D.P. actor Song Duk-ho has announced a career hiatus amid allegations he engaged illegal broker services to evade South Korea’s mandatory military service.
Yesterday (January 31), South Korean news outlet Sports Chosun reported that the actor has gone on an indefinite hiatus after an investigation into his medical history was launched. Song is reportedly accused of engaging illegal broker services to forge parts of his medical history, allowing him exemptions from South Korea’s mandatory military service, which usually enlists all eligible South Korean men aged 30 and below for two years of service.
The investigation was launched as part of a wider series of probes into military service evasion by South Korean celebrities suspected of contracting brokers to forge or doctor health documents. Some celebrities also currently under investigation include K-pop idol and VIXX singer Ravi as well as national volleyball player Jo Jae-sung.
According to a report from The Korea Herald, the joint investigation team launched by the Military Manpower Administration and prosecution suspects Song of contracting a broker for assistance in “demonstrating false symptoms of epilepsy during a military examination” and later “submitting an allegedly fraudulent report of his diagnosis”.
Song’s label, Bistus Entertainment, later issued an official response to the reports, saying that the actor had stepped down from the filming of a drama and will continue to be involved in “additional investigations” into the matter, per their statement to Sports Chosun. Bistus Entertainment also told The Korea Herald that the actor had received his military exemption through “improper” means.
“While [Song] was looking for ways to postpone his military service last summer, he used an unfair way where he received a grade four [during the examination] instead of delaying his enlistment date,” the company told The Korea Herald. Under South Korea’s current conscription evaluation system, men with grades one to three are deemed eligible to enlist for active duty, while those categorised as grade four are given the option to serve their duties with supplemental or second citizen service, which are the less physical forms of military duty.
“[Song] is deeply reflecting on the incident and would like to apologise to those he disappointed,” the company added.
According to Soompi, the drama Song stepped away from due to the investigations had the title Beneficial Fraud (literal translation) and is being produced by Studio Dragon. A source from the studio reportedly said that casting is underway for Song’s replacement “and there are no disruptions to the schedule”.
- READ MORE: D.P. season 2: cast updates, release window and everything we know so far about the Netflix series
Song previously appeared as supporting character Lee Jae-chang on the first season of Netflix original D.P., and was later announced to be returning for its second season. His involvement in D.P. season 2 moving forward remains unclear. Prior to D.P., he also appeared in other hit K-drama series such as Hotel Del Luna, Juvenile Justice, Taxi Driver and more.
Based on Kim Bo-tong’s popular webcomic D.P. Dog’s Day, D.P. follows a military faction of the same name, which stands for Deserter Pursuit. Soldier An Jun-ho (played by Snowdrop’s Jung Hae-in) gets transferred to the unit as it deals with a deep undercurrent of bullying and harassment of recruits to the military’s ranks.
Season two of D.P. is slated for a global premiere on the platform sometime in the third quarter of 2023, as announced by Netflix last month. The streaming service announced that the show had been renewed for a second instalment in December 2021, only a few months after the show hit the service in September 2021.