It's Difficult To Enjoy Dramas Like Hotel Del Luna When The People Working on Them Go Unpaid


It’s not. We grow up with this false notion, but it’s definitely not. Think about the wealthy man who stored riches his entire life, never had any family and never gave anything to anyone, either. Just when he decided to enjoy his wealth, however, he died. Just. Like. That. Why be like him then? From love to money and everything in-between, give freely, I say. Our time on this planet is very limited, after all. The Ancient Romans had a saying: Memento Mori (Remember Death)


And who is to enforce this punishment? Human justice is worthless, after all. There’s a reason why the case was ruled as a suicide. Also, no one can point a finger at someone else and say, “you’re guilty!” without doing the same in front of a mirror, especially some corrupt court. And what of Jang Ja-yeon? Should her pain lead to even more pain? Turn the other cheek, we are told. Spread love, nor hatred, we are encouraged. Even if we don’t know, we still have to believe that the dead do not stay dead. For her suffering, Jang Ja-yeon will be rewarded. For their evil deeds, the CEO and his accomplices will receive their due punishment. It won’t be from any of us. Someone infinitely higher will do these things. We just have to believe, dear Wanda.


Now at least they will work a bit less!


I didn’t know that! :astonished: In my local stores there are mostly from Netherlands or Spain and I usually pick Spain because I’ve seen documentary how it’s grown in Netherlands to make it grow faster and sweeter but the fast growing means no nutrients. So now I can’t choose Spain because of unacceptable working environment… ‘sigh’


I guess I lost my faith in everything divine judgement, justice system etc…By the way that Hotel De Luna drama is awesome! the type of dramas I like bc they are so different. IU is doing great in her acting bc I have to admit I don’t like her acting but here she has shown a marked improvement.


Oh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. :grin: You know me, I can’t watch a drama that’s currently airing because I can’t stand waiting for the next episode. :crazy_face::woozy_face:


I was also shocked. The Netherlands have these ‘in vitro aqua cultures’, but I think at least better circumstances for the ones who’re working there.

It often just says “Spain” on the product’s label and not a certain region (same with other countries) so it may be from one of these hothouses (picture of that Spanish region with ~350 km² of these):


From what I’ve understood of these flexible working hours, it means:
Possibility to work > 52 hours a week during 6 months as long as the average hours over 6 months do not exceed the legal limit.

The flexible working hours plan criticized by union labors:
“The flexible work hour system only legalizes long hours of labor and it mass-produces temporary workers, said KCTU Chairman Kim Myung-hwan.”

With these conditions, some companies would want to recruit only temp contracts.
Most people working on a shooting set have a temporary contract.
This type of contract doesn’t leave much choice to temporary workers, so under this earn-money-to-live dependance, some can’t always say “No” to the employer.
About controlling hours, an article was telling, in short, the difficulty of it and in the cinema, could mean:
How the administration can check that they don’t read scripts or work at home or during lunch? It’s difficult to count these hours or to control it or to make temp workers admit that because of the dependent relationship or their vulnerability.

Temp contracts, a breach to labor rights?
Without a rule, but above all, no sanction or coercion, there won’t be much change for a category of workers and why should some employers who used them before retreat and change now?
That’s why some workers are protesting in front of the National Assembly.

[The current president of Korea was elected notably because his plan contained better working conditions, hence the 52-hour limit, raise in salary.]

Could be the same with audience/dramas/producing dramas:
If there is an audience, there will be dramas.
Temp contracts, etc.
Can’t cut or omit the beginning/the end of the chain.

  • Law according to Wikipedia:
    Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as “the Science of Justice” and “the Art of Justice”. Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice.

From what I have understood, law is not justice or equality or fairness, though these notions are linked.


Yes, but the produce from Netherlands are without nutrients and that is bad for us who are eating it. I noticed this with peppers and I simply stopped buying them and chose those from Spain or some other veggie instead.

The problem is that consumers don’t want to pay for quality and they try to save money in the grocerystore and spend money on other things instead.Too bad for people like myself who wants to pay for quality and also good working environment for the farmers.


Yes, sadly.

The best vegetables are probably those from farmers nearby but then you could only buy them during a short period of the year plus not all vegetables (depending where you’re living since some plants need more heat than other).


Unfortunately you can only buy what’s offered in the store and they in turn can only buy what they know will sell. I just hope more people will request better quality and not just buy the cheapest.


Don’t the people doing the subtitles volunteer. I saw the titles of each discussion. and after what the subject is you find (volunteering) so they know before they start. Boys over Flowers is an awesome drama but it is a great sshame she decided to die without thinking how others would have to survive. Mental health needs to be talked about more in all countries


They aren’t talking about the volunteers who sub the dramas, but about the staff who produce the dramas themselves (see the links that @adrianmorales posted at the top).


Just seeing this discussion. Have been offline for more than a month due to hacking.

I want to share some ideas that you probably are already familiar with. When I stopped to consider the influence of Confucianism on Korea, it helped me understand better what’s at stake for Korean artists. I have seen this influence played out in a ton of K-dramas but have never thought about it seriously until the past year.

I have always assumed that the Korea I know from Viki is highly westernized because of the influence of the Korean war. I have always assumed that the “old-fashioned” and “dark” themes in K-dramas are there because Koreans are lucky to have centuries more art and literature and music and mythology than I do as an American . . . and Koreans hate to waste anything.

So when I started reading about problems with artists in Korea not getting a lot of respect and not getting paid, I couldn’t understand why those problems are so prevalent. I understand better now. I don’t like what I’ve learned, but I understand better.

There are centuries of Confucian-influenced culture in Korea that make getting paid for artistic work very hard. For one thing, moral purity in Korea is traditionally is measured by a person’s willingness to pay excessive respect to those considered one’s elders or superiors–even if those elders and superiors don’t merit such respect.

For another thing, in traditional Korean culture, proof of moral purity is demonstrated when pursuit of individual dreams and efforts is set aside in favor of supporting the health and well-being of the community as a whole.

Health and well-being and wealth and an easy life are proof of dedication to the family, the neighborhood, the region, the country. And such dedication is praised and rewarded.

Illness, anxiety, mental health problems, strife at home and at work, lack of confidence, lack of physical beauty, lack of education and a good job and social connections, lack of a spouse and children whose death-day celebrations will literally (according to tradition) elevate a dead person to the status of a minor divine being . . . all these and more are seen as proof that a person has somehow offended the impersonal forces of the universe that control human destiny.

And until such a person can correct his/her problems through hard work or some kind of secret ritual, he or she is considered a “carrier” of bad luck and must be treated harshly, kept in line, kept at a distance, reminded of his/her potential for harming the community.

The people “lucky” enough to have a “good” life are the ones who are given permission by the community to deal with “unlucky” people. If “unlucky” people are obviously criminal, obviously ugly, obviously not terribly clever, and obviously without champions . . . they can be kicked around, abused, fired, evicted, ridiculed, denied physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual support. And it’s considered the just result of their failure to support and protect the community.

“Unlucky” individuals who have some sort of value to the community, especially economic and social, are allowed to do penance for falling into a state of bad luck. They are asked to work harder, produce more, complain never, suck up to “lucky” people always, spend no time with their loved ones, give up hope of advancement in love and at work, sacrifice sleep, do without proper nutrition . . . all to “prove” that they do have righteous, virtuous, self-sacrificing souls somewhere inside their pathetic bodies.

And if they can stick with their self-imposed or community-imposed penance until the community decides that they have regained their virtue and “good luck,” then formerly “unlucky” individuals will avoid shame and humiliation and regain their status in the community AND (more importantly) avoid horrible complications with reincarnation.

The thing that makes my heart go out to anyone in Korea who is a “creative” is the fact that artists and musicians and writers and clothing designers and a host of other folks have been considered tainted and unlucky on some level since before the entertainment franchise known as gisaeng became formalized about 2000 years ago during the Goreyo dynasty.

Poor families sold their children to rich families so the families could survive–could have food, shelter, income. Their children grew up to meet the daily felt needs of rich families, including sexual felt needs. These felt-need meeters suffered abuse, were not allowed to marry in many cases, and were considered morally impure with little hope of redeeming themselves, being elevated to minor deity status by descendants, and avoiding a wretched reincarnation.

Western influence has seeped into Korea over the centuries, and along with it the notion of individual human dignity, value, and purpose. And these days, there is a lot in Korean culture, including the entertainment industry, that I find astoundingly creative, a huge challenge to American notions of excellence.

I think it’s no coincidence that a number of Korea movies and television shows of note have Kim Myung Min as the star. He self-identifies as a Christian and, as far as I can tell, has tried hard to imitate Jesus in his respect and care for others in his chosen profession.

Also, ever since watching the heart-wrenching K-drama I Can Hear Your Voice, I have become convinced that there are many actors, writers, and directors in the Korean entertainment business who absolutely promote treating other people with value and dignity–including paying people on time.

(If you have not seen I Can Hear Your Voice, watch it by all means. Actress Kim Hae-Sook will just blow you away as the embodiment of deep, deep values. Seriously.)

For me, the bigger problem is how young actors and musicians are treated by their management companies . . . and the expectations put on them by their fans . . . including many who discovered them through Viki.

I am as guilty as anyone for supporting a business that justifies the manipulation, overwork, constant criticism, endless dieting, and separation from family members of young, naive, and dependent clients.

The rationale is that these young and expendable men and women are promoting Korean culture and keeping Korea in the public eye. Even their suicides are used to keep the public clamoring for more entertainment.

How this problem can be tackled, and what attention it needs in order to go away permanently . . . who really knows?

For instance, if the owners of Viki announced that they would stop using and abusing “free” subbers and others . . . if they announced that they would start charging what their service is worth . . . if they announced that they would charge (let’s say) 40 dollars a month and put a percentage of their profits in a fund to help pay the unpaid creatives responsible for K-dramas . . . who among us would find a way to make that happen?

(Altermatively, if everyone of Viki’s millions of active subscibers cancelled their subscriptions and reactivated them an hour or a day later . . . the economic shake-up message to Viki’s owners would certainly make them pay more attention to their customer base.)


You taught me so many things I didn’t know about Korean culture, and in such simple words that I know many more here can/will understand, and I agree with EVERYTHING you wrote here. You have words of wisdom when it comes to the hurting the business(money part) is the only way they will listen to others, when they fear they might be losing their precious money(profit).

I believe this ‘‘bot system’’ was also developed bc they are so greedy that by eliminating all this volunteers QC status that gave them Free Pass, they swear they will get them back as regular paying customers. They saw that no matter how upset the volunteers got, they will always stay loyal to viki site as paying subscriber. My QC count/logo was already removed from my profile page (not that I care) and the viki pass status (they might say i’ts a bug).
We were never appreciated as volunteers in the first place so it doesn’t surprise me at all. That is why I did work on my own convenience bc I knew they didn’t deserve that devotion/sacrifice from me, and in the end, most of those sacrifice volunteers have already gotten kicked to the curb.

I know some of them are will be staying here, and I just hope they DO eliminate those that can’t really provide quality work at this site bc they lack the language skill they claim to have (sorry I tracked myself into another subject) I’m always doing that I know a bad/good habit I have depending the way others want to see it.

Personally I see they don’t care much about the subtitles having so many mistakes bc they just want the subs here on record time, and we know most unskilled volunteers can/will do just that (type in the words record time with hundreds of mistakes in the process). Although they must/should have 2 ppl. in the editing team, I only saw 1 assigned, and we all know how draining that can be (many segs will be jumped to get an edit revision) One person can’t humanly withstand so much workload and not miss many things


Angelight, thank you for your hard work and love for what you do.

I have been watching Viki shows for probably four or five years, and I have always been able to tell which shows are being subbed by people who REALLY love what they do.

My tendency is to watch Viki late at night. I tend to look for shows that have an indie feel–an edgy story line, actors known for taking risks in the roles they choose, camera work and editing that creates an intensity of action and dialog.

Fan channels are great places to find these kinds of shows. If a fan is SO excited about a show that she/he puts it up with subtitles still in progress, I know I have found something worth watching. I know that two things will be true.

First, the subs will be reflective of all the qualities I value.

Second, the subber (or subbers) will be up as late as I am, getting episodes translated as fast as they can. I have watched entire episodes go from zero percent translated to 100 percent translated in the space of three or four hours.

If Viki paid subbers according to professional standards, they would have to pay experienced volunteers about 400 dollars an hour for English subs. Of course that won’t happen for a variety of reasons, but it does seem that subbers, especially good subbers, should get recognition for work which is helping make Viki a profit.

As I have said, if just ten percent of Viki subscribers cancelled their subscriptions for one day, that would provide a strong reminder to the powers that be of who exactly it is that makes Viki so profitable.

But of course, that takes believing that subbers are indeed worth such an action. Complaining about the situation has its function, but if you do nothing, you get nothing.