Lee Ji-hoon was the male lead but got pushed to a sub-lead role only 1 month before the 1st episode of “Sponsor”

Koo Ja-sung is selected to be the second roll of the drama’s main lineup instead of actor Lee Ji-hoon, who was originally known as the main character of “Sponsor.”

Lee Ji-hoon

On Jan 24th, a promotional photo containing the lineup of the drama “Sponsor” was posted on the official Instagram of Victory Content, which is the production company of IHQ’s drama “Sponsor.”

The released photo shows Koo Ja-sung as Seung-hoon and Han Chae-young as Chae-rin.

Koo Ja-sung drew attention as he was sitting side by side next to Han Chae-young, showing that he will play the role of Seung-hoon instead of Lee Ji-hoon who was originally introduced as the male protagonist, .


As of 10 a.m. on Jan 25th, Lee Ji-hoon‘s name is placed in the 3rd roll, after Han Chae-young and Koo Ja-sung, in the main lineup of “Sponsor” on Naver Portal.

Fans responded to this, saying, “Isn’t Lee Jihoon the male lead?” “It seems to be the aftermath of the his power abuse controversy.”

Sponsor” is a romance drama series between four men and a women who hunts for sponsors and will satisfy their desires by any means to get what she want.

In the drama, Lee Ji-hoon takes on the role of Lee Seon-woo, a talented photographer who works for a famous American magazine. Seon-woo is introduced to get involved in rec by getting entangled with Han Chae-rin (Han Chae-young), CEO of a beauty company, who is ambitious and greedy. Other leading characters are Hyun Seung-hoon (Koo Ja-seong), an aspiring model, and Park Da-som (Ji Yi-soo), a rising star. 

In the beginning, the story will be centered on Han Chae-young and Lee Ji-hoon, but recently, the drama has been promoted to be revolving around Han Chae-young and Koo Ja-seong, drawing attention.

Meanwhile, Writer A of ‘Sponsor‘, argued that it was all because of Lee Ji-hoon’s power abuse that the production crew including himself and the director were replaced.

In this regard, ‘Sponsor‘ rep said, “The replacement of actors and staff has nothing to do with Lee Ji-hoon. The request for correction is a mutual discussion between the production company and the director.” Lee Ji-hoon also denied the writer’s claims of his power tripping as a celebrity. 

Afterwards, Lee Ji-hoon ended the controversy by explaining on his Instagram, “There was a strange misunderstanding between the writer and me, and I understood why we misunderstood each other.”

Sponsor‘, which will be aired for the first time on February 23rd, is IHQ’s first original drama, and is scheduled to be broadcast simultaneously on IHQ and MBN at 11 pm KST every Wednesday and Thursday.

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