'Twenty-Five Twenty-One' star Kim Tae-ri sorry for free fan labor issue


Posted at May 25 2023 02:15 PM | Updated as of May 25 2023 03:19 PM

South Korean actress Kim Tae-ri. Photo: Instagram/@kimtaeri_official
South Korean actress Kim Tae-ri. Photo: Instagram/@kimtaeri_official

Award-winning South Korean actress Kim Tae-ri has apologized after asking fans to provide subtitles to her vlog for free, which some criticized as requesting for unpaid labor.

Earlier this week, Kim, known for starring in the drama "Twenty-Five Twenty-One," asked fans in a now-deleted Instagram post to help in providing translations for her YouTube series "So This Is The Place?" without pay, according to reports.

The 33-year-old actress' post drew flak for asking fans for free labor.

In a new Instagram post, Kim apologized "for the trouble I have caused" and "to everyone I made [to] feel uncomfortable."

"I planned my vlog as a way to repay the love I have received from my fans, and I have been involved in every step of the process, from filming to editing to, at present, the English subtitles. I thought that this might be a more complete way to repay my fans," she said.

Kim explained that since the start of her vlog, "fans from various countries, not just English-speaking ones, have requested subtitles in their own languages."

"Seeing the different languages under the video made me think about how great it would be if they could enjoy the video with subtitles in their own language," she said.

"But because I was so focused on the idea of completing something meaningful with my fans, I failed to approach the most important issue with caution. Clearly, I fell short."

The actress acknowledged that she "should not have approached my fans as if I was asking for talent donations."

"It was a clear mistake and I deeply reflect on the fact that I was not aware of it myself," she said.

Kim's agency, Management MMM, also apologized for the controversy.

On Instagram, the company clarified that Kim's vlog "does not generate any revenue from advertisements or other means."

"Since the inception of 'So This Is The Place?', and as the work on the English subtitles continues, Tae-ri's commitment to her fans has been the sole driving force.

The management said the intent behind Kim's request for help "was to make the vlogs more accessible to international fans."

"Despite our intentions, however, we acknowledge and deeply regret the unintended distress this announcement caused to numerous individuals," it said.

Management MMM stressed that it did not intend to "take advantage of anyone" in the process of producing Kim's vlog.

"When there were circumstances that required compensation, we ensured that it was provided in a fair manner," it added.

Kim is best known for starring in the erotic thriller film "The Handmaiden," which competed for the Palme d'Or top prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2022, she starred in the coming-of-age series "Twenty-Five Twenty-One," about the lives of a high school fencer and her friends in South Korea following the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

Kim's role in "Twenty-Five Twenty-One" won for her the Best Actress for Television award at the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards.

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