as well because of the usage of the same set team.
The set team in charge of the production of 'Hotel Del Luna', Human Art, has failed to pay 22,500,000 million KRW (~19,129 USD) in delayed salaries to the set team for the past 8 months. Victim Kim stated: "I worked on the set of 'Boyfriend' since last September. I had already not received payment for the drama I worked previously to that one. After building the entire set, only 4 out of the 13 crew were involved in the rest of the drama. There were times when I was working 40 hours straight."
Kim has apparently resigned in April, stating that "even if I work more, I realized I wouldn't get paid." When Kim asked Human Art when the payment would be received, one of the members told him "I'll tell you one thing. You reported us, didn't you? Cancel it. Then we'll pay you in March or April. But you said you wouldn't cancel the report. So I told the boss that if you wouldn't cancel it, we'll pay you as late as we can. We're sorry for the wages not being paid before but you're so unwilling to be reasonable, we'll be doing the same as well."
CJ E&M responded to this controversy, stating "The subcontract states that there is no responsibility on us for delayed wages. We distributed all the wages for 'Boyfriend' via a subcontractor. It appears that Human Art has failed to pay its staff. We requested that they give out payment as soon as possible."
However, the Hanbit Media Labor Rights Center and the national press union has stated that CJ E&M has the primary responsibility for this matter as subcontractors are also part of a production that the company is in charge of. This is not the first time poor working conditions have been a controversy for CJ E&M. Staff members have been reported to work 26 hours straight on the set of 'Arthdal Chronicles' and a member of the art team for 'Korean Odyssey' was paralyzed after suffering a fall on set. This matter is still being investigated. These conditions were allowed to continue because of the way the subcontracts were written.