SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho has been reinstated by some advertisers, in a reprieve for the beleaguered star after an alleged abortion scandal.
The face mask brand Miima, which had employed Kim, 35, as a model, reposted ads featuring him on its official website and YouTube channel days after withdrawing them.
Canon Korea, another brand that had taken down images of Kim from its social media accounts, made an ad featuring him visible again.
It had been switched to private mode on Oct 19, two days after an online allegation that Kim had demanded his ex-girlfriend terminate her pregnancy, only to later dump her.
The actor, who recently starred in the romantic K-drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha as well as the work-romance series Start-Up (2020), admitted and publicly apologised for his actions on Oct 20.
The controversy surrounding Kim entered a new phase after South Korean media outlet Dispatch published a story on Tuesday (Oct 26), in which several people disputed the claims made by his former girlfriend and provided old chat messages that seemed to demonstrate Kim's concern about her condition.
Online, the debates continued. Someone claiming to have known Kim from college defended the actor and said he was not the sort of person who would force someone to have an abortion.
Meanwhile, public broadcaster KBS has come under fire for what viewers said was unnecessary programming concerning Kim.
On Friday, Entertainment Weekly Live, an entertainment show covering pop culture figures and industry news, aired a segment on whether the actor could be in any legal hot water for his alleged actions.
Many viewers felt the report was unnecessary as Kim had already stepped down from the KBS variety show 2 Days & 1 Night and his scenes had been edited out after the controversy.
An online petition posted to the KBS Audience Rights Centre on Friday called for the broadcaster to stop airing the episode. As of Sunday, it has gathered more than 6,940 signatures.
While KBS is required to respond to petitions that gain more than 1,000 signatures in 30 days, the broadcaster has yet to react.
Another petition to KBS, this one opposing Kim's withdrawal from the popular 2 Days & 1 Night, has gained more than 41,870 signatures as of Sunday.