Television host and personality Jang Sung Kyu is getting sued for fraudulent solicitation, after sharing the prize money that he won from MBC‘s Good Morning FM radio show.
The news came shortly after Jang Sung Kyu shared that he won an “Excellent Radio Host” award and wanted to do a good deed by sharing the prize money with others. He showcased his excitement on his social media, not realizing the trouble that would come ahead.
What an honor for #GoodMorningFMJangSungKyu. I shared the prize with those who truly deserve it. #SoProud. To the five production staff from before, and to the five production staff now… And to my old manager Yong Woon, current manager Young Seok, who are always looking after me… And the maknae Chang Hyun who is never late and forever by my side… Thank you so much for everything. #ChristmasGift, #PrizeMoneyFlex.
— Jang Sung Kyu
On January 13th, the host took to his personal Instagram page to reflect on his actions and to convey his apologies to his fans. He uploaded this photo that shows a conversation between him and an official investigator for the case.
The caption that he posted alongside the photo relayed his sincere apologies. Here is what Jang Sung Kyu had to say:
I have completed my investigation. At the end of last year, I won a radio DJ competition and received the grand prize of 5 million won. I shared it with those around me and I am being sued for it. At first, I was shocked. I didn’t think it was my money to receive so I wanted to do something good with it.
I wasn’t expecting anything back. I thought of it like a gift. I offered 2 million won to four different producers but they all refused, saying that it was against the rules. They returned the money after thanking me for the thought.
— Jang Sung Kyu
He continued with his apology by admitting to his faults and realizing his mistakes. He promised to “work harder to be a better entertainer” as well as to “take full responsibility” for any inconveniences he caused.
I was not in my right mind. I was so proud of my actions, to be sharing the prize, that I uploaded it on my social media. I did not realize that it could make others uncomfortable nor did I see that it could be against the law. Even though I had good intentions, I know now that not everything can always be good. I will work even harder to be a better entertainer.
The results of the investigation have not come out yet. I will, however, accept whatever gets decided. To my family who did receive the money, I promise to take full responsibility if this is inconveniencing you in anyway. #I’mSorry
— Jang Sung Kyu
The current South Korean Improper Solicitation and Graft Act “makes it illegal for public officials to accept gifts of more than 50,000 won (about $45 USD) or 100,000 won (about $90 USD) at closed events such as weddings and funerals“. Passed in 2015, the law aims for “anti-corruption and bribery prevention“.
Jang Sung Kyu’s gesture to “share” the prize money became a violation of this act because the recipients are, in fact, “public officials” by definition — with MBC being a public broadcasting company.