Chapter 47: When I woke up, the world was… (3)
“Re-really? Is it really fine?”
Im Seoyoung was more worried than Lee Songha, who was directly involved. No, Lee Taehee and LJ were sending me worried looks as if they hadn’t been in a festive mood just now.
“Oppa, aren’t you saying this so that we won’t worry?”
“No. I’m really not worried about it. Controversies like this will all disappear once Lee Songha proves her acting skills. Just think of it as noise marketing. There will be more people interested in Cat Guardian Ghost, and the viewership ratings for the first broadcast will be higher.”
When I shrugged my shoulders, Im Seoyoung opened and closed her mouth a few times.
“Aren’t you too optimistic? If…”
LJ glanced at Lee Songha before dragging off.
They were probably worried in case Lee Songha’s acting skills weren’t enough to put this controversy to rest. Not just them, anyone would be worried.
As there were countless idols who took a step into the drama industry with strong ambitions before failing once they showed their terrible acting skills.
When I turned around, my eyes met with Lee Songha, who was still looking at me. When I looked at her eyes, which seemed to convey, ‘Is there a big problem?’ I unknowingly smiled.
We had practiced the script for the past few weeks. We had met with Writer Hong Jumi and Director Shin Taekyun multiple times and shared our thoughts on the character, and the new acting teacher marveled at Lee Songha’s acting skills every time.
I didn’t see the exact future of this incident.
So, it was impossible for me to be 100% certain about the way things would unfold.
However, I couldn’t imagine the viewers getting up in arms because Lee Songha wasn’t good at acting.
“There’s no need to take words from people who don’t know anything to heart. Don’t worry, Songha. You just need to do as you’ve always been doing.”
Then, Kim Hyunjo came out of the kitchen and said,
“Pack your things. Team Leader Park is still at the company so let’s go and check how things progress.”
I grabbed my outerwear, laptop and bag and got up. Kim Hyunjo told the girls, who were following us with complicated expressions,
“Well, this is something we’ve expected since Seo Jijoon was confirmed in the drama Lee Songha was cast in. It will die down soon, so you just think about the good things. We spread Neptune’s name in today’s broadcast. If we continue like this, things are going to get better every day from now on.”
“What about oppas? Oppas won’t be able to rest.”
“We are going to talk for a bit at the company before leaving. Taehee, you take care of the girls. Don’t let Seoyoung use the internet.”
She replied, scratching her neck. Then, in a small voice, she added,
“Call me if things blow up. I won’t be sleeping.”
Kim Hyunjo clicked his tongue.
“Okay, okay. I’ll call you.”
We left the residence, feeling the girls’ gazes on our backs.
Unlike Kim Hyunjo’s prediction that we would leave right away, we met the morning sun inside the meeting room.
This was the longest, most nauseating night since I joined.
It took a little longer for the full drunken effect of the wild ginseng wine to set in, the vibrating noises from cell phones scattered around me gave me a headache and attempting to look at my laptop screen with letters the size of sesame seeds for hours made nausea reach my throat.
Then, I was too uneasy about the public’s opinion of Lee Songha to go home and rest.
In the end, the three of us left the rest to Team Leader Park and the PR team and went to sleep for a bit. It was 3 a.m. when I said goodnight to Kim Hyunjo and the traitor before coming to the sleeping area on the first floor and closing my eyes. That was the last memory I had.
When I opened my eyes again, Kim Hyunjo was looking down at me like a grim reaper.
“Are you alive?”
“I was about to die of heart failure just now.”
When I looked around with my half-opened eyes, my heart thumped once more. The traitor’s face was floating on the other side of the sleeping area. What a scare. When I calmed my heart and looked again, he was staring at his phone.
With an enthralled face.
Why was he like that?
I stretched my body while tilting my head. I heard cracking sounds from my shoulders and back. Euah, I feel like I’m dying. Today was the day we were going to release the exhaustion that had been piling up by coming to work late.
Damn. I came to my senses while inwardly cursing Producer Go Joontae.
“Chief, what about the public opinion? What happened?”
“Hmm. On one hand, it ended well, on the other, we’re screwed.”
Kim Hyunjo picked up my phone that was rolling around my pillow and said,
“Look at the real-time searches. It’s a historic event so prepare yourself.”
A historic event?
I tilted my head as I turned my phone on and freaked out.
I had 48 missed calls.
When I looked through it, the majority were unknown numbers, and the occasional numbers that were saved on my phone were from reporters I had met at drinking parties. There were some who called multiple times, and there were tons of messages asking me to call them back when I saw their message.
I thought I had slept for half a day, but that wasn’t it either. When I looked at the time, I only slept for 3 hours. It was 6 a.m. right now, not even the sun was up yet.
Do these people think managers don’t need sleep? What’s with their rude behavior?
Wait, don’t tell me the public opinion became worse?
I quickly checked the ranking of real-time search terms.
Then, as soon I saw it, I realized what Kim Hyunjo meant. And the reason why the traitor was so captivated as he looked at his phone.
6th, Next K-Star.
5th, Cat Guardian Ghost.
And… Lee Songha.
Her name was first on the real-time search rankings.
I waited for a day like this.
A day when the names of Neptune’s members would appear on real-time search rankings. A day where articles about them would be on the main page of entertainment news sites, where countless reporters wrote and published articles about them.
However, I didn’t wish for things to progress like this…
The headline on the main page and the headlines from articles beneath all had Neptune and Lee Songha’s name in them.
First, I checked all the articles that were published after I went to sleep.
[Neptune member Lee Songha, Chemistry with Seo Jijoon from the same company in their new drama] [Lee Songha joins ‘Cat Guardian Ghost’, is it another package casting?] [“Her singing was criticized, so she’s acting?” Girl group Neptune’s member Lee Songha’s actions are being hated by netizens]
[As the girl group Neptune, who appeared on Next K-Star and received praise for their skills which were unlike a rookie group, is trending, their member Lee Songha is swept with controversy.
When the fact that TVL’s new drama starting in January cast Seo Jijoon together with Lee Songha was revealed, there are suspicions that this may be an ‘Add-on’.
The fact that she was cast with one audition and that she has no history in acting, and the fact that she is a rookie with no popularity in the country and overseas are only increasing people’s suspicions.
On top of that, it has been revealed that Lee Songha auditioned two days after being told that her skills were lacking compared to her other members after their Next K-Star mission performance. Netizens ask, “Didn’t she jump to acting without any preparations because her singing was criticized?” as they look unfavorably upon this incident…]
I was about to go crazy.
I closed the browser within 3 seconds of turning it on. Swears and sarcastic remarks I had never heard before were taking the top spots. I calmed my shocked heart and looked through the articles again.
I saw some changes in the headlines after the company’s first public explanation.
[From Lee Songha’s side, “Cat Guardian Ghost was a project we were discussing before this.”] [‘Cat Guardian Ghost’ producer, “Not an ‘Add-on’, a unanimous decision to cast her after her audition”]
In articles referring to the press release, they wrote that Lee Songha was a member who was already receiving acting lessons and that Cat Guardian Ghost was a project they had been discussing internally before the filming of Next K-Star’s first broadcast.
They also included that Lee Songha herself asked for an audition after reading the synopsis and that Seo Jijoon joined after Lee Songha auditioned and was already cast.
They mentioned CEO Kim Pansuk from Pan Production as well.
Because of this, the situation, where there was overwhelming criticism towards Lee Songha, roughly reached an equilibrium. However, the controversy didn’t seem to want to die down and continued to heat up.
It wasn’t only on articles, social media and other community sites had pages and pages of comments regarding this incident.
- Their media brainwashing is op. They should just acknowledge she was added in after Seo Jijoon and accept criticism. No matter who looks at it, it’s obvious they added her in, but since they aren’t acknowledging it, they are getting bashed even more. How detestable.
- They say it’s not true so what is there to acknowledge? They said that there was a unanimous agreement after her audition.
- They probably won’t be able to handle the backlash if they say she was cast through her acting skills lol. It seems they are looking down on acting. What are they going to say if she terrible after this? haha
- Those who are saying she will obviously suck at acting without seeing it, you guys are amazing.
I clicked my tongue and minimized the browser.
Some comments felt as though each character was filled with ill intent. To the point where I wanted to ask if they had a grudge against Lee Songha. If this was enough to make me, a third-party, frowned at this, what would Lee Songha think if she saw these comments…
Although Kim Hyunjo called the girls and told them not to let Lee Songha use the internet, it still concerned me.
What do we have to do to calm this controversy?
Although we could only solve a controversy about acting with acting, there was still a month until the drama’s first broadcast.
Did we have to upload a video of her practicing her lines? Would people believe that she was cast after an audition and not as an add-on then?
“What’s all this fuss all of a sudden?”
The team 3 leader entered the meeting room. It looked as though he came straight here as he held his bag in his hand.
“What do you mean ‘all of a sudden’? It was a mess since early morning,”
Said Kim Hyunjo with a sunken face. The team 3 leader clicked his tongue when he saw his face,
“They are constantly in the top rankings? Songha’s first, and Cat Guardian Ghost is fifth.”
“Ah, Cat Guardian Ghost just went up to fourth,”
Corrected the traitor who was tapping away on his laptop as if there was a war.
When I refreshed the browser, I saw that Cat Guardian Ghost was fourth. Lee Songha was still first, and below her was Next K-Star, Neptune, and even Seo Jijoon. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the aftermath of yesterday’s broadcast was dominating the real-time search rankings.
The team 3 leader went behind the traitor and looked at his screen before mumbling,
“Now, really. I thought things would pass after we took some criticism, but it looks like things will spread if we make a mistake?”
“It’s already spread everywhere,”
Said Team Leader Park, who was unable to take her eyes of her monitor.
“Team Leader Park, why is your voice so hoarse?”
“It’s because I had a fight with Next K-Star’s side on the phone.”
At those words, the team 3 leader’s eyes became even angrier.
“Those damn bastards, what are they saying on their end?”
“They are saying that they are sorry, saying that they only wanted to promote Cat Guardian Ghost since it’s a drama from an affiliate and that they never knew it would become this heated.”
“As if that makes sense. You should have sworn at them.”
“I did. But their program became a hit so they aren’t going to fuss about being sworn at by us. They say that their viewership ratings hit around 2% in the middle of the broadcast and stayed there. Since it has become such a hot topic, there will be tons of people who will download it or watch the rerun, and the viewership ratings for the second episode will be higher. They are probably splitting their profits right about now.”