Ever since Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo‘s divorce news became a highly discussed topic all around the world, drama production companies have reportedly included a new divorce clause into their contracts with married actors or actresses.
An industry insider claims that ever since Song Joong Ki announced his divorce while his drama was still on the air, the new contracts between production companies and entertainment agencies include a penalty fee for actors who get divorced before the drama is completely finished.
Before news of Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki’s divorce, the contract for drama appearances between the production company and the actors’ agencies did not include any clauses related to divorce. But after the announcement of their divorce, ‘divorce’ was added to the contracts as a personal reason.
If an actor causes controversies due to a divorce in the middle of the drama, they will have to pay a penalty of at most 3 times their contract fee.
— Production Insider
Song Joong Ki returned with his first drama in 3 years, since his beloved role in Descendants Of The Sun with Song Hye Kyo. His new drama, titled Arthdal Chronicles, was still airing when news of his divorce broke.
As his divorce became a widely covered issue for weeks to come, production companies felt it was more detrimental to the drama’s success than beneficial. Despite the drama’s hefty production budget for 50 billion won (~$43 million USD), it failed to meet the high expectations in ratings.
Although it’s impossible to blame Song Joong Ki’s divorce for the unmet expectations, it appears his divorce has set a new precedent for production companies when contracting with married actors.