It seems the glitz and glamor of celebrity life in South Korea isn’t the same for everyone.
The National Tax Service (NTS) in Korea recently revealed that the average annual income of 15,423 actors and actresses in 2015 was around 43 million won which converts to roughly $36,580. In comparison to that total number, the top 1% (154 actors and actresses) reportedly earned an estimated 1.95 billion won per person or $1,661,458. That accounts for a whopping 45.7% of the total income for those in the same field. It seems that the top 10% of actors and actresses earnings wages showed an even greater imbalance, with an average annual income rounding out to about 367 million won or $313,054! For the remaining 90%, the annual income was 7 million won or about 580,000 won per month which is about $494.
These imbalances were found within the music industry as well. Statistics showed that out of 4,587 singers/idols who filed their taxes in 2015, the top 1% took away roughly 3.11 billion won per person ($2,650,186). This was equal to 45% of the total earnings by all artists. The top 10% were making an annual average 604 million won or 88.9% of the total. The other 90% were making roughly 8 million won or $6,822. These numbers highlights the wide pay gap between A list celebrities and struggling artists in the business.
An NTS official has indicated a gender gap as well and stated that “For singers, male idols dominated the top income group, the popularity of K-pop and the (Hallyu Wave) seems to have had its effect.”
What are your thoughts on this giant wage gap in the K-pop world?
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Sources: Yonhap News English | SBS PopAsia | Drama Fever
Edited by: Gigi E.