On this week's episode of 'Ssul Jeon', the MCs started a topic about Korean remakes of Japanese dramas, saying they do not always succeed and that the less successful ones seem to be connected to SM Entertainment. In response, Heechul revealed his thoughts about why that seems to be the case.
One example they brought up was Sulli and Minho's 'To the Beautiful You' which was a remake of popular Japanese drama 'Hana Kimi'.
One MC asked Heechul if he ever acted in any of these and the idol responded, "I told them I would never do a drama produced by SM."
As you can imagine, his response intrigued his fellow MCs who asked, "Why?"
The Super Junior member, who is known for his frank and honest nature, began, "There's a singer team and then there's an actor team. But even the acting team, on areas like promotions and such, the agency promotes them too similarly to the way they promote singers... I'd always say something to them about this matter.... I'm getting angry now thinking about it," hinting that he believes there should be more of a distinction between the two teams and the way the agency handles promotions for them.
Hearing his comment, the other MCs couldn't hide their surprise at Heechul having the guts to be so open about internal company matters, remarking, "Wow... that's a very internal company talk."
Heechul had more to say on all this and said in a frustrated manner, "If you look at it from our perspective, there are some parts to be thankful for as SM's mindset is, 'Our kids are the best so if our kids do it, then it'll turn out well'. If you watch a SM music video, you'll never see an actor or someone from outside the agency make an appearance since the agency's thinking is, 'Our kids are so cool, handsome, and the best, so why should we bring in anyone from the outside? Our kids are the best, so let's use them'. Because of that..."
As if to complete Heechul's thought, the MC next to him said, "So they'll cast both the [drama's] male and female leads from the agency" and Heechul heatedly exclaimed, "But does that work?!" - revealing that he believes SM's lackluster results from their drama productions are due to the mindset that they should try to only recruit from within the agency, rather than bringing in outside talents to star as leads.
Hearing him vent, the fellow MCs patted him on the back impressed by his honesty and courage to speak openly about having different thoughts from his agency.
K-netizens' comments from X Sports News via Nate:
Article: Kim Heechul reveals the reason SM fails at drama production "They only trust their own artists"
1. [+143, -2] Kim Heechul knows, viewers know, even the fans know the truth, so who's the one in SM that keeps pushing for it anyway?
2. [+90, -4] Realistically, SM shouldn't act....
3. [+86, -3] Exactly!
4. [+19, -2] I'm sure SM has some decent actors, it's just that their crappy ones have such a huge impact that anyone with the SM label makes me not want to watch them, ie Yeon Hee.
5. [+9, -1] It doesn't even have to be an SM produced drama, any drama with an SM actor always fails.
6. [+6, -1] We all know SM kids are the prettiest and most handsome, you don't have to show that in dramas, though ㅋ... The only ones worth watching are Siwon, Yoona, and Sulli... Please don't bring out Yunho, Minho, Jessica, Yuri, etc again.
This is one of the major reasons why I really like Heechul. The man has balls of steel.
Sources: JTBC Entertainment, AKP, NB, Nate