Indonesian companies pull ads featuring Korean actor Kim Seon-ho amid controversy

A couple of Indonesian companies, namely Ajaib and Everwhite, have been quick to virtually cut ties with South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho after allegations of gaslighting and forced abortion from an ex-girlfriend surfaced recently. Photo: Kim Seon-ho for Ajaib and Everwhite
A couple of Indonesian companies, namely Ajaib and Everwhite, have been quick to virtually cut ties with South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho after allegations of gaslighting and forced abortion from an ex-girlfriend surfaced recently. Photo: Kim Seon-ho for Ajaib and Everwhite

A couple of Indonesian companies have been quick to virtually cut ties with South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho after allegations of gaslighting and forced abortion from an ex-girlfriend surfaced recently. 

Seon-ho, whose popularity skyrocketed after starring in hit K-drama series Start-Up late last year, is finding himself dropped from various projects and advertisements that previously featured the then-rising actor. 

Ajaib, a stock trading platform, signed Seon-ho as their spokesperson in December of last year, shortly after Start-Up ended. Though Ajaib has changed its ambassadors to Indonesian actors Iqbaal Ramadhan and Pevita Pearce from early July, traces of Kim Seon-ho from their previous campaign are no longer found on their Instagram page, leaving only one post from early December featuring him as the character he portrayed, Han Ji-pyeong.

In early May, popular skincare brand Everwhite also named Seon-ho as their ambassador. However, he has virtually disappeared from the brand’s Instagram page at this point, safe for one post on a “Kim Seon Ho Kit” giveaway.

The two companies have not made official statements denouncing Seon-ho, but local media have reported that they have cut ties with the Korean actor.

In case you’re out of loop on the scandal, the allegations were published only a day after Seon-ho’s latest drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, which was streamed internationally on Netflix, concluded its run.

Also Read ⁠— Pocong goes international: Indonesian netizens spooked by ‘ghost sighting’ in hit K-drama series ‘Start-Up’

Here’s a summary of the scandal: an anonymous woman published a lengthy article on online community website Nate Pann on Sunday, accusing Seon-ho ⁠— then identified as “rising star Actor K” ⁠— of having caused her physical and mental trauma since they started dating in early 2020. The woman said she decided to expose Actor K not because of a bad breakup, but because Seon-ho has yet to apologize for manipulating her to terminate her pregnancy in order to save his career. 

The full translation of the woman’s allegations can be found here. ​​

Korean media outlets have singled out Actor K as Kim Seon-ho, with brands that he represented in his home country, namely Domino’s Pizza, Canon, and food company Food Bucket taking down various ads and posts featuring the actor from their social media.

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