Kim Sae Ron, B.I., And More Suspended From Broadcast By KBS Based On DUI Or Illegal Drug Charges

Most netizens feel the action is irrelevant.

On December 21, KST, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) announced that they have banned six Korean celebrities from broadcasts. These celebrities have all been involved in cases of either driving under the influence or illegal drug use.

| The Korea Times

According to the operating standards of the Broadcasting Regulatory Review Committee, KBS refrains, places temporary restrictions, or suspends the casting of celebrities who get involved in legal controversies based on each case’s level of severity. The list announced on December 21 included Kim Sae Ron, Kwak Do Won, and Shinhwa‘s Shin Hye Sung for DUI charges.

Kim Sae Ron | NME

The police arrested Kim Sae Ron in May for crashing her vehicle into multiple objects on the road while drunk driving near the Hakdong intersection in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Her blood alcohol level at that time came out to be 0.2%, much higher than the license revocation level, which is 0.08%.

Kwak Do Won | IMDb

Kwak Do Won was suspected of driving around 11km under the influence of alcohol from a bar at around 4 a.m. KST on September 25. At that time, his blood alcohol level was much higher than the license revocation level.

Shin Hye Sung | @honeymoon204/Twitter

In October this year, Shin Hye Sung was booked at Tancheon 2nd Bridge in Seoul for violating the Road Traffic Act. When the police found him in the middle of a road in Songpa-gu, they tried to make him take a breathalyzer, but he refused, thereby violating the law. It led to his immediate arrest.

The other three celebrities included in the suspension are composer Don Spike, actor Ha Jung Woo, and singer B.I. Don Spike was accused of buying methamphetamine worth ₩45.0 million KRW (about $35,300 USD) on nine occasions since December of last year. He was also charged for administering drugs a total of 14 times. He admitted all charges in the first trial and was sentenced to five years in prison by the prosecution in December.

Don Spike | Newsis

Ha Jung Woo was fined ₩30.0 million KRW (about $23,500 USD) for illegally administering propofol at a plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam, Seoul, from January 2019 to September of the same year.

Ha Jung Woo

In 2016, B.I. was prosecuted for purchasing marijuana and LSD through an acquaintance and using some of them. In 2021, the court sentenced him to three years of suspended prison and four years probation. Additionally, he was required to finish 80 hours of community service and 40 hours of drug treatment lectures, along with paying a fine of ₩1.50 million KRW (about $1,180 USD).

B.I. aka Kim Hanbin

Netizens have given mixed reactions to the decision, given how most of these celebrities never appeared on KBS that much to begin with. Many also demanded that the same standards be applied to other celebrities and politicians of the country as well.

  • “But it feels like these people never appeared in broadcasts anyway…”
  • “Who watches public TV these days? Just lower your subscription fee.”
  • “When it’s actors or celebrities, you guys act on it right away, but when it’s politicians, you keep shut tsk tsk.”
  • “Start with politicians.”
  • “Won’t you also do it for politicians?”
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