Sadness! Looks like Kang Ho Dong is retiring temporarily, effective immediately, due to his tax problems. The National Tax Service investigated his records and found that he didn’t pay enough taxes for the money that he has earned. He has been working with a lawyer for the last 5 months to get everything straightened and make the correct payments but since the news of the tax evasion leaked to the public… well, we all know how netizens can get. So he decided to come out of the spotlight for now which means giving up his MCing duties on all three major networks.
At a press conference today, he released the following statement: “In light of my recent tax problems, I’d like to use this public forum to sincerely apologize to the nation. Ever since I was little, I did wrestling. During my wrestling years, I rose to the status of “man of great strength” through everyone’s support. As an entertainer, I became the MC of many shows through viewer’s interest in me. I know that I wouldn’t become the Kang Ho Dong of today without your love. But I disappointed all of you. It’s my fault that I didn’t properly manage my tax issues. I’m well aware of how outraged you are at me. I’m someone that earns a living off of being an entertainer. Through TV, I’m supposed to provide viewers with laughter and happiness. But because of this situation, how can I be brazen enough to be on TV and laugh and babble? How can the viewers who see my face laugh? I want to take this opportunity to tell people what my next step will be. I, Kang Ho Dong, at this time will temporarily retire from the entertainment world. This ignorant Kang Ho Dong has thought about this decision for several days now. When I was young, as an entertainer who wrestled, I knew of nothing outside the entertainment world. While I’m away, not only will I resolve my tax issues but I will reflect on the things I have neglected because I used the excused that I was too busy. I’ll look back and see if I had been too arrogant. Also through the advice of the staff and the broadcasting executives of the programs I’ve been working on, I will step down from my position on those show to not cause further disturbance to the viewers. Lastly, I would like to sincerely apologize again to all the fans and I will live not forgetting all the love and support you’ve given me.”
I watch both Strong Heart and 1 Night 2 Days and it’s gonna be a great loss for both programs. Strong Heart heavily relied on the give and take of both hosts, Kang Ho Dong and Lee Seung Gi, that I’m not sure if Lee Seung Gi will be able to handle the load all by himself. Similarily on 1 Night 2 Days, there was an episode not too long ago where Kang Ho Dong and Lee Su Geun were given permission to go home from the shoot early because they won a race. It resulted in Seung Gi taking over the hosting duties and to be honest, it felt very awkward and not as energetic. At least these two programs have other MCs in place right now so that filming could potentially continue. Golden Fishery and Star King are a bit more difficult. There are other MCs on Golden Fishery but I’ve never seen any of them take the lead. They just seem to provide humorous commentary when needed. Star King, oy… It’s got a similar set up as Strong Heart in that Kang Ho Dong leads and the other guests provide reactions. But from my knowledge, Kang Ho Dong doesn’t have a regular co-MC. The productions are currently scrambling but they have enough footage for the time being.
As for Kang Ho Dong, apparently there are plans for the Korean Taxpayers Union to take action against the National Tax Service for releasing personal information to the public. It makes me wonder though if the reason why he was planning on moving on from all these shows previously were due to his tax problems. I can fully understand how a mistake could happen but the fact that you are rich and famous and this is happening on a national stage, that totally sucks. You gotta have a reliable and very thorough tax advisor.