Korean drama Cross is reacting quickly to a sexual harassment allegation against actor Jo Jae Hyun. What happened exactly?

Cross's swift decision arrived after a series of stunning news releases that began on February 22. First, it was reported that a famous actor with the initial "J" had harassed a twenty-something female staff member on the set of a TV show in 2013.

Then, on February 23, actress Choi Yul spoke up about Jo Jae Hyun by posting to her Instagram, "I was waiting for you to get exposed. It came a lot earlier than I had expected. This is only the beginning. There are many more trashy [people] out there. I can’t say much since I have a lot to lose, but until the day all perverts disappear, #metoo #with you.”

On February 24, Jo Jae Hyun issued a statement of apology as follows:

“This is Jo Jae Hyun. The first rumor that came up claimed that an actor, who is also a theater owner, forced a kiss on a young staff member after sitting her down on his lap. When these reports came out, I was going to give an explanation because some parts of the story were different from the truth. Shortly thereafter, however, we came across an interview [about sexual harassment allegations] that seemed to raise some other suspicions. I was really surprised and I couldn’t recall my memory from such a short [interview].

“I had a terrible mindset at that time, thinking it was all just slander. A few articles started reporting false speculations as well, so a part of me hoped that it would all just come to an end. Instead of self-reflecting, I spent my time having shamefully crude thoughts. I am a monster for trying to avoid the [consequences] of my dumb thoughts and disgusting actions in the past.

“I confess. I’ve lived a wrongful life. During my 30 years of acting, I made many mistakes with sinful words and actions towards my colleagues, staff members, and juniors. I am a sinner. I bow my head in apology to the victims who have been greatly hurt. I will now lay everything down. I will no longer think of myself. I will not try to avoid it. I will lay it all down.

“From here on out, I will look back on my life with a remorseful heart towards the victims.

“I am very ashamed and sorry.”

After actor Jo Jae Hyun's apology, the production team of Cross made an announcement on February 25 as follows:

“Hello. This is the production team of the drama Cross. Since Jo Jae Hyun’s agency’s official statement on Saturday, we have been working on removing his character as soon as possible. We are planning to edit out Jo Jae Hyun as much as we can and to the point where the story will still be understandable for episodes nine and 10. It is true that we are discussing removing his character in episode 12, but the decision has not been finalized. The staff will work hard so that Jo Jae Hyun’s controversy will not harm or cause discomfort to any other staff or viewers. Thank you.”

To recap -

The Cross drama will continue, and Jo Jae Hyun's character, Dr. Go Jung Hoon, will be phased out starting with episode nine. As the character is already suffering from an illness in the story, it's likely that he will meet his demise soon.

On the other hand, Dr. Go Jung Hoon was originally conceived as an integral character that is the main counterpart to leading man Go Kyung Pyo's independent-minded Dr. Kang In Gyu, who is pursuing revenge.

Will Go Ji In (Jun So Min), Dr. Go's daughter, take a more confrontational role against Dr. Kang? Or, will Dr. Lee Joo Hyuk (Kim Ji Han), a transplant surgeon, pick up that role? The possibilities are many, as there are some characters who aren't fully revealed yet since the drama is still developing and is still in a relatively early stage.

Personally, I would love to see more of Kim Ji Han, and I can see a scenario where Dr. Lee Joo Hyuk takes over the chief's job. If that happens, the potential conflicts between Dr. Kang and Dr. Lee could be interesting. It'd be up to the scriptwriter to steer the story that has been built up on intrigue and revenge to continue in its promised direction, and not let it turn into a predictable medical drama.

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