The team behind "Drinking Solo" has been facing a huge controversy following the death of its assistant production director (PD) from apparent suicide last year.
It was on October 26 at around 4:00 a.m. when Lee Han Bin's dead body was found inside a hotel room in Gangnam District. The shocking incident has raised speculations on whether the suicide has anything to do with his work in "Drinking Solo."
Similarly, the bereaved family of the PD reportedly barred CJ employees from paying their respect at his funeral. Five months after the incident, the investigating team of the PD's suicide slammed the "Drinking Solo" production for allegedly overworking their staff.
"The production environment was a cruel jungle, with long, difficult labor, and it was an authoritarian and abusive place," the team said as per Soompi. "PD Lee had difficulty handling the painful environment."
The statement went on, "That's why he died by suicide. He worked so hard, and then was bullied by those around him. Even as he was being verbally abused, he stuck with it."
The investigating team also demanded that the "Drinking Solo" production as well as CJ E&M should apologize for causing the death of a hardworking staff. This order came after the network allegedly insisted that Lee Han Bin committed suicide all because of his weak personality.
Although the investigating team is hopeful that CJ E&M will provide an apology for their previous statements, the group, however, warned that they will be taking legal actions if the network remains adamant.
CJ E&M, on the other hand, was quick to give their response to the other party and promised that they will cooperate with the investigation on the PD's suicide. The broadcast network also offered their sincerest apology to the family of PD Lee Han Bin.
"If the police and the public authorities take the lead in investigating, our executives as well as the staff will actively participate," the company said.